Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2001

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Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Dambusters 'offensive' dog cut by censor



ITV was criticised by anti-censorship campaigners yesterday after it expunged the name of Nigger, the famous black labrador owned by the Dam Busters leader Guy Gibson, from the film version of the bombing raid.

Wing Commander Gibson's dog played an important role in both the 1943 raid on the Ruhr dams and the classic war film that celebrated it.

His name was used as the codeword for the bombers' main target in the raid, while in one of the film's more poignant moments, Gibson is told he has been run over and killed by a car.

However, when the 1954 film -- starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd -- was screened on ITV on Saturday afternoon, all mention of the dog's name had been edited out.

ITV and Granada, which had been responsible for ensuring the film complied with broadcasting standards, said they wanted to avoid offending viewers.

They pointed to recent research by broadcasting regulators which suggested viewers nowadays regarded "nigger" as one of the most offensive words in the English language.

An ITV spokesman said the network was inundated with complaints over an unedited version of the film In 1999 but had yet to receive any complaints about the censored film at the weekend.



David Irving comments:

DAMN! This just shows the problems we editors are now constantly up against in our urgent desire for political correctness. They have successfully expunged the N-word; Guy Gibson VC should have known better and called his dog "Black African American", or "American of Colour" (uh, "color?").

But that still leaves the Dambusters word itself.

  • Dam-? That should be condemn, in case it is confused with the expletive damn.
  • bust? Is that word, congruent with "breast," not now considered to be sexist? don't women prefer to talk of a boob?
  • 'ers? Sexist too, ain't it? It should be 'is, to avoid offending women's susceptibilities.

So Dambusters out. Condemn-boob-is in. Aaargh! Sounds like we're condemning Ignatz Bubis, who is dead: we'd be vilifying the memory of the dead, a criminal offence under German law. Back to square one, don't pass go, don't collect two hundred pounds.



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Harold Edwards of Australia informs us (Wednesday, June 13, 2001): "The Australian version always had the dog's name altered to 'Trigger'"

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