Austria’s State TV apologized Tuesday for airing a version of Walt Disney’s Oscar-winning cartoon Three Little Pigs that, critics allege, strengthen anti-Jewish stereotypes present when it was made in 1933.
The original version of the cartoon shows the Big Bad Wolf disguised as a long-nosed Jewish peddler, sporting a beard and caftan, as he tries to enter one of the pigs’ homes. Modern releases of the cartoon have deleted that scene, reanimating it so that the Wolf would appear as a Yiddish-accented Fuller Brush Man. Airings on American TV have changed the scene further, redubbing the Wolf’s voice so that he does not sound stereotypically Jewish.
However, the Austria Press Agency says, the original version was shown last week on one of the network’s children’s programs.
State TV program director Wolfgang Lorenz offered his “great” regrets that the cartoon was broadcast. He said there was a mistake that escaped the “strictest quality criteria.” Lorenz said he would ensure that “such a mistake… will not occur again.”
The weekly Falter magazine first expressed criticism of the broadcast.