Did Dorothy's Club cartoons steal our childhood?
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Did Dorothy’s Club cartoons steal our childhood?

Are you between 35 and 45 years old? Did you grow up in France? Did you know you’ve received a savage photo click, capable of shocking you, or worse yet, turning you into savages? At least that’s what part of the country thought, at the end of the eighties, with Segolene Royal at the fore.

What is the cause of anger? The Dorothy Club. The children’s program launched in 1987 on TF1 monopolized the channel’s program schedule with the speed at which it was accused of all evil. That is, to seduce children with ridiculous drawings No mercy for the croissants! and exposing them to the violence of the Japanese animated series – which he called “Japaniaiseries” Telerama. In focus, basically: Dragon BallAnd the Knights of the Zodiac especially, ken the boy who lived It arrived on the air during 1988.

“I don’t see children as picture eaters.”

Quickly, that year, the hostess, who was not very frank in interviews, was pushed to express herself in the media. Appear on the first page of pocket tv On November 21, surrounded by Candy and Bioman. She smiles just as the title says, “On-Screen Violence: Dorothy Responds to Parents.” “When I talk to kids and ask if they’re scared, they look at me with regret and say, ‘But it’s just a cartoon. Plus it’s a robot.'” They do things right away. “I don’t consider children to be picture eaters,” she said.

in ken the boy who livedHowever, they are not bots to be dropped. This anime, intended for an older audience, has found its place on TV at snack time. It must be said that at that time, the volume of French productions for children was not enough to fill the boxes of programs and these Japanese stories made it possible to fill them without crazy investment.

Violent scenes removed

Back to Dorothy in Pillars pocket tv : “Dozens [de parents] Just wrote to request removal Ken Survivor, considered very violent. i removed it. I immediately received 50,000 messages. 97% demanded his return. But since I believe that television should be done in a democracy, I did not neglect the 3% who opposed it. we kept ken But Robert Rea, director and artistic advisor, omits the very violent scenes, particularly the clips where we see blood dripping. »

Today, the question of respect for the integrity of the work and the artistic vision of its author will undoubtedly arise, but at that time it did not even cross the minds of many people. To top it off, the actors dubbed ken the boy who lived In French it forced the rewriting of dialogues, by injecting humor, before giving its voice to the characters of the novel and the combat, Alusini recalls. So the real massacre was more creative.

Dorothy must not steal her childhood from young children.

For Segolene Royal, these arrangements were not enough. In December 1988, then-MP for Deux-Sèvres toured the media to talk about the amendment she wanted to introduce in order to protect children from violence on television.

I rejected this fight in a book, zapper kidsreleased in early 1989. It reads: “Dorothy must not steal her childhood from young children and must spread tenderness and poetry. She insists that we broadcast Japanese violent cartoons, which don’t have scripts anymore…” 7 days tv. A few weeks later the magazine wrote: “We have received thousands of letters approving Ségolène Royal,” giving the right to reply to Dorothée. “Don’t confuse action with violence, the host pleads. Does a robot exploding under a laser cannon shock a child more than Bambi’s mother’s death by a hunter or Tom Thumb abandoned by his parents?”

“Conceptual desert. Too much noise for nothing.”

At the same time, the book comes out Let them watch TV – the new soul of TV, in response to this wave of moral panic targeting the small screen. Television is guilty of all the evils of the earth. He is blamed for disease, stupidity, ignorance, lack of culture, violence, and vulgarity. And for all this, no evidence was provided for that. (…) Its author, François Mariette, wrote that there is something sickening about our media civilization. The ferocity towards television is only matched by the poverty of arguments and actions responsible for supporting it. Seeing so much rage unleashed, I expected to battle with powerful theses and indisputable scientific data. nothing. Conceptual desert. Too much hype for nothing. (…) There is no evidence of TV harm. On the contrary, there is a certainty that shows the profits that the new generations of television can expect. »

To show her goodwill, AB Productions calls in a team of psychologists. “She watched everything we broadcast. She asked us to make cuts when she found them too violent or traumatic. We did it without discussion but there were very few,” Jean-Luc Azoulay said in the documentary. Generation AB Productions in the year 2020.

Even if the CSA continues to mess with TF1, which will stop broadcasting Muscular man In 1990, then Dragon ball Z A year later, success Dorothy Club It would run until 1997. “Japanese animation would not find critical acclaim until the late 1990s, when the first generation was fed X GoldAnd the candies And the San Ko Kai It will start in the press”, confirms Alexander Ravello in the book Generation AB. And if France, today, is called the “second country of manga”, then Dorothy owes this to a large extent. Not for Segolene Royal.

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