Smurfette Was Removed From A Poster In A Religious Israeli Neighborhood

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation.
Removing women from movie posters is standard in this religious city — but it's not every day that an animated character is censored.
In the ultra-orthodox Bnei Brak, outside Tel Aviv, Israel, posters for Smurfs: The Lost Village are missing one of the film's main characters, Variety reports. The female Smurfette, who's voiced by Demi Lovato, isn't on the city's posters. Instead, the posters only depict the film's three other main characters: Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), and Hefty (Joe Manganiello).
"Ultra-religious Jewish males are forbidden to look upon images of women," Variety explains. In the past, that's led to censorship of posters for movies like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2. It's not just movies, either — IKEA has released an ultra-Orthodox version of its catalog, featuring only men, in the past. And according to Fox News, ultra-Orthodox news outlets in Israel didn't publish photos of Hillary Clinton alongside news articles about the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The Times of Israel notes that, while it might seem odd, this isn't the first time an animated character has been censored for religious neighborhoods. Apparently, a cartoon Tinkerbell has been edited out of Peter Pan ads in the past, too.
The Smurfs posters aren't censored by the city or by religious groups directly. The Smurfs movie's PR firm and distributors created the Smurfette-free ads specifically with religious neighborhoods in mind. Forum Film, the movie's distributor in Israel, told Haaretz that its PR company decided against hanging the original posters in Bnei Brak "in order not to harm residents' sensibilities," according to the news outlet.
Variety also notes that the majority of Israel features the original posters, which include Smurfette.
Still, many Twitter users in Israel and across the globe mocked the censorship of an animated character.

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