The production company behind the popular cartoon show ‘Pleasant Goat and the Big Bad Wolf’ have been fined following an incident from earlier this year when two brothers in Jiangsu province suffered from severe burns after being tied to a tree that was lit on fire by their friend. The three were reportedly imitating a scene from the show, which resulted in the younger boy receiving burns on 80 percent of his body and the older boy on 40 percent of his body.
Donhai Count People’s Court in Lianyungang ruled that the guardians of the boy who ignited the tree will pay 60 percent of the costs of hospital bills that amounted to more than 260,000 yuan, China Daily reports. The Creative Power and Entertaining Company, the producers behind the cartoon show, have been told by the judge that they must pay 15 percent of costs, and the injured boys’ parents are responsible for the rest.
The incident occurred earlier this year when the three boys in Mawang village attempted to reenact a scene from the cartoon show. The eight-year-old child tied the two brothers, five and eight, to a tree and ignited hay on the ground beneath them.
In October of this year, the government announced that ‘Pleasant Goat’ would be targeted among several other shows in an attempt to crack-down on children’s television shows considered immoral and/or too violent.
Most researchers are still divided on the effects of violent cartoon shows on children, but instances like this are a rarity.
In one case from earlier this year, a five-year-old girl in Shenzhen was hospitalized in critical condition when she jumped out of a sixth story window holding an umbrella after she was believed to have been inspired by a cartoon she had seen.
“Cartoon producers should rigorously review the scenes and plots that are inappropriate for minors in their products and give warnings like ‘don’t imitate’,” the verdict said. “There is a cause-and-effect relationship between the case and the violent scenarios in the cartoon.”
[Image via English.cri.cn]