Skip to comments.Speedy Gonzales: Banned In the USA
Posted on 04/05/2002 2:09:00 PM PST by TMC_13
Cartoon Network officals have bannished Speedy Gonzales from their prime-time line-ups for fear of offending Mexican Americans, but fans of the Mexican mouse hero are fighting back.
Wait until they see the old episodes of the Super Friends. Black LIghtning and Apache Cheif are SO insensitive!
Now lemme get a little preachy here. This shows what I've always maintained: "political correctness" and "sensitivity" etc. aren't about being "sensitive" to minorities or people of color. It's a crutch for guilty liberal white people to feel good about themselves. It doesn't mean a damn thing that Mexicans themselves do like Speedy Gonzalez---some white folks at Cartoon Network have decided they shouldn't oughta like Speedy, and that's that. The important thing, you see, is for those nice white liberals at Cartoon Network to feel good about themselves, with a nice big pat on the back for themselves for being so "enlightened" and "sensitive."
Let Speedy in.....Let Speedy in
Speedy Gonzales Caged by Cartoon Network
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
By Michael Y. Park
NEW YORK Speedy Gonzales easily bested Sylvester the Cat, Daffy Duck and other assorted banditos in his nearly 50-year career. But the Fastest Mouse in Mexico can't seem to escape the clutches of the Cartoon Network.
The rapid rodent has been deemed an offensive ethnic stereotype of Mexicans, and has been off the air since the cable network became the sole U.S. broadcaster of old Warner Brothers cartoons in late 1999.
But that has animated fans of the spunky character who want Speedy cartoon shorts and the famous "Arriba! Arriba! Arriba!" cry back on the airwaves.
Hundreds of fans have engaged in an e-mail campaign to resurrect Speedy, gathering on animation-fan Web sites to debate and organize, according to Virginia Cueto, an associate editor at HispanicOnline who wrote an article about the cartoon controversy.
"Speedy Gonzales has always been a very popular cartoon character, and cartoon fans are among the most diehard loyal fans around. They just want him back," she said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "And these aren't just non-Mexicans; a lot of these are Mexicans themselves."
In his adventures, the sombrero-wearing mouse sports an over-the-top Mexican accent and uses his super speed to foil foes like the "Greengo Pussygato" Sylvester. Speedy is sometimes aided by a coterie of drunken Mexican mice who lounge around the village, or by his lazy cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez, who seems as slow-witted as he is slow-footed.
"Speedy Gonzales was a great character and I understand how he portrayed Mexicans in a bad light. However, the cartoons are still funny and it's a disservice and disgrace to the original animators to never show them again," said Geoff Mukhtar, an Indianapolis publicist and Speedy fan. "These cartoons reflect the time they were created and we're trying to impose modern standards on them."
There evidently wasn't a problem with the Mexican caricatures at the beginning of Speedy's career. The 1955 animated short "Speedy Gonzales" won an Academy Award, and two other cartoons, "Tabasco Road" and "The Pied Piper of Guadalupe," were nominated for Oscars in 1957 and 1961.
But the outdated messages in cartoons like Speedy aren't appropriate in the 21st century, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said.
"It hasn't been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes," she said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. "We have such a huge library, I think we intend to go with popular shows that aren't going to upset people. We're not about pushing the boundary. We're not HBO. We have a diverse audience and we have an impressionable audience."
Networks like the Cartoon Network have edited out scenes from or simply refused to show animated movies with now-questionable gags or behavior like smoking or drinking since the 1980s. Among the most taboo of Warner Brothers cartoons are the "Censored 11," which depict blacks as fat-lipped minstrels or cannibalistic savages.
And though adult fans may bemoan the fact their favorite rodent has been sent to broadcast limbo, they ought to consider most of the viewers are children, Los Angeles psychologist Robert Butterworth said.
"These stereotypes are ingrained when we're young. And what do kids watch? Cartoons," he said. "I know the adults are saying, 'Oh God, it's just Speedy Gonzales,' but these are impressions that are put in very early and very hard to pull out. I'm the last person to hold a sign for political correctness, but kids absorb this thing on a preconscious level."
Fans aren't buying that argument.
"It seems to be yet another attempt to be PC," New York account supervisor and cartoon enthusiast Kathleen McCullough said. "Sure, adults understand and dislike the bigger ethnic issues related to such a character, but to little kids, Speedy is just a cartoon!"
And where do you draw the line with a medium that, by its nature, relies on caricature for humor, Mukhtar asked.
"What about Pepe LePew? His chasing of unwilling females surely sends the message to children that's it's OK to stalk and attack them if they resist," he wrote in an e-mail. "Plus, because he's French, does this mean that all Frenchmen are sexual predators?"
Speedy boosters shouldn't expect to see their furry hero anytime soon, at least in the United States, Goldberg said. But there is a place where Speedy can still be found zipping across TV screens and, presumably, where the crude stereotypes he embodies don't touch a cultural nerve.
That place: The Cartoon Network Latin America, where, ironically enough, Speedy Gonzales is "hugely popular," Goldberg said.
That said, he is so far as I know the "winner" in every cartoon in which he appears, and from what I understand many Mexicans are not only not offended--they actually like him.
Perhaps what's needed is to have more than one cartoon channel.
You nailed it. That is the most succint and accurate definition of PC I have ever read. Good show.
So has "Follow Me Boys," with Fred MacMurray and Kurt Russell. Too pro-father, way way wayyyyy too pro-Boy Scouts.
This is what we've come to.
Good article nralife! You know I have been a HUGE Warner Brothers fan for my entire life and for some reason, I just stopped being able to watch it. Now that I see how much they have censored it, I can see why I haven't been able to waych it. I must have a unconscious Liberal BS detector! LOL, maybe I am a superhero!
Also, I was reading a few months ago an article in which some black community was OUTRAGED that the black man being illustrated had big lips. I said to one of my partners "What the F!#$", and he said, "Yeah, thats racist". So, I asked him what if the black folks being illustrated DO have big lips?
He said it was STILL racist to draw him that way. So, I made the conclusion that if EVERY minority HAD to be drawn to look like a white man, then THAT was racist. Pure reason just seems to escape these people.
As far as getting stoned while watching the superfriends... I was in Second Grade when I watched it so I dont think it would have been quite as cool, LOL!
Speedy, martyr to political correctness.
The French know better than to complain about Pepe... we'd cut them off from Jerry Lewis.
Yep, it sure has. Disney milks it for money in other countries, but they won't sell it in the U.S. Check out Bannedfilms.com, notice the little something extra you get when you buy that poster? Act casual, say nothing! ;-)
Also, there are some of the banned Warner Bros. cartoons at THIS WEBSITE, though none of Speedy Gonzales. Might want to have a look while they're still available.
Now that is one very odd phobia!
Maybe it would have been more correct if the article had said that Speedy Gonzales has been deemed an offensive ethnic stereotype of Mexican mice.
Well done I totally agree, pesonally I've grown up with these charactors and still watch these over here in England and not once have I ever felt or thought that there was any racial discrimination or that they were being deliberately or being hurtful by warner to those that come from different walks of life. Its about time these sad people took time to laugh at them selves and take it as it is intended.
I find it saddening to know that these people once when they were kids them selves most likely watched these cartoons them selves and laughed all the way through them and this does make them sad today to be an adult and deprive todays generation the loss of these valid treasures made by very talented cartoonists.
Keep with it America lets not loose any more vital archives through the sake of a few sad people.