If you're a fan of the animated TV institution known as The Simpsons, and happen to live in the frozen tundra known as Russia, your viewing experience is about to get a lot less fun.
In a clear example of unneeded government regulation, a new law was recently passed in the country that bans depictions of graphic violence, drinking and smoking before the 11pm hour. I like to think that Helen Lovejoy influenced the Russian legislators by repeatedly shouting "Won't somebody please think of the children" over and over again. The law passed in July, and is now being implemented. As a result, Russian TV network 2x2 has decided to go an odd route when it comes to airings of The Simpsons.
Beginning Friday, past, current and future Simpsons episodes will have all the Itchy and Scratchy scenes edited out. Apparently, the rest of the show's sometimes very adult content has been deemed permissible, but a little bit of the old mouse on cat ultraviolence is no longer acceptable for airing before late night. That sure does seem like an odd thing to single out for censorship.
Instead of just skipping the "offending" scenes and shortening the length of the show, 2x2 executive Lev Makarov detailed a more creative method of editing to the AFP - "We will retouch in an ironic way all the programmes where there are scenes that fall under the new law.”For example we will black-out the screen and write a joky message in a rolling caption." Well, at least the network is trying to do something that might make people laugh about the whole thing. They get points for effort I guess.
2x2 will also cease all showings of South Park before 11pm. The reasoning behind that decision is reportedly the often graphic killings of Kenny in every episode. I wish I was making that up.
Does this new Russian law take TV editing too far? Do you approve of 2x2's tongue-in-cheek handling of the situation?