One of the most iconic cartoon figures in history is a racist. Charlie Brown, the Charles Schultz creation beloved by both children and adults, showed his true, racist colors last night during a broadcast of the classic toon “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”
The special centers around a somewhat impromptu holiday meal that happens when Peppermint Patty invites herself and several others over to Charlie Brown and Sally’s house for Thanksgiving despite the fact that they’re preparing to go to their grandmother’s for the feast. After a little help from Linus, who convinces Charlie they can have two Thanksgivings, as well as Woodstock and Snoopy who do the cooking, a friends’ Thanksgiving is on.
The meal — buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and an ice cream sundae — is served at a table in the backyard and while all’s well that ends well with everyone ending up invited to Charlie and Sally’s grandmother’s meal, it’s the seating arrangements at this unusual dinner that has some fans on social media heated. Franklin, the one and only black friend in the group, is seated by himself on one side of the table while the other is crowded with the rest of the friends. On top of that, he’s sitting in a lawn chair as opposed to everyone else’s proper furniture.
It’s…not a good look, which viewers were quick to point out. Many felt the scene was in bad taste at a minimum and racist at worse, with most settling into the idea that the special simply hasn’t aged well. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving first aired on November 20, 1973 on CBS where it aired every year until 2000. In 2001, it moved to ABC with the rest of the Peanuts specials and has continued to air annually.
A sampling of reaction from eagle-eyed Twitterers:
Not watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving anymore, until they sit some people on the same side of the table as Franklin ✊🏾✊🏾
— Vic Damone Jr (@Asharp52) November 22, 2018
Am I woke now, why is Franklin in Charlie Brown Thanksgiving sitting all by himself at the table. Man. Things that I did not notice as a child.
— Yessam (@cmass4eva) November 22, 2018
Watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving is hard knowing they put my nigga Franklin at the end of the table by himself 😩
— ariel (@Sincerely_AJP) November 22, 2018
My own interpretation is that Franklin was given a seat of honor by himself and that the lawn chair is far more comfortable than the chairs sat in by other characters.
But then, I’m not “woke” enough. Sometimes a seating arrangement at a table in a cartoon dinner is just a seating arrangement in a cartoon dinner. And sometimes, a lawn chair is just a lawn chair. There’s no rhyme or reason to a racialist’s thinking. The important thing is to seek and find the hidden racist meaning in anything and everything, no matter how innocent or innocuous.
It should be noted that other viewers of the cartoon were also outraged to learn that the bird Woodstock is a “cannibal.”
Omg Woodstock eats turkey at the end of Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, isn't that like basically cannibalism or something
— Paula (@dentonitis) November 22, 2018
Currently mentally preparing myself for the sheer horror of watching Woodstock eat turkey and break the wishbone on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. 😱
— upinthisbrain 🤔 (@upinthisbrain) November 22, 2018
Oh, the humanity…