• Sweden's news in English
 
'Racist' ads removed for Swedish kids' film

'Racist' ads removed for Swedish kids' film

Published: 11 Sep 2012 16:23 GMT+02:00

“We wanted to do the exact opposite and we are very sorry if some have felt offended or felt that we were reinforcing a racist image,” said the film’s director and author of the book, Stina Wirsén, to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

"We don’t want to fight it at all, and therefore we've taken down the posters which have caused the reactions."

The film, Little Pink and Brokiga (Liten skär och alla små brokiga), based on a book of the same name, is set to hit Swedish cinemas on September 22nd.

But one particular character in the poster – Hjärtat – has roused the public’s attention with her black face, braided hair, white eyes and oversized, full white lips.

And many are not amused by the character's appearance.

“Showing a picture like this is like saying the N-word,” argues history of ideas scholar Mikela Lundahl of the Gothenburg University to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“This is one of the worst stereotypes that the African American people have been subjected to, something that came from the USA in the 1800s.”

World-renowned Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, who narrates the film, has distanced himself from the critics, but told SR that director Wirsén is “anti-racist” and that the critics should “focus their criticism on actual racists instead.”

The Local/og

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:42 September 11, 2012 by notaswed
Hey, whats the point here, how does one get offended by seeing a cartoon painted black? should the white folks also be offended by the cartoon painted white? I am an African and I dont find the accusation worthwhile. Thats my personal opinion.
17:51 September 11, 2012 by StockholmSam
Hold your horses, lassie! What about blue polka-dot bunnies? Now THAT I find offensive.
18:40 September 11, 2012 by rise
Welcome to Sweden, the land of the pretending hypocrites! For the sake of not discriminating other peoples our politicians are trying to indoctrinate us into discriminating ourselves instead. SD 2014!
20:16 September 11, 2012 by frenchviking
seriously?

Mikelah Lundahl... of the Gothenburg university... do you really have nothing else to do?

Or would you prefer to ensure that all cartoon characters are white? THAT would be racism...

Do you think the other cartoon characters in the picture are 100% representative of a white person? Long ears, tale, shark teeth... Common, they are cartoon characters!!!

I hope her salary is not financed by our taxes...
20:20 September 11, 2012 by FutureHuman
I am black and I don't see why I should be offended. Like the person in the woman in the end said, FOCUS ON THE REAL RACISM, there is plenty of it out there.

Real racism is not about about black cartoons and tastless cakes. It is about competent and skilled people discrimninated at the job market. It is about an almost sub-concious tendency of low expectations....
20:29 September 11, 2012 by themoron
themoron says:

I do not think Obama would go to Sweden. He would be stopped right at the airport because Swedes do not like the seriousness of the colour of his skin. Unfortunately for Sweden, Obama might seat on the Presidential sofa for another 4 years.

What a country. Everything has to be politically correct. I should be offended because I am blue. So, Swedes should eliminate the blue color in their flag. It has made me sick the two times I have landed in the country.
20:58 September 11, 2012 by Investor612
People looking for a reason to be offended can always manufacture one however silly.
23:09 September 11, 2012 by prince T
I have never seen black people dipicted in that manner before. Black pple are brown in colur and not pitch black. @ notaswed must be sufffering from identity crises not see anytin rong with dat film. Things like this only happen in sweden and nobody see nothin wrong with it. If it were a gay joke, the reaction will be different.
23:10 September 11, 2012 by B.olesen
YAWN !!!!! AND YAWN !!!!!

Get over it and get a life, if you are so easily offended and hate whites so much you imagine racism in EVERYTHING - you DEFINITELY DON'T belong in Sweden.
06:10 September 12, 2012 by prince T
i hate evil, racism, facism, religious fanatism etHowever I love people especially the poor and maginalised or ethnic minorities in sweden. my love is unconditional. It is not restricted to race or religion.

@ olesen. how did you know that i hate white people. can you please tell me which country i belong. for your information. jag går ingenstans och det finns ingenting du kan göra om det. så är det. I have seen black people in cartoon, at least in Simpson. this one is really a racist one.

@ olsesen I am happy i am able to get under your skin. my purpose on this forum is prevent perverted minded people from having field day on TL NO AMOUNT OF INSULT AND ABUSE WILL DETER ME
08:09 September 12, 2012 by RobinHood
Sweden has become a haven for loopy sandal wearing, bearded, gender and racial equality experts. They see slurs against women, homosexuals and immigrants everywhere. Swedish media and politicians give them far more respect that they deserve. They are cranks living in an alternative universe, and deserve to be treated with the same distain as crackpots from the far right, the far left, the far everywhere, and foil heads who believe in conspiracy theories.

Tell Göteborg's University's history of ideas scholar Mikela Lundahl (financed by the tax payer) to get a proper job, and put sweet, pretty Hjärtat back in the film.

There is more than enough real-life racism in Sweden to deal with without this nonsence. I just hope Jessie Jackson doesn't get to hear about it.
11:14 September 12, 2012 by muscle
hmm :) oh come on. I guess its more in the eyes of the viewer.. If the person feels confident about himself , his looks, his abilities etc... he would take this picture as a positive step that different colours are being shown together.

