China Court Fines "Pleasant Goat" After Children Burned in Copycat Incident
The Hollywood Reporter notes that a court in China has levied a fine of 39,000 yuan (approx. $6,423) on the producers of Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf, China’s most popular animated series, over an incident when two children were severely burned in April while imitating characters on the show. The amount represents 15% of the medical expenses of two brothers (aged 8 and 4) who were tied to a tree and set on fire with dry leaves by a 10-year old boy, mimicking an episode of the show. The parents of the boy were required to pay 60% of the medical expenses, with the parents of the burned children picking up the balance. The series centers on a group of goats living in a meadow, and the titular big, big wolf’s doomed attempts to slaughter them. The show was pulled from broadcast schedules in October, at least partially in response to reports of other copycat incidents and general complaints about inappropriate content on the show; the producers are currently spending 10 million yuan ($1.63 million) to “fix the show,” while denying that the fixes had anything to do with the copycat violence issues.
Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf has been a runaway success in China, with over 1,000 episodes produced since it began production in 2005, and has been notable for its success as a domestically produced animated series and for succeeding as a merchandising phenomenon. The Walt Disney Company secured a license in 2010 to broadcast the show on the Disney Channel in 46 countries.