Tuesday, November 08, 2011

© Methuen
'Not racist'

With less than 72 hours to go before the worldwide release of Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin comes news that a Belgian prosecutor has recommended to the country's courts to reject an application to have Tintin in the Congo banned for racism.

According to a Reuters report, Belgian prosecutor Valery de Theux de Meylandt, whose opinion is requested and typically followed by the court, advised judges in a written statement to rule against campaigner Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo's application to have Tintin in the Congo banned for racism.

Meylandt said in the document that Tintin author Georges Remi (better known as Herge) did not intend to incite racial hatred when he depicted his cartoon hero on an adventure in the former Belgian colony in a 1931 work that was updated in 1946.

"The representations (of African people) by Herge are a reflection of his time," Meylandt wrote.

Intention is a key criteria in substantiating a charge of racism, the Reuters report said, adding, the court was expected to deliver a judgment early next year rejecting or accepting Mondondo's argument that the book's depiction of Africans was racist.

Tintin in the Congo was one of a series of comic books about the adventures of a boy journalist and his dog Snowy, which were first published in 1931. Mondondo has taken aim at the modern version of the updated 1946 book.

The application deserves to be crumpled into a ball and tossed into the trash can. Now let's sit back and enjoy the film.


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  2. Yes this is the same kind of thinking that motivates people to try to ban works like Huckelberry Finn and The Heart of Darkness

  3. Mel — Very true. There ought to be a universal ban on banning art, books and films.