Cartoon Network has defended its decision to censor Steven Universe to make it less ‘gay’.
Fans have reacted angrily after a decision was made to alter a scene in their broadcasts which showed two female-presenting characters dancing together intimately.
In the original, the scene showed two female characters Pearl and Rose Quartz shared a dance together – which many fans believe to be romantic. But in the alteration, the UK broadcast replaces the more intimate moments of the dance with frames of a male character’s face.
‘Cartoon Network (in Europe) often shows amended versions of programs from US originals,’ a statement read.
‘The US broadcast system requires that shows are marked with a rating –in this case PG (parental guidance necessary). In the UK we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time.
‘We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.
‘We have an ongoing dialogue with our audiences and our shows reflect their preferences. Research shows that UK kids often watch with younger siblings without parental supervision.
‘Be assured that as a channel and network we celebrate diversity – evident across many of our shows and characters.’
This is clear Cartoon Network considers same-sex gender relationships to cross the British ratings system, which allows kissing and cuddling in ‘U’ or universal rated content.
‘Cartoon Network UK is taking much-needed role models away from vulnerable kids,’ a petition reads, which has already been signed by over 3,000 people so far.
‘Steven Universe is a beloved series acclaimed for its groundbreaking portrayal of queer characters. I’ve heard many young people say it changed their lives.’
Ruby and Sapphire are two female-presenting characters who combine to create the superpowered kickass warrior Garnet. Producers in July confirmed they were a lesbian couple.
When Cartoon Network in France did something similar, there was also outrage. The channel listened and let the original broadcast go out in future airings.