Animation action

Ejen Ali Creators Consider Legal Action After Explicit Character Artwork Circulated

Primeworks Studios and WAU Animation are considering legal action against a social media account containing extremely explicit artwork by Ejen Ali. Subsidiary of Media Prima, Primeworks Studios is the distributor of Ejen Alia computer-animated Malaysian spy action film, while WAU Animation is the studio that animated the series.

In a joint statement on Twitter, the two companies said they were aware of the online post regarding “extremely explicit artwork on a social media account involving the Ejen Ali characters and brands that were trending on Twitter”. They added that the explicit illustrations were not created by either of them.

“While we believe in creative freedom, we do not condone the creation, publication, and broadcast of explicit artwork,” explained Primeworks Studios and WAU Animation. Since the discovery, both companies have taken steps to report the matter to the relevant authorities. They are also discussing and exploring potential legal remedies against the owner of the social media account or the artist of the explicit work(s).

This development came after the studios tweeted on November 22 last year that they had received concerns over extremely explicit fan art from Ejen Ali circulating in the community. The tweet added that the studios have since contacted and addressed the individuals directly.

“We welcome fan art, fan fiction and fan theories as well as speculation. Fandom is a wonderful place to explore and we love giving you free rein to play in the Ejen Ali universe. However, we ask fans to respect the characters and create inspiring and appropriate art for all fans,” the tweet added.

Ejen Ali debuted in 2016 and tells the story of an elementary school student who was accidentally drawn into the world of intelligence. The series is set in the fictional city of Cyberaya, supposedly drawing inspiration from Cyberjaya. It is currently available on Netflix in the children’s segment. The anime series was also released as a movie in 2019 titled Ejen Ali: the movie. In October 2020, Primeworks Studios and WAU Animation used Ejen Ali to lift the spirits of Malaysians as part of its own #KitaJagaKita campaign.

According to The star, the Ejen Ali Misi: Bootcamp by Syarikat Permainan Malaysia was launched, featuring three board games called Squad Race, Ejen Vs Droids, and Gadget Assembly. A trading card set was also launched and new merchandise was also made available on e-commerce platforms as well as convenience stores and bookstores. In 2019, Ejen Ali also partnered with AirAsia to launch its products on the airline’s OURSHOP e-commerce platform.

Meanwhile, netizens also expressed their dissatisfaction with the creation of the explicit artwork, especially with most of the characters in the film being underage. One user said he was tired of “seeing NSFW art of cartoon characters that were supposed to be kid-friendly.” The user added that other channels such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon should follow the same course when it comes to explicit artwork. Meanwhile, another user praised WAU Animation for their handling of the issue, while another pointed out that parents should also “know and be educated about children in social media”. A+M has reached out to Primeworks Studios and WAU Animation for comment.

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