Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

Remeber the Smurfs? Apparently They're Racists

Gargamel was a Jew, says a French sociologist.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: June 3rd, 2011 in Culture » Society » News

Remeber the Smurfs? Apparently They're Racists

Heil Papa Smurf? -- Well, yes according to French sociologist Antoine Buéno.

In his new book, Le Petit Livre Bleu (The Little Blue Book), Buéno avers that the beloved wee blue creatures made popular in the 1980s are “the embodiment of a totalitarian utopia, steeped in Stalinism and Nazism.”

Buéno contends that Papa Smurf personifies a totalitarian leader, essentially a nod to Stalin, who espouses a strictly socialist philosophy in Smurf Village. Also, Smurfette represents the Aryan female ideal with her luscious blonde locks. Likewise, he believes that arch-enemy Gargamel, with his cat Azrael, embodies a Jewish stereotype reminiscent of Nazism.

"Gargamel is ugly, dirty, with a hooked nose (who) is fascinated by gold,” he postulates in the book.

Evidently, the blue creatures are also vessels for racial propaganda.

“The first comic strip, ‘The Black Smurfs,’ was intimately concerned with what you might classify as a racial threat. Because in that album, the Smurfs are sick. And when they’re sick, they don’t turn purple or red or anything like that, they become black. And when they become black, they lose all trace of intelligence. They become completely moronic. It's roughly the way Africans were viewed by white colonizers in the 19th century,” Buéno told The Wall Street Journal.

The Smurfs were created as a comic strip by Belgian artist Peyo (aka Thierry Culliford) in 1958. Hanna Barbara turned the strip into a cartoon in 1981.

"I disagree with his interpretation. It is between the grotesque and the not serious,” said Peyo’s son, also named Thierry Culliford, told Flemish paper Der Morgen.

Despite the deluge of fury surrounding the books publication, at the very least, it shines the spotlight once again on the Smurfs themselves. Conveniently for Hollywood, The Smurfs starring Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria opens in theatres July 29.

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