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‘Garbage Pail Kids’ dumped from KREM-TV’s schedule

September 3, 1987

The Spokesman-Review

KREM-TV has decided not to carry “Garbage Pail Kids,” a Saturday morning kids program that has generated community protest and parent criticism.

The CBS network show, scheduled to begin Sept. 19, uses characters based on a series of toys and bubble-gum cards. They have names like Valerie Vomit, Nat Nerd, Foul Phil and Messy Tessy.

KREM has not seen any of the episodes of the 30-minute program. But the show’s possible promotion of Garbage Pail merchandise caused the station concern, said Meg Antonius, KREM program director.

“Even if the show might have been of some quality, we decided not to carry it. We feel the cards are in poor taste and objectionable and that carrying the show would have led people to buy those items,” Antonius said.

She noted that the station received several letters and “many calls” from viewers who had learned KREM was going to carry the program.

Those critical calls and letters created an “awareness factor” for station management, and helped prompt the decision against the program.

Instead of carrying “Garbage Pail Kids,” KREM will air “Porky Pig” cartoons.

Thursday, September 3, 1987

Here are some letters to the editor that appeared in the two major Spokane newspapers concerning KREM, CBS and Garbage Pail Kids:

‘Nauseating’

It has come to my attention that KREM-TV will be airing a cartoon on Sept. 19, a Saturday morning, based on the “Garbage Pail Kids” – stickers that are purchased with a piece of gum.

Let me give you some examples of what the stickers display:

•“Inter Stella” – a horror-stricken child dressed as an astronaut floating in space spewing up fish bones, false teeth, her heart and various other things.

•“Amusement Parker” – a boy riding a wooden horse in an amusement park. The horse has a stake through its back with blood spurting out and obviously is distressed, the child is gleeful.

I have 42 of these stickers, and they are all equally nauseating.

CBS has stated that the cartoon will not be as bad as the stickers, but that is not the point.

This kind of irresponsible corporate behavior encourages a public endorsement of these stickers and will promote their sales no matter how mild the show is.

Apparently the Portland area already has put a stop to this by voicing a strong public protest.

Spokane, it’s our turn.

Write to KREM-TV, phone the TV station or write to the head office in New York City – CBS Programming Department, 51 West 52nd St., New York 10019.

Boycott the sponsors of this show – do something, because you really can make a difference.

Ask the local drugstore to take these stickers off its shelves.

The stores where I live have (thank you, Ritzville).

We can stop this if we want to badly enough.

Sally Catlin
Ritzville, Wash.
Friday, August 28, 1987

‘Backward’ Spokane

I am writing in regard to your recent article concerning KREM-TV’s dumping of the program, “Garbage Pail Kids.”

KREM’s program director, Meg Antonius, once again has let censorship rule in backward Spokane.

Antonius freely admits she has not seen the show and says that “the show might have been of some quality.”

Ultraconservative, overprotective (and probably Republican) parents feel that the (“Garbage Pail Kids”) toys and bubble-gum cards are in poor taste and objectionable.

My parents said the same things – and worse – about my Beatles memorabilia, or was it my Elvis memorabilia…?

Instead of “Garbage Pail Kids,” KREM will air “Porky Pig” cartoons.

This makes perfect sense – none of Spokane’s sainted darlings would ever call a fat person, or a person who stutters, a “PPPorky pig”!

Florra Durrant
Spokane
Monday, September 14, 1987

‘Disgusting’ toys, programs

Hooray for KREM-TV Program Director Meg Antonius’ decision not to show the “Garbage Pail Kids” program, and hooray, too, for CBS-TV for canceling it.

I happen to be one of many parents who care about what their children watch and how it may affect them. Caring doesn’t mean being overly protective or ultraconservative – just concerned and loving.

One program already on the air (“You Can’t Do That on Television” – on Nickelodeon) sets such a bad example for family life; it defeats a parent’s teaching of politeness/respect to others, good manners and parent-child communication by encouraging the exact opposite.

There are several toys, too, that are disgusting, such as “Madballs,” “Super Naturals” and “Gooper Ghosts” (which is some horrible-looking creature oozing slime “Ecto-Plazm” from its mouth and/or nostrils onto a human lying in its mouth), to name a few.

I know there no doubt will be other programs and toys of questionable quality in the future, but I’m happy to know there are others who also are concerned enough to stop some of this, other than adopting a “so-what” attitude.

Linda Faure
Ritzville, Wash.
Monday, September 21, 1987

Cancellation applauded

I applaud and appreciate KREM-TV and (program director) Meg Antonius for their decision not to air the “Garbage Pail Kids” cartoon, which would have taught our children improper lessons about themselves, others and their treatment of others.

A recent letter to the editor suggested that only “ultraconservative, overprotective (and probably Republican) parents” are the kind of people who find the “Garbage Pail Kids” bubble-gum trading cards and toys objectionable.

In truth, both liberals and conservatives agree that the messages given to our children by the “Garbage Pail Kids” are improper, unhealthy messages.

The following are portions from statements made by two liberal television activists.

Peggy Charren, president of Action for Children’s Television, says: “…to have a show based on the cards is a pitch and an endorsement and a validation of the ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ cards. (Judy Price, CBS vice president of children’s programming,) is promoting a kind of humor that is nasty. These cards are stereotypes that are ghastly. It’s like allowing a child to call someone a ‘retard.’…It promotes that kind of thinking.”

Dr. Thomas Radecki, television director for the National Coalition on Television Violence, adds: “…by using anything that is related to the cards, (CBS is) saying it’s OK to get a laugh out of brutal sadism.”

Dr. James Dobson, noted child psychologist and president of Focus on the Family, says: “The ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ phenomenon represents a frontal assault on the emotional health of our children.”

Thank you, KREM-TV, for your wise decision.

Thank you for caring.

Carol Gregg
Chattaroy, Wash.
Wednesday, September 23, 1987

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