This post is nothing new, I’ve talked about how violence isn’t censored in kids shows and how the lgbt community, for whatever reason, is, but there is one show in particular that got me talking about this seemingly homophobic tendency, Steven Universe. This show is beautiful, both in it’s visuals and in it’s message. The message the show is trying to covey is incredibly simple, it’s love. The love within a family, in relationships, and between friends. The main character Steven finds himself in potentially violent conflicts that he often solves through talking things out, and when he does fight his weapon isn’t truly a weapon, it’s a shield. The show, in my opinion, is genius, it teaches kids to love. This show also features a “same sex” couple, Ruby and Sapphire (I put same sex in quotes because technically they’re agendered space rocks from space that identify with female pronouns, but that’s besides the point). Ruby and Sapphire are often seen as Garnet, a fusion, and their living embodiment of their love (I won’t get into the technicalities of the show) so the two characters are only truly seen in three episodes. Despite the supposed “controversy” surrounding these two characters they have not been censored in anyway, (other than in Russia but honestly I’m not surprised) two characters that have been censored however are Pearl and Rose Quartz. These characters are not in a relationship, nor have they ever been, but during one episode the two danced together to form a fusion for Greg’s music video and part of this dance was censored in the UK.(the clip is shown in the movie pilot site linked at the end of this post)
This censorship is completely uncalled for, a PG rating according to the BBFC (who we talked about in the Watership Down post) allows for “Mild sexual behavior” including kissing. These characters didn’t even kiss and they were censored, earlier on in the series and even later in this episode greg kisses and dances with rose and the content is left untouched. Cartoon Network defended the BBC’s choice by saying that they have to “ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time”. What makes homosexual relationships unsuitable for children? Unfortunately there are parents out there that don’t want their kids exposed to the idea that people think differently than they do, but it should be their responsibility to make sure they don’t watch shows they find “unsuitable”. I know my parents made sure I wasn’t watching anything too violent or scary at a young age. Censoring this for all children also means that children with same sex parents will almost never see their parents represented on TV until they are old enough to watch more mature content where same sex couples are represented.
A survey on this site: erotics.apc.org, briefly shows just how often homosexuality is censored and why.
While homosexuality isn’t the highest on the list it certainly shouldn’t be in the top five, and governments seem to fall back on claiming that by censoring anything, including homosexuality is for the protection of children.
Dickson, J. (2014, May 01). Steven Universe. KidScreen, p. 28.