Prejudices in Looney Tunes

I brought this up in class briefly the other day, but I was curious to find more information about it so I did a bit of research. Many old Looney Tunes cartoons featured very racist depictions of various stereotypes and, as a result, many of these cartoons are very off-putting and quite offensive, while still being very interesting pieces of film history. When released on DVD, these cartoons were preceded by the following quote.

The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in the U.S. society. These depictions were wrong then and they are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today’s society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming that these prejudices never existed.

I also found this other disclaimer, presented by Whoopi Goldberg, which is in the same vein as the previous disclaimer.

I find this fascinating, as the cartoons themselves are incredibly well made, despite containing┬ávery offensive material. I think it’s admirable of Warner Brothers to admit their past faults, while still preserving the artistic side of these creations.

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