When it comes to the holidays, one of the things that people look forward to is the special programming and TV shows that coincide with the day or season. Usually, there are specials or parades or concerts or even sporting events which take place and bring the family together. Easter is one of those very holidays, but Channel 5 in the United Kingdom just can’t quite seem to get it right as they have now aired Watership Down for the second year in a row.
Yes, they aired a film about the bloody and tragic slaughter of bunny rabbits on Easter. Yes, they did it again.
As reported by Sunday Express, Channel 5 has chosen to air the film on Easter Sunday for the second year in a row and outraged thousands of people. While some look at the network as being “brave,” the majority of the people on social media are coming down on them for making such a poor decision yet again.
— LADbible (@ladbible) April 16, 2017
Some are looking at Watership Down as being just a story or just a book or just a movie, but it is hard to argue with the fact that this is poor scheduling. It is Easter, and it is the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the day that the Easter Bunny leaves treats for the boys and girls of the world.
It is a bit traumatizing to flip on the TV after finding your basket of goodies and see cuddly little rabbits being killed off. While it may be needless to say, many parents are outraged and decided to aim their anger directly at Channel 5.
Watership Down on Channel 5 at 12:45 while all the wee weans are thinking about Easter bunnies? What psychopath is running the show there?
— Limmy (@DaftLimmy) April 16, 2017
Shout out to whoever at Channel 5 decided, again, that Watership Down was a nice Easter Sunday afternoon film to show. pic.twitter.com/YdWgedJSMD
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) April 13, 2017
– How’s the chocolate kids?
– It’s great Dad!
– Good, pleased you’re having fun, now let me introduce you to Watership Down…
— Dean Whittington (@DeanWhittington) April 16, 2017
And if you need to explain to the kids why the Easter Bunny didn’t arrive this year, Watership Down is on Channel 5
— Ken Barlow (@I_am_KenBarlow) April 16, 2017
Watership Down is an animated movie and it is about little bunny rabbits, but it can hardly be considered a kids movie. One Rabbit named Fiver believes he and his friends need to find a new home as the end is near, so, they set out in search of one. Little do they know that a treacherous river, a cemetery filled with rats, and dangerous predators await them on their journey.
As reported by Express, David Austin of the British Board of Film Classification said last year that if Watership Down was released today, it would have a PG rating instead of a U (Universal – suitable for all). The way the rating system is today, the violence and language wouldn’t come close to landing a U rating for the movie.
Obviously, “standards were different” in 1978.
Still, the film is being shown on Channel 5 on Easter for the second year in a row, and the criticism and backlash are worse than they were in 2016. As reported by the Daily Mail, Gemma Arterton has a new adaptation coming of Watership Down for BBC and Netflix, but you can guarantee it won’t be suitable for all audiences this time.
Watership Down is an iconic movie and an iconic novel as well, but there is a time and a place for the subject matter. Considering the main characters are bunny rabbits, it really isn’t the greatest idea to air it on Easter Sunday. Sure, there may be changes in how the rating should be viewed today as to how it was when it was released, but that is just nitpicking. If Channel 5 really wants to air Watership Down, that is fine, but keep it away from Easter.
[Featured Image by Decode Entertainment]