Ahh, the shows we watched as kids. Nothing quite compares to the pretty pictures, the funny characters, the bright colors, and the obvious racism. Oh yeah, racism has been such an important part of kid shows since they really started becoming common place in the '40s. Many of these shows have really made an attempt to solve the problems that they initially had by editing or trashing entire episodes. Whether it is the inclusion of stereotypes or racist concepts, shows from yester-year cannot escape the offensive content that makes its way into even the most innocent of shows.
No matter how much they have tried to fix the issues that they caused, some shows have gone too far over the edge. Here is a list of 11 shows children love that just so happen to be incredibly racist.
11 The Jetsons
10 The Smurfs
9 Young Justice
For those unfamiliar, Young Justice is a show about teen superheroes including Robin, Kid Flash, and Superboy. Overall, it’s a pretty good show with fleshed out characters and an interesting look at the DC Universe. Now, you may think “and how is a show about super-teens racist?” Well… in an obvious attempt at including characters who aren’t, well, white guys, someone somewhere made a drastic mistake. Young Justice included teen heroes of every ethnicity they could, which should be applauded. What shouldn’t be applauded is what happened once it went to production.
Pokémon is almost famous for having so many banned episodes. One was banned for having too many guns, another for having too many cross dressers, and another for causing seizures - pretty much the standard reasons that any kids TV have had to cancel episodes (that was sarcasm). But there was one episode that was banned for including a character that author Carole Boston Weatherford argues “clearly denigrates African Americans, particularly black women.” She’s not wrong. The episode "Holiday Hi-Jynx" prominently features the Pokémon Jynx.
7 The Lone Ranger
6 Tom and Jerry
5 Hong Kong Phooey
4 Bugs Bunny
Everyone know Bugs Bunny's longtime rival Elmer Fudd, the chubby hunter with a speech impediment. But do you know about the other hunters that Bugs feuded with over time? More specifically, did you know about Tex’s coon? Yea, it is exactly as it sounds. The writer of the episode described the hunter as a "shufflin', big lipped, sleepy-eyed country coon" who can’t resist a game of craps, and he drew him to match the description.
3 Power Rangers
There is a show that has gained incredible popularity about a group of kids that fight monsters using armor given to them based on their ethnicity. It’s called Power Rangers. Seriously, look at the Rangers; the Black Ranger is a black guy, the Yellow Ranger is Asian, the Pink Ranger is a ditsy white girl, and the Red Ranger is Native American. The worst part about the obvious stereotype is that the White Ranger (a white guy) is significantly better than the rest of his team. I don’t know any more obvious white power metaphors.
2 Jonny Quest
1 Donald Duck
The most racist character on the list. Go watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. There is a scene where Daffy Duck and Donald Duck are playing in a dueling piano bar. Insults are thrown back and forth between the ducks, and then Donald drops the "N" word. It shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as the pant-less duck was created by one of the most noted racists in history. Even in his early days, Donald fought caricature of Japanese soldiers in World War II. Much of his racist antics have been written off as being from “a different time.” That does not make it ok.
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