Are The Smurfs racist and anti-Semitic? I don’t know, probably? As someone who as a child used to collect Smurf figurines that he kept in a Crown Royal bag, I’m pretty sure The Smurfs are definitely racist and anti-Semitic, especially the one that was a fireman who came with this little barrel that you could fill with REAL WATER and when you squeezed it some water would come dribbling out of the firehose he held in his gloved hands. Neo-Nazi, basically. Anyway, some dude in France is claiming that The Smurfs are racist and anti-Semitic. From Arbroath:

The Smurfs, the cuddly blue comic strip creatures loved by generations of children, are anti-Semitic and racist, treating blacks like moronic primates, a new book claims. The claims by Antoine Buéno, 33, a lecturer at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po political sciences school, have been branded a “disgrace” that “soils the legends of our childhood” by an army of Smurf lovers. Under the guise of a “critical and political analysis of Smurf society”, Mr Buéno’s ‘Little Blue Book’ ruthlessly deconstructs the world of Smurfs (Schtroumpfs in French).

His stark conclusions are that the blue men created in 1958 by Belgian artist Peyo, real name Thierry Culliford, represent an “archetype of totalitarian society imbued with Stalinism and Nazism”. The author backs up his claims of racism by citing Peyo’s first work – The Black Smurfs in French but translated as The Purple Smurfs in the English version for reasons of political correctness. In the story, a Smurf gets stung by a black fly that turns his skin jet black, drives him insane and deprives him of speech. Soon the entire village has changed colour.

This guy should probably just rest his case. “They turn black in one episode so this cartoon is racist, I rest my case.” CASE CLOSED! Instead, he goes on to explain himself:

Mr Buéno said the story was clearly racist, as when the Smurfs turn black, “they are reduced to the state of primitives who get around by jumping and crying: ‘Gnap! Gnap!’” “They lose all trace of intelligence and become completely moronic,” said Mr Buéno. “It’s roughly the way Africans were viewed by white colonisers in the 19th century.” Mr Buéno also contends that The Smurfs’ arch-enemy, the wizard Gargamel, comes across as a classic anti-Semitic caricature of a money-grabbing Jew, the book claims. “Gargamel is ugly, dirty, with a hooked nose (who) is fascinated by gold”.

Eek! I mean, again, I’m perfectly willing to believe that The Smurfs ARE racist and anti-Semitic. Wasn’t everything created in 1958 racist and anti-Semitic? I feel like napkins were racist back then. You were making a strong political statement against the Zionist Jew every time you brushed your teeth with Crest. But even if you make the icky-feeling claim that the Black Smurfs reflected how people felt about black people at the time (Yikes! Yikes! Please make your way to the Emergency Exits!) I’m not entirely sure that people back then were worried that EVERYONE was going to TURN black? Was that a thing? “First you give them the right to vote, next thing you know we are no longer a peaceful group of blue trolls living in the forest, now we all have the X-Files Rage Virus.” What?

I find his arguments about Gargamel to be much more convincing. Although where are Gargamel’s horns? A rare miss, Antoine Bueno.

Papa Smurf, the village’s aged white-bearded leader, meanwhile, is portrayed as a dictatorial gerontocrat wielding absolute power and whose red hat and trousers are a nod to Stalin, while Smurfette, the only blonde female created by Gargamel to wreck havoc among his enemies is a misogynistic take on Aryan woman. The book has sparked a deluge of fury from Smurf aficionados. Such has been the outrage, the author said he feared for his physical safety and insisted he meant no harm.

Hahhaha. Oh good grief. The Smurfs are all over the map! Racism and anti-Semitism sure, but an aesthetic nod towards Stalin in a pair of shorts AND a misogynistic take on Aryan women (with blue skin)? I’m surprised we even have a civilized society still. How did we not TEAR OURSELVES APART with this CARTOON! The funniest part about this whole situation, though, has to be “The book has sparked a deluge of fury from Smurf aficionados.” RELAX, SMURF AFICIONADOS. Oh, wait, sorry, let me put it in terms you can understand: SMURFAX.

Comments (33)
  1. Whoa, army of Smurf lovers, “legends of our childhood”? Calm down.

  2. This Smurf. Goeth would have bought this Smurf. Why did I keep the Smurf? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. This Smurf. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. Smurf. #WWII Regrets

    • You smurfed so much! #WWII Reassurances.

