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Denmark forced to pull €26,000 election cartoon over barrage of complaints

Published time: May 17, 2014 11:50
Edited time: May 17, 2014 12:45

Still from YouTube video/Jeppe K

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The Danish parliament has been forced to ditch a South Park-style cartoon aimed at getting young people to vote in the EU elections. The controversial video triggered a storm of complaints over scenes of pornography and violence.

The offending video follows the exploits of Voteman – a muscle-bound maniac on a mission to make young Danes vote in the EU elections. The opening scene of the 95-second video sees two young men discussing the upcoming elections. When one of them says he probably won’t vote, a giant hand snatches him from the shot and his severed head falls onto a table in front of his friend.

The video then cuts to Voteman, naked on a bed surrounded by amorous, scantily clad women. After receiving a call asking for his help, he throws the women off him and leaps into action, jumping astride two captive dolphins, which he uses as water-skis.

He then embarks on a violent rampage against non-voters, assaulting them and hurling them into ballot boxes. The spectator is also treated to a brief history of the protagonist and how he forgot to vote in an EU election. Deprived of influence over such issues as climate regulations, agricultural subsidies and the amount of cinnamon allowed in his cinnamon bun, our protagonist goes into hulk-like rage and transforms into Voteman.

Needless to say, the video was met with a barrage of complaints from rights groups, slamming the violent, pornographic and sexist content of the short film.

In a statement on Facebook, Mogens Lykketoft, speaker of the Danish parliament, said the video had been taken much more seriously than its creators had intended.

"Reaction in social media is sharply divided between those who see this as unacceptably vulgar, and those who think it is tough but acceptable humor which brings attention to the vote on May 25,” wrote Lykketoft. "The latter was the intention. But I acknowledge that Parliament, as an institution, in future has to show more caution in what we put our name to."

Patrick L Young, a global finance expert said the cartoon was not only a waste of the 26,000 Euro in taxpayers’ money, but also showed the lack of oversight by the EU.

“Somehow a group of Danes managed to put together this rather extreme, rather bad taste European manga anime cartoon with added pornography and it was approved and posted on a European Union website,” Young told RT. Although he noted it was quite “inspiring” that such a video could get through EU bureaucracy.

The Danish parliament took the video down a day after it was posted, but it can still be viewed on YouTube (WARNING: SCENES OF PORNOGRAPHY AND VIOLENCE).

The EU parliament elections will take place from 22 to 25 May. In the previous elections in 2009, Denmark witnessed a turnout of 60 percent, well over the European average of 43 percent.

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