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South Korean Cartoonists Cry Foul Over Simpsons

theodp (442580) writes | more than 3 years ago

Television 0

theodp (442580) writes "When asked to animate a dark commentary about labor practices in Asia's cartoon industry — the edgy title sequence for the The Simpsons' episode 'MoneyBART' — staff from the South Korean production company Akom raised a rare protest. Even after being toned down, the sequence created by British graffiti artist Banksy depicted a dungeon-like complex where droning Asian animators worked in sweatshops, rats scurried around with human bones, kittens were spliced up into Bart Simpson dolls, and a gaunt unicorn punched holes into DVDs. The satire, Akom founder and president Nelson Shin argued, gave the impression that Asian artists slave away in subpar sweatshops when they actually animate much of The Simpsons every week in high-tech workshops in downtown Seoul. Still, South Korean animators make one-third the salaries of their American counterparts, and Shin declined to comment on the full extent of the work his company has outsourced to SEK, a state-run animation studio of North Korea. Some argue that the Banksy sequence's gray and forlorn atmosphere more accurately depicts the sweatshop-like conditions in North Korea."

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