Lawmakers in a small Polish town have banned Winnie the Pooh as the mascot of a playground and decried its author for coming up with such a "disturbing" character.
Councillors in the town of Tuszyn, just over 20 kilometres from Lodz, recently voted against making the famous bear the face of a playground because he doesn't wear pants, The Croatian Times reported Wednesday.
At the meeting, which was recorded in secret, Coun. Ryszard Cichy said the bear is "half naked which is wholly inappropriate for children."
Another councillor, Hanna Jachimska, said of Winnie the Pooh's author A.A. Milne: "This is very disturbing but can you imagine! The author was over 60 and cut his [Pooh's] testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with his identity."
Winnie's banishment from the Tuszyn playground prompted a response from Brian Bowman, the mayor of Winnipeg, the city after whom the bear that inspired the character was named, CBC News reported.
"Clearly, Winnie is a cartoon bear who doesn't wear pants, but I'd like to note that the beloved Disney characters Donald Duck and Chip and Dale (the Rescue Rangers) are also pant-less, Mickey Mouse doesn't wear a shirt, and Tony the Tiger is nearly nude," he said in a prepared statement.
"Winnipeg is a tolerant and accepting community, and I hope that Winnie continues to teach children about kindness and friendship for years to come."
The story of Winnie the Pooh begins during WWI, when a Canadian soldier and veterinarian from Winnipeg named Harry Colebourn bought a bear for $20 from a hunter in White River, Ont.
He named the bear "Winnie" after Winnipeg.
Eventually, he learned he was heading to the front and left "Winnie" at the London Zoo, where author Milne saw the bear with his son Christopher Robin. Milne later published a series of books about the bear, starting with "Winnie the Pooh" in 1926, in which he appears totally naked.
The creation of Winnie the Pooh was immortalized in the Heritage Minute posted above this story.
It was only when Disney began making films about Winnie that he wore a red shirt.
But this is not the first time that authorities have banned him.
In 2009, Winnie was placed on a list of "extremist material" in Russia after he appeared somewhere with a swastika, Newsweek reported.
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