An offensive online game plays on an association of Israel as a child killer.
Recently, the Comedy Central TV network censored an episode of the popular South Park cartoon following threats from Islamic extremists offended at the show’s portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad. But while Comedy Central was perceived to have caved in on a matter of free speech, it appears that the network exercises double standards when it comes to producing genuinely offensive material. Currently appearing on Comedy Central’s website is a game called “I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!”. The premise of this game has nothing to do with Israel and, as such, is nothing more than an insidious attempt at association. The game’s introduction begins with a character who states:
You lied to me, Jew Producer
referring to a character who has failed to carry out a mission to destroy other child-like cartoon characters. If this piece of anti-Semitism isn’t bad enough, a robot – the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady – is sent to do the job that the Jew Producer failed to achieve.
The character openly calls the robot by its acronym – ISRAEL – and the association created by those behind this game is unmistakable – Israel the child killer. The game then involves the robot destroying everything and everyone in its path, including children and animals. This inappropriate and offensive game, aimed at children as well as adults, should not appear on Comedy Central’s website or any other mainstream media outlet. At the time of writing, Comedy Central’s website feedback form is not operational so please go to the programming feedback form, select Other in the Topic section and demand that Comedy Central remove this offensive game from its website. Join our new Facebook group dedicated to spreading this campaign to a wider audience.
UPDATE – 17 May: Comedy Central has removed the offensive phrase “You lied to me Jew Producer” from the game’s introduction. While the game no longer appears prominently on the website, it is still accessible and has not been removed.
The original unedited introduction can be seen here:
The actions of Comedy Central would indicate that the network has recognized that anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Yet it does not acknowledge that the premise of the game portraying Israel as a child killer is also offensive. Why will Comedy Central not simply apologize and remove this game in its entirety instead of taking half-measures and attempting to hide the evidence of the network’s wrong doing?
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Find out what Yarden Frankl and Pesach Benson have to say about Comedy Central’s offensive game by listening to our latest HR Radio podcast. You can listen through Podbean by clicking on the graphic immediately below or through the YouTube video image.
Update – 27 May: SUCCESS! – Comedy Central Caves in to Pressure
The offensive “I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!” game is removed in its entirety following HonestReporting’s successful campaign.
In no small part due to continuing pressure on Comedy Central from our subscribers and the negative publicity resulting from media and blogosphere coverage of the issue, HonestReporting’s campaign has succeeded.
At first, the offensive introduction to Comedy Central’s “I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!” game was edited to remove the line “You lied to me Jew Producer”. The title of the game itself was also changed to “Drawn Together: The Movie: The Game”, making it far more difficult to locate on Comedy Central’s website.
We continued to argue, however, that the association of Israel with child killing was no more acceptable than the blatant anti-Semitism displayed by the game’s introduction. Impressionable young minds would still be able to play this game online, thus contributing to the misrepresentation and demonization of Israel.
The continuing pressure has paid off. Comedy Central has removed all trace of the “I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!” game from its website. We believe that it would have been correct for Comedy Central to comment publicly and acknowledge its initial mistakes, perhaps even to make a public apology for the offense caused. After all, retractions and corrections are an accepted norm in the media business.
The network must have realized that it could not erase the protests as easily as its Israel robot erased its cartoon characters. The activists who contacted Comedy Central and joined our Facebook group, kept up the pressure until the game was removed.
Thank you to all of you who participated in this successful online activism. One voice may not make a difference but, together, many can.