Cartoon Network’s United Kingdom affiliate is drawing fire from Steven Universe fans for censoring a same-sex embrace between the two female characters Rose Quartz and Pearl in the episode “We Need to Talk,” replacing it with a recycled reaction shot from the title character’s father.
In response to an online petition protesting the edits, Cartoon Network provided a statement to UK-based PinkNews.com, which stated:
“Cartoon Network (in Europe) often shows amended versions of programs from US originals.
The US broadcast system requires that shows are marked with a rating â€“in this case PG (parental guidance necessary). In the UK we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time.
We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.
We have an ongoing dialogue with our audiences and our shows reflect their preferences. Research shows that UK kids often watch with younger siblings without parental supervision.
Be assured that as a channel and network we celebrate diversity â€“ evident across many of our shows and characters.”
The response is drawing as much or more fire than the original censorship from the LGBT community and its supporters.