As Thanksgiving approaches, many Americans across the country will tune in to watch the classic “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on television. However, during the holiday season, the annual TV show has come under fire for an allegedly racist scene.
The classic short film first released in 1973, but in recent years it seems to be wrapped in some controversy. The holiday special’s plot focuses on an impromptu holiday gathering. The character Peppermint Patty invites herself and a few others over to Brown and Sally’s home. That prompts Brown and Sally to celebrate over two Thanksgiving meals with a helping hand from their friends Snoopy, Linus, and Woodstock.
Yet, this is where the controversy kicks in. As the friends set the table and take their seats, viewers have recently noticed something about the scene. In fact, the show’s only Black character, Franklin, ends up sitting all by himself on one side of the table. In contrast, everyone else in the show is sitting together on the other side of the table and at the head of the table. Additionally, Franklin is seen sitting on a lawn chair while everyone else sits on wooden table chairs.
During recent years, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” has come under fire because of the dinner scene. There may not have been any intent, especially since Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was famously an outspoken advocate for equal representation. But, many still question the scene and why Franklin ended up by himself at the dinner table.
‘Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ Dinner Scene Sets Twitter Off
The film has been around for almost 50 years, but some modern-day families have shown concern over the portrayal. Many social media users have shared their opinions on the matter online.
One person on Twitter pointed out that it was a big deal to her when they first saw Franklin included in the show. But, she says diversity without equality is still an issue.
Another user simply called Charlie Brown a racist.
One Twitter user pointed out that since it’s a cartoon, the scene was lost on them that it could be racist.
Next, someone shared a photo of the dinner scene, in addition, to a photo of a scene with a Native American. The user used both as examples of racist scenes in the film.
One tweet shared a different angle on the scene. They complimented Franklin and pointed out he’s the only smart one who chose to wear long sleeves in late November.
On the other hand, some Twitter users made sure to point out that Franklin was the catalyst to the whole dinner.
Also, another user agreed it isn’t racist saying he’s an introverted character who preferred his seat on the other side of the table.
Finally, one teacher pointed out that Schulz including Franklin was historic at the time.
Opinions may vary, but the longtime Thanksgiving special is still considered an annual tradition during the November holiday. The Charlie Brown holiday specials usually air on ABC. However, this year the specials have moved to a streaming service instead. It is exclusive to Apple TV, but is available to watch for free from Wednesday, November 25 to Friday, November 27. Also, the Christmas special will be free from December 11 until December 13.