‘Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ Viewers Call Franklin’s Seat at the Table ‘Racist’

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was accused of racism by some social media users Thursday due to where Franklin, the only black character, is seated at the dinner table.
Lee Mendelson Film Productions/United Feature Syndicate

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was accused of racism by some social media users Thursday due to where Franklin, the only black character, is seated at the dinner table.

In the classic animated movie, Charlie Brown is at the head of the table, while most of the other characters are sitting on one side.

(Lee Mendelson Film Productions/United Feature Syndicate, 1973)

Franklin is seated alone on the other side of the table, which led some to accuse the movie of subtle to overt racism.

However, the insertion of the Franklin character into the cartoon series was purportedly a repudiation of racism during the turbulent 1960s.

The Blaze’s Sarah Taylor writes:

“Yes, especially since the characters’ creator, Charles M. Schulz, intentionally added Franklin to the cast of characters in 1968 in an attempt to thumb his nose at racism, which was rampant during that time, the civil rights era.

Schulz’ editor was reportedly against including Franklin in the cartoon for a variety of reasons.

Schulz reportedly told his editor, Larry, “Well … let’s put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How’s that?”

Indeed, even left-leaning fact check site Snopes said that accusations of racism in Charlie Brown were not accurate, though they did say that interpreting the seating at the table was a “subjective issue.”

(Lee Mendelson Film Productions/United Feature Syndicate, 1973)

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