People Are Calling 'Charlie Brown' Racist For Its Depiction Of Thanksgiving Dinner

People Are Calling 'Charlie Brown' Racist For Its Depiction Of Thanksgiving Dinner

There's no doubt that the classic Peanuts holiday special holds a dear place in our hearts but many social media users are saying that it's problematic. 

Looks like Charlie Brown has joined F.R.I.E.N.D.S and The Simpsons as TV shows to be hit by a racial controversy after the 1973 Thanksgiving special was aired again. The classic episode features the cartoon’s only Black character, Franklin, sitting in a lawn chair on one side of a festive dinner table. The other five White characters, along with Snoopy the dog sat on a different side, on what appeared to be dining seats. There is no doubt that the classic Peanuts holiday cartoon holds a dear place in American hearts but many social media users are saying that it is problematic. 


The holiday special shows Peppermint Patty organizing a spontaneous Thanksgiving meal, and many, including Charlie Brown, go to Sally's house for Thanksgiving. Apart from Grandma's feast organized for them, this is their second Thanksgiving dinner. After convincing Charlie, Woodstock and Snoopy prepare a spread of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and an ice cream sundae. But now comes the controversial part. While sitting down to eat the Thanksgiving dinner, Franklin, the only African-American friend of the group can be found sitting all by himself, while the others have huddled together on the other side of the table. 



People also noted that Franklin was the only one who sat on a lawn chair while the others sat on dining chairs. So it's normal that people started asking why Charlie's only Black friend sits alone on the other side of the table? And that too, on a lawn chair. While this particular scene is undoubtedly problematic, it still remains to be seen as racism is a common occurrence in the holiday special. One Twitter user compared it to Jordan Peele's Get Out and wrote, "Let’s talk about Franklin. Dude gets invited to Charlie Brown’s by Peppermint Patty. Then he finds out that it wasn’t a real invite, a dog is cooking the food and he’s gotta sit by himself at dinner. That’s Get Out. #CharlieBrownThanksgiving."


Another one added, "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." Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the beloved cartoon series was an active advocate for equality and would have been really disappointed to see his beloved series being depicted as racist. Although he faced quite a lot of resistence, Schulz insisted on adding Franklin, a Black character, into the comic series in 1968 after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. 



According to a report by The Independent, Harriet Glickman, a White 42-year-old suburban Los Angeles school teacher, requested the creator of the series to include a nonwhite child into the series as she believed it would make a difference in the racial relations and tensions present in the US. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving first aired on November 20, 1973, on CBS and since then it has been a staple for the audience during the holiday season. In 2001, the special moved to ABC. In 2015, a full-length movie with Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie released.  






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