Fox Gets Tons Of Attention For Banksy Simpsons Video… Then Pulls It Off YouTube

from the you're-doing-it-wrong... dept

Late Sunday night, the talk of the internet was the extremely “dark” open sequence for The Simpsons, which was apparently done by famed artist Banksy, and which made a statement about Asian animation and manufacturing sweat shops producing both Simpsons animations and merchandise. According to various reports, there was a lot of back and forth from News Corp. about getting this approved, and even animators for the show initially refused to animate the opening. However, it eventually went out, and was an instant sensation. And, of course, once it’s an instant sensation, lots of folks went online to see it, and Banksy apparently uploaded the video to his own channel on YouTube (where I saw it). However, as Benny6Toes alerts us, the video has now been taken down from YouTube, apparently due to a copyright claim from 20th Century Fox:


banksyyoutubetakedown

Of course, the “official” video is available on Hulu if you’re in the US, and you can find it elsewhere if you really want. But it seems rather pointless and petty for it to be taken down from Banksy’s official account. Now, it could just be YouTube’s ContentID system (in fact, I’d guess that’s what it was) rather than an official DMCA takedown notice, but if that’s the case, it again highlights the silliness of doing automated takedowns like that, where this seems like a case that Fox and the show are getting extra promotion by not just allowing the original video to air, but then to make it available for people to see…

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Companies: 20th century fox, news corp

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Comments on “Fox Gets Tons Of Attention For Banksy Simpsons Video… Then Pulls It Off YouTube”

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28 Comments
Anonymoussays:

I sent it this morning (GMT-3) to my coworkers, and it was already down. It took me all of 1 minute to find 6 different copies (all in YouTube). Will they ever understand that on-line once means on-line forever? And btw, this is about the first time I’ve seen the simpsons in 5-10 years. It got boring and than fascist and annoying. I have no idea how they could have let that intro fly.

intervalsays:

Re: Re: Make a real statement

I disagree. As far as funny, its had its ups and downs depending on the writing crew, which is constantly shifting. I’m reminded of a particularly religious streak in the writing I detected in the series around seasons 4 – 5 (no, i don’t have that great a memory, I have the dvds) and funny took a back seat to biblical references, and not in a humorous vein. Then it picked right back up again the next season and the family wasn’t particularly religious at all. Lately I think its been pretty good.

As far as the sweat shop aspect, I think its a play on Asia as a whole, not really South Korea, where the animation studio is. Although I’m sure the wages are lower, I find it difficult to believe that skilled labor such as animators would have to settle for sweatshop conditions. The sequence was pretty dark for a Simpsons intro, I’ll give you that. But as some kind of brutally true commentary on conditions for Simpsons producers, I don’t think so. Comedy producers often take shots at their distribution companies; look at David Letterman and CBS. He said the same crap about NBC when he was with them.

jsfsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Make a real statement

In the hand animation business most of the animators work long hours for poor pay. Over the past couple of decades most of the works has moved from Japan, to Korea, to Viet Nam, etc. to keep costs as low as possible.

The most skilled, and best paid, animators are used to make what are called key cels. Key cels are the most detailed in a sequence, with the ones in between key cels not needing the same detail because they are only visible for a fraction of a second. Particularly when motion is involved the in between cels are of lesser quality. In many cases the in between cels only contain the portion of the frame that is changing, not the entire scene. This is why as a collector you want to buy the key cels.

The people that make the non-key cels really don’t get paid much. But in some of the third world places the work actually takes place it is still better then starving.

I’m not sure if things are similar in the computer animation world, but would not be surprised if it is similar. Much like the “chinese gold farmer” working conditions.

Anonymoussays:

I don’t see why it’s wrong that stuff gets made in socalled “sweatshops”. The people that live in the countries where they are, are happy when a new factory opens, because then they can get a job, and support their families. Their life is very different from the average north american/europeans life. People who critizize “sweatshops” should visit one instead of complaining on the workers behalf for no reason at all except making themselves feel good.

Sneejesays:

Re: Re:

The problem is that both situations occur, and it is not always easy to tell if the factory is exploitative or if it is helpful. The word “sweatshop” IMO is intended to indicate a factory where its introduction is negative and exploitative to the surrounding community.

For example, if the factory arrives and offers income above the norm for the surrounding community buut requires that families send their children to the factory for 15 hrs/day, 7 days/wk, is that ok even if conditions are good?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So basically, sweatshops are exactly the same as early factories in any developing country (including the UK and US)?

