‘Tintin in the Congo’ Has Not Been Deemed Racist

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Aside from portraying hunting scenes that have proved to be troubling to some children in Georges Remi’s (AKA Hergé’s) 1931 adventure tale Tintin in the Congo, the story has also come under fire for what one Congolese man is describing as the racist depictions of Africans. Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo recently tried to have the book banned, but as the Guardian is reporting, an authoritative Belgian Procureur du Roi has advised judges not to follow through since the representations of Africans ” … are a reflection of [Hergé’s] time.”

Tintin — a character who has been in the news lately due to Spielberg’s December reboot of the adventurer — apparently shows no signs of “intended” racism, which is something crucial to developing a legal case. Mondondo has been trying to pursue a criminal case against the offending story for years. Some critics have described Hergé’s depiction of the Congolese as “patronizing” and not “racist.” Supporters of the Belgian cartoonist argue that the creator’s stories have always simply shared Hergé’s love of culture and that the claims of racism really are just a sign of the times. Interestingly enough, the author himself later became conflicted by Tintin in the Congo — cutting many questionable references when a 1946 version of the story was published. Weigh in with your thoughts below on the matter. Can we remain forgiving about stories like these on the market?