By Eliza De Guzman, FINDink Contributor
Most people grow up identifying certain animated series or films to a distinct part of their childhood. The premise of most cartoons are fictional and often humorous, which makes it a go-to for leisurely watching or even a cult following. However, sometimes the messages that these films or series try to convey are overshadowed by its purpose of entertainment. Bob’s Burgers is one of my favorite cartoons of all time. First off, the beach town setting reminds me of the Jersey Shore and they often throw in local references that are nostalgic. The sarcastic humor of the Belcher family mixed with the satirical plot lines of its episodes really call for a good time. One episode in particular has really caught my attention. In Art Crawl (Season 1, Episode 8), the Belcher family finds themselves in the middle of their town’s yearly art crawl. Linda’s sister, Gayle, displays her work at the restaurant, but to Bob’s surprise, he finds the walls of Bob’s Burgers decorated with paintings of animal anuses! At first, he was afraid that the lewd artworks would drive his customers away. But when an elderly couple approaches him to take it off the walls because they found the paintings “offensive,” Bob refuses, out of spite. This episode poses the question of “should artwork be subjected to censorship if certain people find it offensive?”
Back in March of this year, the Whitney Museum was subjected to this question due to the controversial painting of white artist Dana Schultz of depicting Emmett Till in his coffin, titled “Open Casket.” Many argued that she did not have the right to take on creating artwork that did not directly affect her heritage or personal history, which seems as if she was appropriating history for the sake of her art. The painting sparked protests, with the demand of the Whitney to take it off its walls.
The idea of suppressing a medium of expression is rather tricky, considering that artwork does serve the purpose to provoke thought. What draws the line in between difference of what is pushing boundaries and what is socially unacceptable?
Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.