Viewers Slammed Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving Dinner For Hints Of Racism

Viewers Slammed Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving Dinner For Hints Of Racism

In a particular scene, Franklin, the only black character sits on one side of the table while the rest of them (including the dog) sit together.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has been airing every Thanksgiving since 1973 on ABC. This year, people were quick to notice there was a hint of racism in one of the scenes in the 22-minute special. Viewers noticed that Franklin was subjected to racial discrimination during the dinner. It is the scene where Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and Snoopy (the dog) sat on one side of the table, Franklin sits all by himself on the other side on a rickety lawn chair, that breaks earlier on in the scene, causing him to topple off. 


The differentiation in the scene was blatant and many expressed their disappointment. Franklin is the lone black character in the Peanuts franchise and was introduced by the creator Charles M. Schulz in the peak of the civil rights movement. Charles M. Schulz Museum tweeted, "Shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Los Angeles teacher, Harriet Glickman, believed that Peanuts could help influence attitudes on race. Because of her correspondence with Charles Schulz, Franklin was introduced to the cartoon in the summer of 1968."


One user tweeted, "I’m still wondering why Charlie Brown and them made Franklin sit in a beach chair by himself on Thanksgiving," along with a picture of the scene. There were a few people who refused to watch Charlie Brown because they believe the show is racist. There were others who turned it into a left vs right ideological face-off. Some people suggested that everyone should just leave it be, while some questioned the intentions of the cartoonist. 


One user wrote: "Charlie Brown is racist. Rudolph is racist & homophobic. What normal functioning adult thinks like this? I think we need to bring back insane asylums. This outrage & offended by everything culture needs to be squashed & quickly." Meanwhile, another wrote: "Peanuts creator Charles Schultz would be 96 years old today! We can all celebrate his birthday by watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! Well..except for those on the Left who now call the show “Racist” because nobody is sitting right next to Franklin at Dinner! Good Grief!"


Writer and journalist Jeremy Helligar wrote about this controversy on Medium, stating that Franklin seated separately did not outrage him probably due to desensitization but said, "I’m enraged by real-life people in 2018 who would rather pretend that racism is a figment of the liberal imagination because feigning ignorance makes it easier for them to enjoy their turkey." He encouraged people to continue watching the holiday special as a reminder of how much and how little America has changed since 1973.


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