1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest!
The donation button is here.
https://goo.gl/aFggcs

Racism in older cartoons?

Discussion in 'Tilted Entertainment' started by pan6467, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    A friend of mine showed that the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special, shows racism. If you watch when they are at the dinner table all the white kids are squished together on one side while the black kid is all by himself sitting across from them. Later as they load into the station wagon, the white kids all climb into car doors (the back seat), while the black kid again is singled out opening the station wagon hatch and climbing into the back by himself.

    Now, I never realized these until he pointed them out and showed me.

    My question is 2fold,.

    1) Was this intentional and in some form subliminal?

    2) Do you have any examples that you have seen?
     
  2. uncle phil

    uncle phil Moderator Emeritus (and sorely missed) Staff Member

    Location:
    pasco county
    your friend might have too much time on his hands...
     
  3. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    Possibly BUT it is pretty apparent once you see it. Like I said I just wondered if it had been an accident or purposely done. I don't want to think of Charles Schultz as a racist. I wish I hadn't seen it.
     
  4. aquafox

    aquafox Getting Tilted

    Location:
    Ibapah, UT
    Yesterday was a different world. Being in the KKK was likely more acceptable back then than being an occupy protester is today. Even further back, Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of black slaves.
     
  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    I wouldn't get too bent out of shape on these sorts of things. Cultural norms were a lot different 30, 40 or even 6o years ago. If television had existed back in the 1800s or 1900s, we would likely be appalled by how other races were depicted.

    Here are some other examples of what some would call racism. I am more inclined to see them as time capsules of a time gone by.



     
  6. Hektore

    Hektore Slightly Tilted

  7. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Location:
    Reading, UK
    The black kid sitting by himself seems odd, I'll agree. (when was this cartoon created?) But I saw all the kids climb into the back through the hatch and no one was sitting by themselves.

    Where was "Pigpen?" He's the kid I would have expected to see sitting by himself.
     
  8. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Take a close look at anyone that gets shot or blown up in a daffy duck episode, usually they'll be transformed into blackface. It's not an accidental, but I doubt it's as malicious as it would be today. Back then this would've been the equivalent of a suicide bomber joke today. Insensitive, but not openly "wrong" as it were.
     
  9. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    Read what you will into these things... it's almost certainly in the mind of the beholder, and not really there. I have seen comments on the autistic aspects of Schroeder's intense focus on Beethoven, with the people wondering if Schulz had an autistic child (he didn't). Most of the people who read things into these simple cartoons are just looking to see things there.

    One of the stupidest comments I ever read (and one that was unbelievably accepted by the offer) was about Isaac Asimov's short story "The Last Question". Asimov attended a lecture about the story given by a man he didn't know. Asimov disagreed almost entirely with the entire analysis, and afterwards approached the man to express his disagreement. The lecturer dismissed Asimov's point of view. When Asimov replied that his opinion should carry some weight since he had, indeed, written the story, the lecturer replied: "Oh, so you're Isaac Asimov! I'm so glad to meet you. But tell me, just because you wrote the story, what makes you think you know what it's all about?"

    Asimov, who was incredibly smart, thought this was a deep and insightful point. It's not; it's simple pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

    The content of Peanuts (and any other comic strip), like any other art form, is highly individual to the viewer/reader, and often any offense perceived reflects the viewer's opinions, not the creator's.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    Location:
    Jonesboro ga
    some of the cartoons that we still watch today were made when that was the norm. having never noticed it, i will have to take a look and see.
     
  11. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    I agree with the pseudo intellectual bullshit,. Didn't know that about Shroeder and Schultz. Nor about Azimov, there was a very similar event in Annie Hall (wonder if it was inspired by the Azimov incident). Woody and Annie are standing in line to see a movie and the couple in front or behind them has the guy telling his date what the essence of the movie is and Woody pulls "the director" of the movie out of line and he calls bullshit on the guy, who basically blows him off.

    Woody recognized BS in his earlier movies, when he just did comedy. Eventually, he became a pseudo intellect where all his movies had to have a meaning or make a societal statement.
    --- merged: Dec 2, 2011 7:48 PM ---
    It was the norm. It is also possible that the animators were trying to make a statement, as I believe that cartoon was originally aired in 1973 during/after the Civil Rights movement. It happens so fast and isn't that obvious unless of course you are looking for it.
     
  12. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    "The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author." —Roland Barthes

    One viewer's pseudo-intellectual bullshit is another viewer's reader-response criticism.

    The perception of racism in a work, whether in a text, a film, a cartoon, or whatever, need not necessarily be a reflection of the author's values or intent. It should be a reflection of the work itself and how the reader/viewer evaluates it and comes to terms with it.

