Russian Protestant Leaders Call for Ban on Ikki Tousen
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
A group of leaders from Protestant churches in Russia has asked the country's attorney general to ban television broadcasts of the anime series Ikki Tousen and to cancel the channel's broadcast license. The Consulting Council of Heads of Russia's Protestant Churches also included the American animated television series South Park and Sealab 2021, as well as up to ten other series, in the complaint. Ikki Tousen was noted specifically for "glorifying cruelty and containing elements of child pornography." Ikki Tousen airs on Russia's 2x2 channel under the title Shkol'nye Voyny (School Wars). The other programs were similarly criticized for promoting homosexuality and drug and alcohol use, and contributing to the destruction of public norms and values.
Representatives of 2x2 responded by saying that since Russia is a secular country, any attempt to regulate television broadcasting should be initiated by the government, not a religious organization. "It would be the same as if atheists were demanding to shut down channels that broadcast religious programming," stated Yuliya Solovieva, director of 2x2 owner Prof-Media.
2x2's general director Roman Sarkisov argued that it is a channel aimed at an adult audience, that all of the programs noted in the complaint are broadcast after 10:00 p.m. when "children should be sleeping," and that all of them have aired on Russian television for a number of years with no complaints and in accordance to all current broadcasting rules and regulations. However, earlier this month, after receiving a government warning, 2x2 stopped airing two other cartoons, Mondo Mini Shows' Happy Tree Friends and Aardman Animation's The Adventures of Big Jeff.
Estimates put the number of Protestants at up to 3.4% of Russia's population, or about 5 million people.