• Sweden edition
 
'Racist' ads removed for Swedish kids' film

'Racist' ads removed for Swedish kids' film

Published: 11 Sep 2012 16:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN