In the early 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer director Tex Avery made a series of cartoons with a humorous look at the future, featuring the homes, farms and television sets “of Tomorrow”. This 1951 short looks at the world of cars. It’s a little bit silly but it does reflect the time and the trends, for example, the “new step down models”, a reference to the “step down” Hudsons. Unfortunately, there seems to be a cohort of people that can’t look at cultural artifacts of the past without feeling obligated to condemn the prejudices of earlier ages. As a result, some versions you will find of this cartoon have been censored.
A native American driving a convertible with a tipi for a roof and a Chinese driver pulling his car like a rickshaw is today, by some, considered offensive, not funny. What’s silly about the censorship is that the cartoon is, well, silly in the first place, hardly serious. There’s also some “sexism” in the cartoon, a pink car featuring curtains and flower planters as well as a bust and a derriere, and a few backseat and women driver jokes. It’s interesting, though, that none of those who complain about the “racism” and “sexism” of Avery’s cartoon have a problem with the pedal powered “super thrifty Scotsman model”. Funny how associating Natives with tipis and Chinese with rickshaws is considered worthy of censorship, but perpetuating the stereotype of Scots being cheap is acceptable. Like Orwell wrote, some animals are more equal than others.