Steven Universe is a cartoon celebrated for its representation of LGBT characters, even referred to as "life changing" by fans. It's with great disappointment, then, that Cartoon Network have censored a UK version for what appears to be nothing at all.
Below is the scene in question. Take a look:
The scene in question features two female characters, Rose Quartz and Pearl, who share a sensual dance during the recording of a music video. At one point, they look like they are going to share a kiss.
Except, in the UK version, one integral fragment of the embrace is missing.
You can see the comparison below:
The show's premise is based around the Crystal Gems, who are a female alien group of superheroes, figure-headed by the shows titular character, Steven. Each gem has the ability to 'fuse' with another gem, combining to create a single, powerful character.
"More Comfortable for Local Kids"
Fans were understandably outraged by the omission, and without any obvious reasoning behind the censorship, many believe it's down to the same sex relationship.
Even those who disagree with the stance would find it easier to accept if similar scenes hadn't already been shown; for example, Ruby and Sapphire fuse together to create Garnet. This is based on a relationship creators have confirmed is romantic.
They even launched a petition to encourage Cartoon Network to amend future broadcasts and include the clip. The petition received over 4,000 signatures.
However, that didn't deter the television broadcaster. They responded by sending a statement to PinkNews, claiming the change was due to a different rating system. The statement read:
In the UK we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time.
We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.
"Mild Sexual Behavior"
As iOS9 highlighted, the 'Universal' rating in the UK actually accommodates:
Only very mild sexual behaviour (for example, kissing) and references to such behaviour.
Having watched the clip numerous times, the argument that British kids should be protected from viewing such material is farcical. What is wrong with it?!
In a fictional world where diversity reigns supreme, and similar same sex relationships take place, the decision for Cartoon Network to censor the scene is puzzling.