Time To Bash Some Softies Again
A long-running Beano editor... says that he stopped Dennis from menacing fellow character Walter the Softy in the late 1980s because of fears that his behaviour appeared to endorse the violent bullying of homosexuals. But the DC Thomson veteran now feels the pendulum has swung too far in favour of political correctness and hopes there will be a return to the comic's anti- establishment roots.
"We decided the best way to approach it was to make sure that even though he and Dennis didn't get along, Walter was completely happy about who he was and a confident, likeable character in his own right. We eventually give Walter a girlfriend too, as a measure to combat any further criticism."
"The comic has certainly changed over the years to come in line with political correctness," he said.
"For example, every strip used to end with the rogue of the piece being punished in some way – usually a smack across the head or a slipper across the bottom.
"This sort of corporal punishment became outdated and eventually it was phased out."
Similar changes took place at the Dandy, where the burly cowboy Desperate Dan, who used to shave with a blowtorch and smoke tobacco by the bucket-full, was forced to go on a diet and had his six-shooter replaced by a water pistol.
But Kerr believes the time is right for a swing away from political correctness.
"Luckily for us, I think there is a real resistance to the overt political correctness creeping into British life and the Beano can hopefully use this to its advantage."