Friday, July 20, 2007

Tintin pulled from children’s shelves over racism claims

Tintin in the Congo moved to adult section in bookstores
Agence France- Presse

Vancouver Sun: 2007 July 20

NEW YORK — Bookselling chain Borders is to pull copies of Tintin in the Congo from the children’s shelves in its U. S. stores over claims the comic is racist, the firm said this week.

The company’s British stores yanked copies of the controversial book last week after Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality described the book as containing “ imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice.”

“ With respect to the specific title Tintin in the Congo, which could be considered offensive by some of our customers, we have decided to place this title in a section of our store intended primarily for adults — the Graphic Novels section,” the U. S. arm of Borders said in a statement.

“ We believe adults have the capacity to evaluate this work within historical context and make their own decision whether to read it or not. Other Tintin titles will remain in the children’s section,” it said.

Tintin in the Congo, which first appeared in Belgian newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle as a comic strip in 19301931, is part of the series The Adventures of Tintin by the Belgian author and illustrator Herge.

But its tale of boy reporter Tintin’s trip with his dog Snowy to what was then the Belgian Congo is seen as controversial because of its depiction of colonialism and racism, as well as casual violence towards animals.

Herge later justified the book by saying it was merely a reflection of the naive views of the time.

Some of the scenes were revised for later editions.

Directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have said they’ll join forces to direct and produce a series of three films based on Tintin.

Entertainment journal Daily Variety reported recently that the legendary filmmakers would direct at least one of the films each, and serve as producers on all three.

The report said Tintin had been a long- time pet project for Spielberg, who finally secured the film rights to the comic series in the past 12 months.