Cartoon Plans Doc on `What's Up, Doc?'

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Cartoon Network will present its annual Bugs Bunny marathon this weekend sans
several controversial animated shorts that it said would most likely air in a
documentary later this year.

The network pulled about one-dozen Bugs Bunny shorts from the 1940s through
the 1960s from its 'June Bugs' stunt, which will run June 1 through 3, because
the cartoons depicted negative racial stereotypes. Some of the more offending
images include Bugs appearing in blackface, as well as poking fun at the faces
of Indians and Eskimos.

Cartoon had planned to run the shorts during the late-night hours of the
marathon with a disclaimer noting that it does not endorse racial
stereotypes.

But after further discussion, network executives decided to pull the
controversial cartoons and create a documentary that would provide more
discussion about the images portrayed in the shorts. Cartoon is currently in 72
million households.

'We're the leader in animation, but we're also one of the top-rated
general-entertainment networks,' vice president of public relations Laurie
Goldberg said. 'There are certain responsibilities that come with that.'

It was unclear at press time when the documentary would be completed or
air.

'We're hoping to come up with something that everyone internally can be
comfortable with,' Goldberg added.

The network will air several of the controversial cartoons as part of a
future weekly 'Toonheads' series focusing on wartime cartoons. Some of the
shorts to be featured include 'Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips,' in which the 'wascally
wabbit' fights Japanese soldiers; and 'Herr Meets Hare,' in which Bugs battles
Germans from World War II.

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