It’s a well known story around the anime community at this point, but being an Australian and an anime fan I would not only like to comment on this recent story but also give a response to Stirling Griff, even though I doubt he would read this.
On Wednesday the 26th of February South Australian Senator Stirling Griff put forward a motion in parliament to banned anime in Australia that shows ‘child exploitation material’, with mention of two animes in his argument. These two anime we Goblin Slayer and Eromanga Sensei. Also can I just say he also mentioned of all series Sword Art Online is his argument and I would be lying if I said upon hearing this I did not chuckle to myself and roll my eyes.
One of the biggest arguments Senator Stirling Griff used in his argument was that the depiction of ‘child abuse’ in these anime are used by pedophiles to groom potential victims. Anything can be used as a grooming material for a pedophile, from anything you can search on Pornhub to normalize the idea of sex to the intended child to images of children in clothing catalogs and any form of artwork depicting artistic nudity even the pieces you could find in any museum around Australia. So if we were to go by the senators logic these pieces of media need to be banned as well.
He mentions his disgust of incest themes in Eromanga Sensei, but I have to wonder, did he have the same level of disgust when these same themes were explored in Game of Thrones? Or when they came up and were explored in certain episodes of say Law and Order SVU? Law and Order has several episodes that discuss child exploitation, abuse, child prostitution and rape, so does this make this show a bad influence on the public? We better ban these shows too then.
Now I know how that sounds, the anime fan is petty that their media of choice is in trouble so we better ban other stuff to make us feel better, well I will say right now that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that once we start banning one source of media because it has material you don’t like well it’s a slippery slope that could see the following banned in the future as well and I will openly state I am a not a fan of everything listed below, but that does not mean I do not wish it to be banned.
- Law and Order SVU – For depictions of child abuse and child exploitation in various episodes even though it is clearly stated in every case on this show that the acts that have happened are illegal
- Game of Thrones – I know there is incest in this one, I don’t know about other stuff because I have barely watched this show because I am not a fan, but just because I do not like it does not mean I don’t think other people should not be allowed to watch it
- Rick and Morty – There is an ep where the child/teenager character Morty is clearly having sex so this must be child exploitation material
- South Park – It’s a show about characters who are clearly children being exposed to on occasions sexual situations
- The X-Files – Season 4 Episode 2 titled Home has a plot that revolves around an incestuous family
- A Clockwork Orange – Depicts teenagers raping a victim and laughing about it
- Lolita – It’s about a pedophile justifying his love of young girls
- Family Guy – A comedic relief character named Herbert the pervert, the running joke with him is that he is a pedophile who goes after young boys
- American Horror Story – storylines depicting Incest
If I felt like being a smart ass in this argument I could also mention The Holy Bible, but I won’t because then this post will turn in an argument about religion I really don’t want to get into but from the above list you can see my point I hope.
I also have to ask the following. In the last decade there have been countless Royal Commissions into historical child abuse and rape cases in government and church run institutions that proved that children were being abused. Did any of these bring up evidence of anime and manga being used to groom children? It was brought up several times that this media is used to groom but not once were examples shown of this happening. I’m not going to sit here and write that it does not happen because I have not seen evidence either way, but because of this I will also not state either as fact.
You are going to go after fictional depictions of abuse when there are still real children, real victims of abuse out there screaming for help? Wanting an investigation into their cases, but instead of giving time to these victims our government is instead spending money and time on the corrupting nature of anime. I’m not sorry in saying this Mr Senator but I think your priorities when it comes to child protection are in the wrong place entirely.