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We may be too old to pick up a Beano comic these days, but we still remember the characters from those legendary comic strips.
Well, it appears that some of them may have had a bit of a makeover, with some of the Bash Street Kids having had their names changed in order to fit with modern sensibilities.
Good Morning Britain ignited fierce debate when they discussed how classic character Fatty has had his name changed to Freddy, while Spotty has been renamed Scotty in order to be more considerate of “modern-day thinking.”
You can watch the video below.
Journalist Ateh Jewel supported the change, explaining: “I think every generation has the responsibility to revalue and redefine who we are and what they’re values are.”
Pointing towards Agatha Christie’s novel, And Then There Were None, which originally had a more offensive and racially charged title, Ateh continued: “That was a totally necessary change.
“I have 10 year old twin daughters, I want to teach them kindness and compassion. Normalising and giving permission to this bullying and objectifying language just isn’t acceptable.”
However, Dr Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology, disagreed, arguing the whole point of the Beano comics were to “push boundaries”.
“When kids look at Beano, they don’t think, ‘Oh, they’ve called someone Spotty, so I’m going to call someone else Spotty,’” he explained. “I think we are being extremely censorious when we feel we have to ‘clean up’ or ‘sanitise’ Beano.
“When we look at something like the Bash Street Kids, it’s about the joy of kids getting into trouble.
“If children want to be mean, they can invent their own words.”
Naturally, any conversation that suggests the world is getting too ‘woke’ inflames a certain type of man who lurks on the internet.
“Why should they change anything because of the PC crowd?” one man fumed on Twitter. “There are plenty of horrible things written about in the Bible but I don't hear them asking for them to be changed.”
Another said: “What a boring world our children are going to live in all because 0.001 per cent of population are offended by everything.”
While a third said: “Leave the Beano alone! If kids don't like them they won't read them they shouldn't force it on everyone else.”
When Fatty’s name was changed to Freddy after 67 years, Beano’s publisher, DC Thomson, said: “Kids come in all shapes and sizes, and we absolutely celebrate that. We don’t want to risk someone using it in a mean way.”
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