Artist Accused Of ‘Keeping Racism Alive’ For Reimagining Classic Cartoons With Black Characters
An artist’s creations have been met with mixed reactions after reimagining classic cartoons with Black characters; some have shown support, while others have accused him of ‘keeping racism alive’.
Comic artist Tyron Handy has long been gaining attention with his drawings, garnering thousands of followers on Instagram after sharing his versions of cartoons such as Recess, Scooby Doo and The Simpsons.
On Handy’s page, Homer and Bart, Rick and Morty and Phineas and Ferb are drawn as Black characters, some of which have been given new names such as the artist’s depiction of Johnny Bravo, ‘Philly Bravo’.
Speaking to Buzzfeed in 2018, Handy explained he didn’t feel represented in a lot of cartoons while he was growing up, saying: ‘Most Black characters in cartoons and TV shows were stereotypical side characters and the best friend of the white main character.’
The artist, who also works as a children’s book illustrator, pointed out that Black children ‘need to be able to see more representations of themselves in media.’
Thousands of social media users have praised Handy for his work over the years, with many making requests for other characters that could be reimagined.
Not all of the feedback has been positive, however, with some claiming Handy is actually fuelling racism with his drawings.
One Facebook comment read: ‘and this is how you keep racism ALIVE.’
Another person likened the drawings to blackface, writing: ‘This is wrong and racist. It is wrong to blackface. Same with turning cartoons Black. It’s the same as if a white person painted his face black.’
Handy seems to take the criticism on the chin, and in his Instagram bio has noted: ‘If you don’t like my art make your own.’
Positive comments appear to outweigh the negative on Handy’s profile, with one person writing: ‘Man, your talent is awesome. I would so love to see this version on the screen.’
Another comment reads: ‘Love this! I would love this show to happen with your characters.’
The artist has previously expressed belief that the positive response he’s received for his creations is down to the creativity of his drawings, explaining: ‘Most recreations that I see are just people putting designer clothes and jewellery onto the characters and changing their skin colour. My recreations really look like they could be parallel versions of the characters.’
Handy continues to share his drawings on Instagram, but has more recently started taking viewers through his process with videos on TikTok, where followers can see the drawings come to life.
Featured Image Credit: studiototalonyx/Instagram
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk