dean of social sciences and professor of sociology and African American studies at UCLA, tells Yahoo Life: “Having [Franklin] on this long side by himself, you could interpret it that no one wanted to sit next to him. ”
Hunt, who remembers “feeling included in ways I hadn’t before” when he first saw Franklin in a Peanuts comic strip, says that Schulz “probably thought he was doing a good thing by including the character at all. ” But Hunt says it’s a “classic example” of what can be missed “even when you’re trying to be inclusive. ”
“Today this would not be acceptable, ” says Hunt. “It really does speak to the need for more inclusive creators and storytellers behind the scenes who produce these images. ” He adds: “That’s why it’s so important to have people in the writers’ room and in production who might be more sensitive to these issues. ”
But not everyone views the scene as problematic. On Nov. 20, the Charles M. Schulz Museum hosted an online event with Black cartoonists Robb Armstrong, Darrin Bell, Elizabeth Montague and Bianca Xunise during which they discussed the controversy over A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Bell, who won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, said that a lot of cartoons are like Rorschach tests, in which people have their own interpretations of certain scenes. “When I saw that image [of Franklin], my first thought was Charles Schulz really wanted Franklin to be seen and Franklin was really important, ” Bell said. He added that Peanuts was a “kind” and “inclusive” comic strip.
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