UnKosher Smurfette? Blue creature removed from billboards in ultra-Orthodox Israeli city

Published March 29th, 2017 - 07:22 GMT
'Smurfs: The Lost Village' movie opens on Thursday in Israel. (David Bachar/Haaretz)
'Smurfs: The Lost Village' movie opens on Thursday in Israel. (David Bachar/Haaretz)

Images of a female cartoon smurf have been removed from promotional posters in Israel, so as not to offend the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

The PR company promoting 'Smurfs: The Lost Village' movie, which opens on Thursday in Israel, says it has removed the images of Smurfette - the only female among the Smurf characters - from promo posters in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak. 

It is quite common for pictures of women not be displayed in public in Orthodox communities, whether the images are of female public figures or ordinary women.

However, even animated characters now appear to be a no-go. 

The original poster shows Smurfette, a central character in the film voiced by Demi Lovato, alongside her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty. 

However, in the ultra-conservative city of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, she's nowhere to be found.

The Mirka'im-Hutzot Zahav company says it removed Smurfette from publicity so as not to offend the city's ultra-Orthodox residents.

Via David Bachar/Haaretz

It is not the first time that images of women have been dropped from promotional material in the area – Jennifer Lawrence was not used in adverts for the final instalment of the Hunger Games franchise, and even Hilary Clinton's image was dropped in the ultra-Orthodox press during last year's American presidential race.

However, it is understood that this could be the first time an animated character has been censored due to the community's modesty standards.

The Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, slammed the decision, calling it an 'absurd example of excluding representations of the female form.'

'Smurfette. She's a cartoon ppl!' the organisation tweeted. 

While others on Twitter pointed out that 'topless' male Smurfs were allowed to be shown on the poster.

By Hannah Al-Othman

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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