Otherwise, a lame person would with it offensive (dont know how though)
12:53 September 12, 2012 by rise
#12

"I guess its more in the eyes of the viewer.."

Exactly. One is only projecting one's own feelings/viewings into this image picturing a black kid. I'd say Mikela Lundahl is the racist! She simply is seeing what she want to see. Why apparently it is so disgusting being a black kid it need to be removed completely from the film; apparently black kids are so disgusting it's better if they aren't seen at all?!

What about the fact the black kid is the only figure in the picture painted with hearts? Several of them. In fact "The heart" (Hjärtat) is the figure's name. Is that racist as well, hmm, Lundahl?
13:26 September 12, 2012 by jimmyjames
Truthfully, this is unbelievable. I look at the cartoon and I see a Sub-Saharan African being depicted in caracture. There is nothing at all offensive about it. Having worked in various regions of Africa a total of almost 6 years I can assure anyone that there are indeed Sub-Saharan Africans who have a coal black skin color. As for the hair braids, again anyone who has lived amongst people of Sub-Saharan African descent knows that all braid theirr hair as part of their body care routine, nothing at all peculiar about it. How on earth anyone could construe any aspect of this cartoon as being offensively racist is simply incomprehensable, honestly. It is obvious to me that these individuals who are feigning offense are individuals who have no real experiance living amongst Sub-Saharan African peoples and have no knowledge of their customs or habits either. That is truely sad. Some of the best experiances of my life and career where in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the tribes and individuals are a joy to be around as a general rule.
14:35 September 12, 2012 by soultraveler3
The amount of PC nonsense in the world today is staggering, having said that though I understand why some people find this offensive.

It's fine to show cartoon versions of different races, but the fact that the little black character in the drawing above looks just like a "pickaninny" is a bit off-putting. If you don't know what that is google it and read the history behind it.
09:47 September 13, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
In the image above the article, the black character is one of the most attractive.

In an interview in the 1960's, Malcolm X told people that as a child in New York City he felt invisible, because for example at the Lincoln Center at Christmas time there was never a black Santa Claus, only a white one.

Fast forward 50 years to Sweden, where an animation team includes a black character in an animated film, and some imbecile in Gothenburg complains that the black character is not good looking enough, even if the animation style is such that the 'white' characters around the black character look like a bunch of angry, disease carrying ameobas.
Today's headlines
Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow
The inside of a Migration Board office near Stockholm. Photo: TT

Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow

Sweden's Migration Board is set to hire 1,000 extra workers to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, an increased workload which has seen staff members working late nights and weekends. READ  

'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Commanding Officer Göran Mårtensson. Photo: TT

'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces

The Armed Forces have described the recent Russian military activity close to Sweden as "unprecedented", adding that the likes of which haven't been seen since the Cold War. READ  

Sweden joins 'The World' in Dubai project
The Heart of Europe project in Dubai. Photo: TT

Sweden joins 'The World' in Dubai project

Sweden is set to become an island in Dubai, complete with Viking longship-roofed villas, a floating restaurant and the chance to celebrate Midsummer with little risk of the customary rain spoiling the party. READ  

Swedish Honeymoon Killing
Dewani back in Britain after court acquittal
Shrien Dewani leaving Capetown, South Africa's airport on Tuesday. TT/AP Photo

Dewani back in Britain after court acquittal

British businessman Shrien Dewani arrived back home on Wednesday after being cleared by a South African court of murdering his Swedish bride during their honeymoon READ  

What's On in Sweden
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Christmas markets in Stockholm's Old Town. Photo: TT

What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th

If you're stuck for a plan in Sweden this week you've come to the right place. Wrap up warm as the festive season gets into full swing across the country, as Umeå prepares to mark the end of its year as a European Capital of Culture. READ  

The Swedish town with the most 100-year-olds
The town has 22 people aged 100 or older. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Swedish town with the most 100-year-olds

Experts have been left scratching their heads as to why a town in southern Sweden has an unusually high number of centenarians - over 40 times more than the country's national average per capita. READ  

Christian Democrats: Cut refugee benefits
Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund. Photo: TT

Christian Democrats: Cut refugee benefits

The Christian Democrats have announced proposals to reduce the cost of the asylum process in Sweden, arguing that cuts are necessary to maintain "the legitimacy" of the system. READ  

What's On in Sweden
What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
Gamla Stan's Christmas market. Photo: TT

What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th

With a week left until Christmas, the next few days are sure to be a balancing act with last minute shopping, visiting Sweden’s Christmas markets before some close for the year - and, time permitting, checking out some circus performers. READ  

Israel rejects Sweden meet: report
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Israel rejects Sweden meet: report

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lierberman has refused the opportunity to meet with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström in January, according to Israeli media reports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Blog updates

17 December

An Exclusive Interview with Melinda Gates (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"This week Nobel peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi urged the world to “globalize compassion”, as he..." READ »

 

14 December

A lot to learn (Blogweiser) »

" I went to the new Starbucks at the swanky Stureplan intersection in central Stockholm. They have a lot..." READ »

 
 
 
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Gallery
People-watching: December 3rd
National
What happened to Sweden's ice bucket cash?
Lifestyle
Top Swedish songs of the month
National
Why a child footballer has a huge legal bill
Lifestyle
Top ten Swedish Christmas presents
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

806
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options