    It doesn't matter whether Schultz was a racist. What matters is whether you think this Charlie Brown cartoon contains racism. What matters is how you want to interpret that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. pan6467

    pan6467 a triangle in a circular world.

    I agree. I just found it interesting and you-tubing some old cartoons, it's amazing what we watched as kids.

    It's like I NEVER saw racism in the Little Rascals and still don't. I think those shorts were groundbreaking because they featured black and female actresses as leads.

    It wasn't until I heard the rumor about Bill Cosby owning them and refusing to release because of "the black stereotypes" of Buckwheat and Stymie (when again these 2 were prominently featured at a time when there were very few featured in a positive light). I never could believe it, but they are harder to find on Television, Of course the new generation of kids probably wouldn't appreciate the shorts as much as my generation or my parents did, since it portrays a simpler era and life.
     
  14. uncle phil

    uncle phil Moderator Emeritus (and sorely missed) Staff Member

    Location:
    pasco county
    don't forget these guys...



    they were HUGE back in the day...
     
  15. Tophat665

    Tophat665 Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    NoVA
    Fortunately Barthes is dead, and, having read his stuff, I think it has to be that he was a comedy writer.
    Seriously. I had to read quite a few of his essays 20 years ago. Never have I seen so many utterly ludicrous positions so well and forcefully argued.
    --- merged: Dec 2, 2011 9:19 PM ---
    Now, take the death of the Author. The Author means what he means and that's what they wrote (or drew or whatever). That's what the work means. I have nothing against saying that the experience of a work may allow a reader to unlock further meanings, but the reader brought those meanings to the work with them. The work means what it means, not what the reader says it does. My painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa does not change the Mona Lisa. Might, arguably, make it a different work, but it doesn't change the meaning of the original.

    / One might argue that throwing Finnegans Wake through a wood chipper doesn't change its meaning either, but that would be gratuitous.
     
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I didn't have to read quite so much, but the gist of my point is basically that the creator's intent doesn't matter all that much, especially considering we can never really know it. All we have are our impressions of the work and our impressions of the creator's intent. How much emphasis we put on each will vary person to person and work to work. I'm largely unconcerned what the creators' intentions are. However, some works do lead to it, especially if the work is at least semi-autobiographical.
     
  17. Tophat665

    Tophat665 Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    NoVA
    As for racism in Old cartoons...
    Comedy is, at least in part, about The Other, in the anthropological sense of outside the group, and the differences between the self and the Other. Now, one can get all made up as a clown and wear exaggerations of normal clothing to present oneself as the other, and that's why clowns are funny (and, at the same time why they're scary). But when there are groups, particularly subjugated groups, that anyone can easily point to the differences between them and "us", there's no real need to exaggerate to create the incongruity where comedy can be found (although exaggerating those differences can only help.) So...

    It's a matter of empathy. If you can allow yourself to empathize with the group for which the comedy is produced, then it remains funny. Whether or not it's racist by current standards is not material to that except insofar as it prevents empathy from being put where the author wanted it. If you can't, or worse (from the author's standpoint) you empathize with the butt of the joke, then the comedy doesn't work.

    I am sure "The Merchant of Venice" had 'em rolling in the aisles at the Globe. Now... Compare that to "Borat". Particularly the Running of the Jew section. Only difference? Cohen "Crossed the Line Twice", and made it so over the top that it could be nothing but funny regardless. He took the Otherness off the Jew and put it on the Cartoon Khazak he was playing. Shakespeare was using the Jew as a stock funny villain for the time, so the Otherness stayed right there. Worse to make fun of Jews or Khazaks or both? And does the answer change when a Jew is playing the Kahazak?

    Bottom line? Racist? Sure, by today's standards. But there's no way I am going to let that stop me from finding it funny when I can.
     
  18. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    Barthes is absolutely correct. The author/artist's intent is not the most important part of a work. A work is not complete until it has been read/viewed.

    With that comes the understanding that the meaning of a piece will shift not only on who is interpreting the work but also when. What the viewer brings to one of these cartoon is their experience. A viewers seeing one of those cartoons in the 1930s, on a screen is seeing a different film than we are today... for any number of reasons.

    Yes, the form within the frame of the short film is same (colour, narrative, sound, movements, etc.) but the meaning ascribed to that form can differ wildly. Imagine a person in the 30s watching an episode of Seinfeld and tell me what meaning they would place on it?
     
  19. Tophat665

    Tophat665 Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    NoVA
    I'm gonna go with, "HOLY SHIT! I'm in the Future!"
     
  20. ace0spades

    ace0spades Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I'm of the mind that these types of things are a product of their time and place. I mean, how many of the founding fathers of the United States owned slaves? It's hard to separate art from its context.
     
    • Like Like x 1