Racial Stereotypes in Cartoons and Animation

Just create a compelling story, then choose your cast of actors by which to tell it. The human race is a “coat of many colors.” Celebrate this as you do your casting. But, don’t let your choice of skin-tone influence, nor be influenced by, “how they act” or “who their characters are.” It’s perfectly natural that your cast would be “colorful,” because that’s the way real life is. But the color of a character’s skin says nothing (!) about “who or what (s)he is.” Keep it that way.

Yes, there was a time when racial attitudes were very different, and yes, it was reflected in the art of that time. That was then, this is now. We cannot and should not “purge” this past, but neither should we ever again repeat it. There are too many wonderful stories left to tell …

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Hi Wakka

This was a reply to where I wrote : Take inspiration and real wisdom from genuine lived experience

I think that sentence was lifted slightly out of it’s original context and full intended meaning here. It was not a call for broad blanket censorship on freedom of expression.

I also wrote … ‘ As in all things there are degrees. Sensitivity, awareness and common sense must always be relied on too. ‘

The original post which has been slightly edited now seemed to be asking about using simplistic racial tropes seemingly just for themselves. I am guessing this might be for some kind of comment or gag based on these old tropes possibly ? Even so some of us here were pointing out why this would probably not be a great idea or simple thing to deal with and suggesting other alternatives. As people here would answer to any other query posed in the Blender and CGI forum.

I think the best we can do is try to think clearly and critically for ourselves as much as possible. Try to see the world outside of ourselves too and be open to understanding other perspectives. And to aim to reach deep into our own authentic lived experience.
There is always a risk of upsetting somebody. But if work is coming honestly from the heart then that is the best anybody can aim for. And this is also where the best and most lasting work always comes from. Work that touches on all our shared lives and has a genuine humanity and empathy.

But starting out by reaching for divisive, poorly understood and discredited racial stereotypes and tropes that mostly also have very troubling and disturbing history’s and origins. That is not likely to lead to anywhere good or positive surely ? And of course people will be upset. Considering some of the original ideas, symbolism and tragic history’s represented in so many of these tropes they have every right and urgent need to be. If these are to be approached in some way now. Then it surely needs to be with very great care and a hopefully a very thorough understanding of their original historical context.

I think we have seen so much more richness emerge recently in wider popular culture as these tropes have been phased out and more diverse representative story’s are told. Nobody needs these discredited and hollow stereotypes anymore. They dehumanize and diminish us all.

In good faith I will try to offer some of my own lived experience. And paradoxically I can’t think of a better way to describe that than to quote another well worn but far less controversial written trope. ‘ Travel broadens the mind ‘

The more I think you get to see of the world and others the more you see how we are all the same. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean travel between country’s and continents. It can also mean simply being more observant and understanding of our immediate localities.

Everybody is on this earth making the best of the time they have and trying to get by. Everybody you see was a very young child once upon a time. Everybody has to deal with the same joy and heartbreak. Everybody has dreams aspirations disappointments loved ones to care for. Struggles with work and making a living. Concerns about those close to them, And hopes and fears for the future. And everybody at times in life has to deal with similar deep and painful losses. Grief and pain. And then also in everybody’s lives there is also a place for adventure. For myth magic music and inspiration. These story’s are universal to us all.

We are living through very difficult and challenging times now world wide. But it’s also been a shared experience that we are all going through.

It feels more vital than ever we are able to reach out openly to each other. And not be putting up any more walls to our understanding. And art and creativity are the best tools we have ever had for that.

All the best.

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Speedy Gonzales is actually slated to star in his own movie sometime soon. He’s far from being cancel cultured.

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