The situation exists every single time a country starts to industrialize, and it’s primarily because of an overwhelming supply of labour compared to a small number of jobs.

Things tend to improve when the labour force starts to better match the available jobs.

Sneejesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Probably. It all depends on what human-rights standards the manufacturers or the government holds them to.

BTW, the only point I was making (badly perhaps) was that “sweatshop” is being used in a generalized manner to indicate any large-scale third-world manufacturing effort and some are probably (as the person I was replying to says) a positive impact, while some or many are not.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

well, there was that whole organized labor movement, union busters and private security teams who killed anyone who stood up to the bosses – but yeah. pretty much your standard ‘orphan chimney sweep’ industrial revolution nightmare. china is even more brutal than any western fascist capitalist gangster in history. i heard some of those ‘factories’ are surrounded by barbed wire – not to keep people out.

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The problem is that both situations occur, and it is not always easy to tell if the factory is exploitative or if it is helpful.

this is because there are no labor and environmental standards in these places. greedy corporations are only partly to blame. corrupt local governments are also to blame. forcing all companies to meet minimum standards for wages, working conditions, and environmental protections similar to those of the US (or even better, europe) into place will improve the lives of the people in these countries and could also help to revive some of dying manufacturing sectors in the US.

Chris Rhodessays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

greedy corporations are only partly to blame

Yes, damn those greedy corporations! Always offering people better jobs than the ones they had before!

We should especially put pressure on them to ban child labor in those countries, so kids can go back to the time-honored, traditional jobs of poor children in third-world countries, such as child prostitution!

forcing all companies to meet minimum standards for wages, working conditions, and environmental protections similar to those of the US (or even better, europe) into place will improve the lives of the people in these countries

And also increase the price of the goods they produce, thereby decreasing the demand for those goods and hurting their economy.

could also help to revive some of dying manufacturing sectors in the US

Oh I see. It’s a “they took er jerbs!” moment. Carry on, then.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

I love the alternatives: slave work or prostitution. Has it occurred to you that those children should be, I don’t know, studying? Being able to live and not work? Factories in the third world are something that you americans (sorry for ass-uming) will never subject to. They are greedy and they treat people like sh*t because they can. You shouldn’t subject others to that, just because they have a lower living standard.

Chris Rhodessays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I love the alternatives: slave work or prostitution. Has it occurred to you that those children should be, I don’t know, studying?

Sure, all those poor people will just send their kids away to school instead of working. Food is overrated anyway, and I’m sure those kids will have time to catch up on their eating after they graduate and start making money!

You basically just said:

“I love the alternatives: bread or starvation. Has it occurred to you that those children could eat, I don’t know, cake?”

And yes, you can use the internets to find data showing that banning child labor ends up increasing child prostitution in poor countries. (But that all happens after you pat yourself on the back for saving the children, so out of sight, out of mind, right?)

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, damn those greedy corporations! Always offering people better jobs than the ones they had before!

We should especially put pressure on them to ban child labor in those countries, so kids can go back to the time-honored, traditional jobs of poor children in third-world countries, such as child prostitution!

if given a choice between dying at the age of 7 in a brothel and dying at the age of 7 in sweatshop, clearly dying in a sweatshop is obviously better. how could i have not seen that?

clearly corporations are always great and should never be questioned. you have clearly changed my life for the better.

And also increase the price of the goods they produce, thereby decreasing the demand for those goods and hurting their economy.

how insensitive of me. affordable retail goods always trump the value of human life. yay corporations!

out_of_the_bluesays:

It's the old "bait and yank" tactic.

Nothing gets attention like “forbidden”.

However, “Simpsons” are re-cycling material; a good portion of one show in the late 90’s already showed where the work is actually done. Perhaps all that’s new and disturbing is that a whole ‘nother generation of Americans are even more clueless about the real source of material goods: Asia’s limitless labor under what Americans would (rightly) consider slave conditions.

By the way, as I recall, the Asian animators of the 40’s-60’s were in Hollywood itself.

@ interval: “I find it difficult to believe that skilled labor such as animators would have to settle for sweatshop conditions” — There you go. Just don’t believe it, and you avoid pesky moral questions. I’ve quit excusing evident lapses of morality that accrue to the benefit of The Rich.

It may be that The Simpsons are threatening to go elsewhere (numerous possible places in Asia or India), or rubbing in that they’re exploiting labor. As I keep saying, once you get past the barrier of getting millions for nothing, there’s no bottom.

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