Posters and a billboard for animated film ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ have been scrubbed of their lone female character, Smurfette, in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, leaving three male cartoon smurfs on the advertisements, reported Jewish Telegraph Agency on 27 March 2016.
The movie’s distribution company, Forum Film, told Israeli newspaper Haaretz on 29 March 2017 that the PR company decided to censor the billboard in the city so as not to “harm residents’ sensibilities”.
City residents, known for their strict adherence to Orthodox Judaism, practice gender separation and dress modestly.
This is not the first time censorship of this kind has happened in the city. In 2015, Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence was removed from posters for her film ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ – replaced by a fiery crown – in Bnei Brak, as well as an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem.
According to Variety magazine, this marks the first time censorship of this kind has happened to a non-human female character.
» Haaretz – 29 March 2017
Smurfette latest victim of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox modesty wars
» Variety – 28 March 2017
Female Smurf erased from billboard in religious Israeli city
» Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) – 27 March 2017
Female Smurf removed from posters in haredi Orthodox neighborhood in Israel