Nothing shows its age faster than humor. In 1968, having deemed 11 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons — popular in their own time two decades prior — too politically incorrect to air, United Artists withheld them from syndication. The “Censored 11″ haven’t aired on TV since, but clips have crept online, giving today’s audiences a window into cringeworthy racist stereotypes once considered fit for Saturday-morning fun. A 1941 episode called “All this and Rabbit Stew” showed Bugs Bunny hunted by a dim-witted, black gambler (later reimagined as Elmer Fudd). In 1943, “Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs” parodied Disney’s Snow White with an all-black cast. (Innovative despite its dubious content, the cartoon was named one of the 50 Greatest of All Time in 1994 based on votes from more than 1000 animation-industry professionals.) And 1944’s “Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears” likewise repopulates the popular story with an all-black cast, turning the Three Bears into jazz musicians, with many characters drawn in blackface style. It makes South Park look positively sensitive.
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