      • Papa Smurf came to power on the back of his natural charisma and his book ‘Mein Smurf’. His decision to invade Poland in 1939, plunged the world into 6 years of vicious war. Eventually, broken and still full of hate, he married the love of his life, Smurfette Braun, in a Berlin bunker before taking his own smurf.

  3. I am much more inclined to believe that Antoine Buéno, 33, a lecturer at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po political sciences school, is actually a racist charicature of a french intellectual created by Gabe to play on our preconceived notions of 33 year old french intellectuals as pretentious ridiculous wierdos. I mean, come on, look at that picture!

  4. The author may very well be right, but damned if I do not find the word ‘Schtroumpfs’ to be the most charming and amusing thing I have heard all day. Anything after that went over my head as I am now in the land of giggles.

  5. Don’t Smurf on my Smurf! – Someone who takes children’s cartoons waaaaay too seriously

  6. the phrase “Neo-Nazi, basically” made my day. and i feel bad about that.

  7. Don’t even get him started on the Snorks.

  8. This is where you get the phrase “three Äpfels tall”

  9. I loved the Smurfs but went to a crazy Christian school where they denounced my Smurfette lunch box because the Smurfs are demonic (because Gargamel and Azreal are demon names?). Of course, they thought Duran Duran and Stephen King were demonic too, so I think that was their go-to reason for sucking the fun out of everything.

  10. I don’t know. Are these the buns of an anti-semite?

  11. Lars Von Trier: “Okay, I’m a Smurf.”

  12. And yet, no one wants to explore the real conspiracy: that James Taylor and Gargamel are the same person!

    That’s why Carly Simon divorced him!

  13. I need Godsauce to weigh in before I will make any kind of judgment here

  14. In light of all this new controversy, I don’t see how the Smurfs movie doesn’t get a Best Picture nod.

  15. Also: I kept my smurfs (née Schtroumpfs) in a cigar box. If we can find someone who kept theirs in an old monocle case, we could probably form Voltron.

  16. I loved Smurfs — I had Smurf Shrinky Dinks, though now I wonder if baking plastic in the oven was such a good idea? But even as a child I felt a little uncomfortable with the fact that Smurfette was the only girl. It’s like the writers decided that one female was enough to encompass all the character traits of women or that 1:100 is an ideal ratio of women to men in society. Either way it’s sort of gross.

  17. I always wondered about that one episode where Handy Smurf said, “The Holocaust never smurfed.”

    It all makes sense now.

  18. There will never be post racial America until we have a Smurf President.

    ‘by any smurfiness necessary’ – Malcolm Smurf

  19. I remember hearing a rumor when I was a kid that the creator of the Smurfs was a convicted pedophile and that the Smurfs represented all the little boys he (as Gargamel) wanted to “eat”.

    Then again, I also heard that a lady on the news (ON THE NEWS = YOU KNOW IT REALLY HAPPENED) had watermelon vines growing out of her ears because she swallowed watermelon seeds. I basically only heard lies for the first 12 years of my life.

  20. This probably won’t be a very popular opinion, but even though the series as a whole was most definitely not racist, he’s kind of right about the whole ‘black smurf’ issue and I can see the Gargamel issue too. Does a character with an unfortunate appearance make the show anti-Semitic? Probably not, but it’s probably worth discussing. The black smurf fiasco is easily as racist as the crows in Dumbo, and people are more than willing to call that out.

  21. Gabe, everyone knows Crown Royal bags are for scrabble pieces.

    • or for those little blobs of colored acrylic that go in the bottom of planters that I always pretended were “precious gems.”

  22. I too am mostly hung up on the Crown Royal bag.

  23. Isn’t it funny how when people call out others for being rascist they frequently sound very rascist themselves?

  24. As a child, I was not allowed to watch the smurfs because “magic”. Now I am beginning to question whether or not my parents were anti-semites.

  25. Soiling the legends of our childhood? I guess none of those Smurf aficionados have seen the movie trailer. It’s already happened, gents!

  26. I don’t know about the racism, but when I started watching the Smurfs as a kid, it definitely made me notice the unseemly fascination my Jewish friends had for gold. It became especially impossible to view Adam Friedel (in Miss Cooper’s class) as anything but a money-grubbing archvillain always scheming to use misogyny to wreak havoc between me and my Aryan friends.

  27. The best way to pass along a racist, anti-Semitic message is to make a cloyingly cute cartoon about blue mushroom-dwelling elves. Brainwash success!

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