Is ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ racist?! According to some on Twitter the 45-year-old perennial holiday Peanuts animated special treats Franklin (the only African American) poorly by separating him from Charlie Brown and friends. What?!
From The Hill…
“ABC’s annual “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” special was slammed as racist by some on social media, with some viewers objecting to the dinner-table seating of its only black character.
The scene in question has four characters from Charles M. Schulz’s iconic “Peanuts” cartoon — Sally, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and dog Snoopy — sitting on one side of a makeshift outdoor table for Thanksgiving dinner, with Marcie at one end of the table and Linus at the head.
The cartoon’s lone black character, Franklin, is on his own side of the table seated on a lawn chair.
Comicbook.com was the first to flag the reactions to the scene on social media.
Black journalist Jeremy Helligar wrote in a Friday commentary reacting to the controversy that Franklin’s placement in other “Peanuts” specials appeared more inclusive.
“A relevant aside: During the farewell dinner about one hour and five minutes into 1972’s ‘Snoopy Come Home,’ Franklin was seated on the same side of the table as Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Frieda — in a regular chair,” Helligar said on Medium.
Schulz, who passed away in 2000, reportedly demanded a black character be added to the Charlie Brown cast in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Schulz was inspired to do so after receiving a letter from a teacher named Harriet Glickman.
When asked by the head of the cartoon’s publisher, United Feature Syndicate, if he was sure he wanted to add a black character, Glickman says Schulz replied, “Either you run it the way I drew it, or I quit.’ ”
Franklin’s 50th anniversary was celebrated by the Schulz Museum in July.
“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” first ran on CBS in November 1973, where it aired until 2001. ABC picked up the rights to all “Peanuts” specials the following year. ”
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