Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ukraine’s Morality Police Probe ‘Gay’ SpongeBob

The dangerous perversions of Disney and SpongeBob SquarePants may soon no longer afflict Ukraine’s impressionable children. The sharp eyes at Ukraine’s National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality have spotted a report by a right-wing religious group that complains about SpongeBob’s “promotion of homosexuality” and Disney films’ “pornography,” and on Tuesday announced that it was calling a special session. According to the report–published last week on the fringe Catholic website “Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin”–these and several other children’s shows are “a large-scale experiment on Ukrainian children” to “create criminals and perverts,” and should be banned. The commission is a state body that evaluates media to check they observe Ukrainian morality laws, which ban inciting religious hatred, producing or disseminating pornography, and propagating alcoholism and smoking, among other things. It’s not clear when it will meet to discuss the report. The document describes how the Teletubbies send children into a trance and create “an imbecile who will sit near the screen with an open mouth and swallow any information.” It criticizes the fact that Tinky Winky carries what looks like a woman’s handbag. “In real life, boys very rarely want to put on girls’ clothes,” the report notes. Also up for censure are Shrek (for “containing sadism”) and South Park (for “reincarnation propaganda”). Ukraine’s censors have previously tried unsuccessfully to strike down The Simpsons. They did manage to get Sacha Baren Cohen’s film Brüno–about a gay Austrian reporter–banned for its “sexual perversions.” The battle between conservative religious groups and society is in the spotlight in the former Soviet Union this week. A judge in Moscow will rule Friday whether punk band Pussy Riot is guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” The band’s members say their performance–at the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior–of a song calling for the ouster of President Vladimir Putin was a performance-art protest.

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