Gay issues seem to be slipping down the political correctness pecking order, perhaps with gay discrimination dropping below religious discrimination. Even Sweden is now censoring gay relationships on TV, perhaps to avoid ‘offending’ their newly arrived refugees.Swedish authorities have just been caught censoring a brewing lesbian romance between two main characters in an episode of popular Cartoon Network show Steven Universe.
Steven Universe, which premiered in 2013 in the US on Cartoon Network, revolves around the fictional Beach City where a boy called Steven hangs out with his friends, who are Crystal Gems who can fuse to create more powerful characters. In particular Ruby and Sapphire are both female gems and are very much in love with one another.
The Swedish-dubbed version of the show’s episode Hit the Diamond about a baseball match has been censored to mute some of the romantic dialogue between Ruby and Sapphire. Eg removing the lines:
Ruby: Just look at the ball — Titter på bollen (Just look at the ball) Sapphire: I’m trying, but all I wanna look at is you — Jag försöker, jag har problem med koncentrationen ( I’m trying, I have problems with concentration)
Ruby: Do not worry, you can look at me when you’re running for home — Ingen fara, fokusera på segern när du springer runt (No worries, focus on victory when you run)
The censored conversation prompted an angry reaction. A 1300 signature petition saw the dubbing as:
An active choice to censor the relationship that Ruby and Sapphire have?¦
This happens in 2016 in Sweden, a country that is known worldwide for being progressive in its views and accepting of LGBTQ+ people.
If the two female characters are in love in the original show, there is no reason that we in Sweden would change this relationship.
The authors demanded that Cartoon Network issues a written promise never to censor Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship in their translation or otherwise, as well as to stop mistranslating occasions when these two female characters show love for each other.
Cartoon Network confirmed that the censorship was a local intervention and is not attributable to the US branch.