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The Pink Panther can no longer do politics in Uruguay

Although it seems like a joke or a practical joke, it is a fact: The Pink Panther cannot do politics in Uruguay. Or so at least says the American company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), which owns the rights to the brand.

But… at what point did it happen that the legendary character created by the animator Friz Freleng embarked on proselytizing in that South American country?

Uruguay will live on March 27 a referendum on the repeal of 135 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC), star project of the Executive of Luis Lacalle Pou (centre-right), approved by Parliament in July 2020, three months after the start of his term (2020-2025).

After an intense search for support in the midst of the pandemic, the “Yo Firmo” platform, created by progressive groups with the support of the trade union center, the PIT-CNT, and the Broad Front, a leftist coalition that governed Uruguay from 2005 to 2020 and now in the national opposition, At the end of 2021, it obtained the necessary headings to hold the consultation.

The Ancap Syndicate and the Pink Panther.

Last December, and after confirming that the 671,544 precise signatures were exceeded in Uruguay for the call for a referendum, the Electoral Court resolved the date of the consultation and the color of the ballots in conflict: the pink for “Yes”, promoted by the opposition, and the light blue for “No”, defended by the government coalition.

Despite the protests of the left-wing groups, who asked for the change to “No”, for understanding that the sky-blue, identified with the country’s soccer team, It is the color that unites all of Uruguay and it cannot serve only one of the two factions, the electoral body maintained the initial indications.

In this way, the supporters of the “No” began to paint posters, t-shirts, flags and any object used to campaign light blue, while those of the “Yes” did the same with pink.

And here comes the Pink Pantherthe mythical fictional character, protagonist of the homonymous film -and a whole subsequent saga always signed by Blake Edwards-, and countless comic animated strips under the unmistakable soundtrack composed by Henry Mancini.

The Federation of Officials of the Uruguayan state oil company Ancap (Fancap) presented days ago an advertisement to request support for the “Yes”, using a symbol that it had already used in previous campaigns (in which, they argue, they never had any problem) : The Pink Panther.

Throughout this weekend the living replica of the felid was seen in several places in the country of fiction in search of support for the repeal of 135 of the 476 articles of the LUC: painted on posters or disguised as flesh and blood people.

But before the “Yes” of the Pink Panther, came the “No” of the MGM.

A document from the law firm Bacot & Bacot, which has specialized in the area of ​​intellectual property rights, nipped in the bud late on Monday the proselytizing aspirations of the pink feline.

In the streets of Montevideo, the Pink Panther Campaigns.

In the streets of Montevideo, the Pink Panther Campaigns.

“Given the notoriety of the Pink Panther series of ‘comedy mystery films’, the reputation of its logo and its music, its image is chosen by its consumers and they are therefore subject to protection against unfair competition and any other use not authorized by the firm that owns it”, read the legal text.

“The lion’s transnational,” as Esteban Valenti, a journalist and head of communications for the “Yes” campaign, called the production company. “He came with everything to ban the use of the pink panther”, wrote on his Twitter account.

Whether or not it is pressure from the ruling party, as some voices in favor of the “Yes” have suggested, the union involved has already announced that it will follow the intimation of the firm and stop using the image. Therefore, the Pink Panther will not be able to do politics in Uruguay.

EFE Agency

PB

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