Homosexuality shouldn’t be censored

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition for the word “censorship” is “the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.” Censorship has had a long and controversial history associated with it throughout history.

Joseph Goebbles, the Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi Party, used censorship along with propaganda to manipulate millions of people. While in the modern day United States, institutions such as the FCC censor what they believe to be indecent content from broadcast networks and some parts of the World Wide Web.

I personally do not support censorship; I believe people have the right to see information for what it is. While censorship in the U.S is no where near to the degree of censorship from oppressive governments, it is still a form of manipulative control over the population in some aspects.

The only aspect of censorship I do support is the censorship of children’s media, to a certain degree. Children obviously should not witness graphic content on a regular basis.

However, there has been some cases of homosexuality being censored in the U.S along with other western countries such as The United Kingdom. The censorship of homosexuality in children’s media is wrong in many aspects and it does not follow censorship guidelines. In reference to the definition I mentioned above, homosexuality is not obscene, politically unacceptable or a threat to security. I have found many examples from the last 20-25 years on this type of censorship.

A well-known example comes from a popular anime from the late 1990’s- early 2000’s, an anime called “Sailor Moon.” “Sailor Moon” was surprisingly popular among young girls in the U.S when the series got dubbed in English and was broadcasted here. According to SCREENRANT, “Sailor Moon” was censored in many different ways back during its original run on TV, but one stood out as one of the famous instances of censorship in anime history. Two characters in the show Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were lesbian lovers in the original series. However, their relationship was censored, and instead of being lovers they were turned into cousins.

That is a major problem in itself, but not much else was changed beside that aspect. So, the relationship went from something that is not offensive or obscene in any way to something that is obscene. The dub was changed to fit this new “cousin” relationship, but there are many scenes of what are now “two cousins” staring deeply into each other’s eyes and holding each other well longer then cousins should be.

Another more recent example of this type of censorship is a cartoon named “Steven Universe.” Controversy rose up in 2016 when Cartoon Network UK started to censor a lesbian relationship between two characters in the show. The article talks about the instance and the reactions from many people involved in the network and on the show.

This is an odd occurrence because Cartoon Network has been known for being progressive with their programing. The article quoted the network’s statement on the instance, “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.”

The Guardian also quotes the executive producer for “Steven Universe” Ian Jones-Quartey. When the romantic relationship was first revealed in the show, viewers questioned the people behind the show for including this romantic element. Quartey said in a Tumbler post, “They are two cute cartoon characters and they are in love. Why wouldn’t that be allowed on a kids show?”

“Sailor Moon” and “Steven Universe” only scratch the surface on this issue, and it is really upsetting that this is a frequent occurrence. These types of censorship should not be implemented in the media. There is nothing wrong with being a part of and representing the LGBT community, but unfortunately some networks find it obscene and politically unacceptable for children to witness.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]