Skip to main content

'BOON' SHOCKS
By DON KAPLAN

'THE Boondocks," probably the most controversial comic strip in newspapers right now, is poised to become the most controversial animated show on TV, too.

The comic and the cartoon, both written by Aaron McGruder, follows the experiences and reflections of a black family - two kids, Huey and Riley, and their grandfather - who move from the inner city to the lily-white suburbs.

Since 1999, when "Boondocks" first launched in newspapers as a syndicated strip, McGruder's musings on racism, politics and popular culture have frequently drawn fire from critics in all corners - and gotten the comic strip tossed out of some papers. In many cases, it runs on the editorial page instead of with the funnies.

His new show faithfully brings the same shock-tactics to Adult Swim, the Cartoon Networks' popular late-night programming block for grownups.

In it, his characters use the N-word frequently ("I think every episode is about racism," says Cartoon Network's Mike Lazzo, the programming executive who oversees Adult Swim), and an episode about searching for love includes Granddad's bizarre fling with a busty 20-year-old prostitute named Krystal, "like the champagne," she coos.

"But Granddad, she's just a lazy ho!" cries Huey to no avail.

"There's no doubt in my mind that some people are going to take offense, but you have look at things in context," says Lazzo. "Aaron has a strong point of view, and we want to support him as an artist. We think he's a voice that is sadly lacking in popular culture in general and television specifically."

Like the comic strip, "Boondocks" resembles Japanese anime and features young Huey Freeman, McGruder's alter ego, who for years has treated readers to a steady diet of indignation, paranoia and hatred.

Huey, whose world view could most easily be described as "black nationalist," is a self-proclaimed practicing member of the "church of self-righteousness."

He opens the pilot episode with a narrative of his recurring dream in which he attends a stodgy garden party for rich, white people and causes a riot when he takes the stage to inform them that: "Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil and the government is lying about 9/11."

Riley, his younger brother, is a wannabe thug who loves guns, while Granddad is a grouchy cynic. All three represent "different facets of the sort of angry-black-man archetype," McGruder, 31, told a reporter.

"Someone said to me the other day that in some ways this is filling a void that Dave Chappelle left behind," Lazzo says, invoking "Chappelle's Show," Comedy Central's super-hot sketch-comedy program that tackled tough racial issues with a smile. The program burned so brightly last year, its star quit.

Lazzo says that the network has given McGruder almost no limits in terms of content, except sex.

"We let him make the show he wants to make," says Lazzo. "We told him what the company [Turner Broadcasting] said to us: 'You can do what you want as long you make money.' "

Popular posts from this blog

Bi History Moments: Anything That Moves, Spring 1994 (bisexual manifesto and cover)

Anything That Moves was a literary, journalistic, and topical magazine published in the United States from 1990 to 2002.[1] It was created as an expansion of the San FranciscoBay Area Bisexual Network (BABN) newsletter by BABN member, Karla Rossi, in collaboration with bisexual and bi-friendly editors, writers, and artists to become a full 64-page magazine with an international subscriber base. The complete title of the magazine, Anything That Moves: Beyond the Myths of Bisexuality, was purposely chosen for its controversial nature, while its tag line indicated a clear intent to challenge stereotypes of bisexual identities and behaviors. The magazine took its name from the stereotype depicting bisexuals as willing to have sex with "anything that moves".[2] The magazine's mission was to confront and redefine concepts of sexuality and gender, to defy stereotypes and broad definitions of bisexuals and to combat biphobia. - Wikipedia

Anything That Moves and other bisexual med…

No Apologies for Queer White Tears - 2016 BlaQOUT Keynote

No Apologies for Queer White Tears By Faith Cheltenham Delivered as a keynote address to the 2016 BlaQOUT Conference at UC Riverside on April 9th, 2016.
Black girl drinking White People Tears Gif White tears is a term that has a startling effect on white folks. Developed over time to describe the phenomenon of white people being upset at the very act of discussing race, it’s evolved into a funny yet, extremely effective way to describe white people’s discomfort in discussing the very racism they perpetuate.
One of the earliest articles available online about white tears written by a person of color is the 2007 College Student Affairs Journal article “When White Women Cry: How White Women’s Tears Oppress Women of Color” by Mamta Motwani Accapadi. In the article, Accapadi describes a case study of a white woman bursting into tears when being pressed by a woman of color about diversity resources at the college that employs them both. Instead of working on the issues affecting students, the c…

Kim Wall: Woman Journalist and Hero, A Reading List