The classic duo of Tom and Jerry has entertained children and, of course, children at heart for years, having originated in theatrical animated shorts since 1940, and having survived various incarnations over the years. Now, when you are in the media for so long, you are bound to have your share of controversy, although a more recent issue involving new allegations about the famous cat and mouse coming from one Egyptian official may surprise you.

The Egyptian allegations

Salah Abdel Sadek, who serves as the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, claims that Tom and Jerry, and their violent tendencies, may have been such a negative influence on children that they are partially to blame for the ISIS attacks, making such claims during an appearance at the Cairo University on Tuesday.

More to the point, the main issues with the cartoon, according to Abdel Sadek, is that it portrays violent actions in such a “funny manner” that children become desensitized to it and begin to see it as normal, and specifically called out the show for often using explosives as a gag, usually with Tom being the recipient.


Various examples from the cartoon can be seen below in the following video compilation:

Abdel Sadek did not place the blame solely on the cartoon during his suggestions of cultural influence on a rise in violence. Reportedly, he also claimed that the fact that grown young men spend hours playing video games, which often feature violence and gore, may help lead them to view violence as something that will make them “happy and content.”

Responses to the claims

Despite the allegations, there are currently no attempts to censor Tom and Jerry, or video games for that matter, from the Egyptian government. Social media has also reacted towards Abdel Sadek’s claims, often ridiculing these claims, as seen below:

Previous Controversies

As to be expected with characters as prolific as Tom and Jerry, there have been previous criticisms over the excessive use of content in the past, although for reasons other than violence.

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In the US and the UK, episodes featuring blackface, such as 1951's Casanova Cat or 1948's Mouse Cleaning, have been pulled from circulation.