Cartoon Network is trying to educate its young audience about racism through a series of viral public service announcements.
In the latest video released this month, Steven Universe character Pearl (voiced by DeeDee Magno Hall) reminds a classroom of students that the accomplishments and significance of people of color are often left out of history books.
After gaining steam on TikTok, the PSA currently has over 1 million views on Twitter.
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“These textbooks are incomplete,” Pearl says. “There were Black Roman warriors, Black medieval knights, Black classical musicians, Black cowboys, Black fighter pilots. Where are they? I worry about you humans. You rely on these stories to know your own history. Thanks to systemic racism, most of your storytellers prioritized White accomplishments which leaves you with an incomplete picture.”
Black inventors, heroes, and leaders are often left out of history. Ask yourself as you're learning…who is the focus? Why? Question the story ????????????
The Crystal Gems say BE ANTI-RACIST! Visit https://t.co/5ukinriWYO to learn more. pic.twitter.com/gNLYLO9PER
— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) December 3, 2020
Ad Age reports the PSA videos are being released bimonthly on the network’s social media channels as well as on crystalgemsspeakup.com. The videos were developed by Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar and O.K. KO! Let’s Be Heroes creator Ian Jones-Quartey.
According to published reports, the first video was released in late October. In the initial video, Cartoon Network used Steven Universe characters to discuss interracial marriage and the implications of racism in everyday life. The video currently has more than 70,000 likes and over 20,000 retweets.
But some conservatives are criticizing the PSA on Twitter, saying they believe the content is too complex for children to understand.
Social media user @jess_tendo tweeted: “It’s all fine to me until i remember that children shouldn’t be thinking of marriage or sexuality at a young age.”
Another user with the handle @serapheem responded: “I miss proper cartoons.”
Twitter user @Spiceymannn wrote: “make cartoons not political statements.”
The next PSA video will be released in February.
One thought on “Cartoon Network’s Anti-Racism PSA Gets Praise and Backlash on Social Media”
Jacquelinne! I can not express my words for your research. But still thank you so much for your information about black lives. People need to know what they had done in past.
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