The BBC has found itself in an online tug-of-war online as of late over an April 2012 episode on its children’s channel CBBC called “The Ooglies,” which depicts an animated slice of “terrorist toast” beheading a presumably “innocent egg” in what is now being referred to as “Isis-style” “extreme violence,” leaving some parents disgusted and others laughing in their virtual faces.
The episode titled “Toast Soldier 1,” which also showcases “blood” represented by strawberry jelly and an exploding “grenade grape,” is in the midst of a Twitter feud over whether or not the segment provides a poor example for children as to the realities of the world through its graphic depictions of cartoon violence now that they so heavily mirror the real world.
Many parents now feel the segment resembles ISIS-like violence too closely. That is not to say that beheadings and violence are anything new in the real world, or cartoons for that matter, but the prevalence of mass shootings and terrorism around the world as of late simply has such issues much more on the public’s mind than it may have only three years ago.
Responding in defense of the episode, however, one BBC spokesperson stated, “Ooglies is a popular slapstick comedy series that depicts all sorts of food getting into scrapes with each other. This clip involving a boiled egg and toast is no different and we would be surprised if our audiences read anything more into it.”
While that may be the case, it appears some, in fact, did. One mother by the name of Angela Halliwell even reported the episode to UK television regulator Ofcom because, as far as she is concerned, cartoons like “The Ooglies” showing such violence to children will make them “think extreme violence like beheading is normal.”
— GTR Strike Club ? #CBE (@Passengersalute) December 9, 2015
Of course, there were a number of folks tweeting their exasperation at what they obviously deemed a non-issue in response, as well.
Jesus christ on a bike ooglies is not promoting isis style violence by cutting the top off a boiled egg! Lmao stupid woman complaining.
— Lana Napier (@alpacaaa23) December 10, 2015
geez. The Ooglies. funny children (and some) animation from 2012. furthest away from politics…. https://t.co/KasKkHbaaO
— kriszta satori (@fulelo) December 10, 2015
The episode can still be viewed on the BBC iPlayer or via YouTube. Is this oversensitivity on the part of some parents, or should networks such as the BBC recognize the changing landscape of our social world and learn to become more sensitive to the realities around us?
Featured image courtesy of Unobtainabelle via Twitter screen capture.