JTA reports that the ultra-Orthodox war on seeing the images of women now extends to non-human female Smurfs as well.

The film’s distribution company, Forum Film, decided to erase the female Smurf from posters in order not to offend residents in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.  The company said that it is common for them not to feature women on posters in Bnei Brak.


With her knees and elbows exposed the way they are, I guess I can understand the need to save young haredi men from the temptation of “sin.”  Haredi men are apparently less able to withstand the allure of the animated blue female form which their secular counterparts fail to recognize.

But this time the latest casualty in the “modesty wars” is not a flesh-and-blood woman  but a Smurfette, a blue cartoon creature who stars in the latest “Smurfs” movie.

While a Smurfette — differentiated from three presumably male Smurfs only by her long blonde hair and six cartoon eyelashes — graced billboards across Israel for “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” she was nowhere to be found on the posters in Bnei Brak.

The film’s distribution company decided to erase the blue-bodied beauty from posters in order not to offend residents, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, which shared a photo of the poster showing only the three male Smurfs. The company, Forum Film, also told Haaretz that it is common practice not to feature women on posters in Bnei Brak.

Not all Orthodox communities in Israel are on board with the strict gender-separation represented by the haredi community. Modern Orthodox Jews are among those active in pluralistic groups like the Yerushalmit Movement, Women Changing Jerusalem and Yerushalmim, which have put up their own advertisements featuring pictures of women.