One of the favorite seasons of the year has arrived, and that is that the month of October is synonymous with spooky decorations, costumes and horror film marathons. Halloween is an adventure that encompasses the interest of the whole world, accompanied in Mexico by the Day of the Dead that is celebrated immediately, although with more traditional elements, but just as appreciated by people.
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And Halloween night couldn’t be complete without Jack’s Strange World – 94%, one of the most popular films of the season written by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick where the two most popular celebrations come together, from the darkest of Halloween to the magic of sharing gifts at Christmas. Between the dead, skulls and a kidnapped Santa Claus, the film explores adventure and romance shrouded in darkness.
But the fact that it is a film that is critically acclaimed and loved by the audience does not save it from controversy. Above all, when we are talking about issues that nowadays generate a lot of noise socially. Last year one of the writers of The strange world of Jack, Caroline Thompson, revealed on the Script Apart podcast that she had a major conflict with Selik and Burton due to the movie’s villain: Oogie Boogie.
Although it seemed that the conversation had already been forgotten, the cheerleader Bona Bones (who has collaborated in series like Robot Chicken, tapes like Taco shop or music videos like Miss the misery from The foo fighters) has used his TikTok account to generate discussions about the social issues being addressed in the animation industry; and the one that has shown the greatest focus is racism. Because of this, he recalled the case of Oogie Boogie that, in addition to appearing that his design refers to the Ku Klux Klan, his name comes in part from a derogatory term that was used to refer to African Americans in the southern United States.
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You can see the TikTok HERE.
The conversation arose when one of his followers asked him if the character of The strange world of Jack could be considered racist, even though the voice actor is African American (Ken page). To answer this, the animation professor also cited the interview that Thompson did in December in Insider, where she assures that this – that is, that a black actor played this particular character – made it even worse, and even He described it as “a trifecta of errors.”
The Tiktoker cited the following:
First of all, he looks like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Second, ‘Oogie Boogie’ is an old, southern, derogatory phrase for an African American and I’m from Maryland, which is right on the cusp of the South, so I’m very aware of that and I’m sensitive to that.
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Bones assured that it was worrying that Burton was aware of what was behind the villain and that he refused to fix it, even describing his partner as “hypersensitive”; And it is that, although it is significant for his narrative to fill him with negative characteristics to make him a true villain, that could somehow hurt a certain group of viewers. In the end, the success of the film cannot be denied, and although the debate is there and now it will be difficult for it to disappear, this will not change its popularity.