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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Venezuela says "The Simpsons" bad for kids, "Baywatch" okay - ParentDish

Venezuela says "The Simpsons" bad for kids, "Baywatch" okay

If you had to choose between letting your child watch The Simpsons or Baywatch, would one would you pick? An informal survey of five of my friends shows that The Simpsons would be favored, mostly due to the lack of sex in the storylines. Bart may be a trouble maker, but at least he keeps his clothes on.

In Venezuela, parents of television-watching kids weren't really given a choice. Conatel, Venezuela's broadcasting regulator, yanked The Simpsons off the air because they feared that Bart, Homer and the rest of the gang might be a bad influence on the children. I can kind of see their point, but the fact that they filled that time slot with Baywatch Hawaii reruns has some people scratching their heads.

That the Venezuelan government would replace a silly, dysfunctional cartoon family with sexed up, bikini clad babes doesn't really surprise me. Years ago, my husband and I visited his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela and the second thing I noticed (after the extreme and obvious poverty) was the proliferation of sexy billboard advertising. Everywhere I looked, I saw larger than life pictures of scantily clad women in suggestive poses selling everything from accounting services to toothpaste.

Conatel isn't saying specifically what was so offensive about The Simpsons, but says that the National Telecommunications Commission had received complaints from viewers. The complaints prompted concerns that airing the animated show during the morning hours might violate national regulations prohibiting "messages that go against the whole education of boys, girls and adolescents." I guess they know what they are doing - so far, nobody has complained about swapping Bart for breasts.
Venezuela says "The Simpsons" bad for kids, "Baywatch" okay - ParentDish
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