Mexican-American and other Latino groups have launched a letter-writing campaign to protest the decision by the Cartoon Network to ban the Loony Tunes character Speedy Gonzalez. In a letter to Jon Cooke, who operates an unofficial Loony Tunes website, Cartoon Network executive Daniel Wineman wrote, "The problem with [Speedy cartoons] is the references to drinking, laziness, drug use, and womanizing ('Speedy knows my sister, Speedy knows EVERYBODY's sister...'). This isn't worse than most any other WB character. However, since Speedy is Mexican, we've shied away from these 'toons. Turner Broadcasting has always been super-careful not to promulgate any of these stereotypes and this case is no different."
But in a recent article posted on the Hispanic Online website [www.hispaniconline.com] one writer noted that Speedy serves as a remarkable role model. "Endowed with street smarts that match his lightning speed, Speedy has a strong sense of justice and a healthy sense of humor. He can always be relied on to come to the rescue, despite his amorous pursuits," the article observed. Several writers observed that no one complained about Speedy when he appeared on TV in the past, adding: "I think sometimes the censors are afraid of things that aren't really there."
My anger was misdirected, but the point is still valid, even moreso in light of this corrected inforamtion. Cartoon Network pulled it becuase they thought it was offensive, and here is a Hispanic group saying just the opposite. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the Cartoon Network was practicing censorship, but as the sole outlet for Looney Toons cartoons (station is owned by Time-Warner, who also owns Looney Toons), they do have total control of what we can and cannot see. They even stated that they did not pull it because of what was being said, but becuase it was a HISPANIC character saying it. Someone was being a little too cautious.
... or were they? Maybe this is all some grand conspiracy. Pull Speedy off the air, cause a big brou-ha-ha, and then have the triumphant return of Speedy, causing viewership to spike upward. Could be.