Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Erdogan to rid Turkish institutions of ‘separatist cancer’ after coup attempt

Read more

ENCORE!

The best of summer music festivals in France

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Going for gold: French athletes train for Rio Olympics

Read more

#TECH 24

Digital beauty

Read more

FOCUS

Women doctors in Pakistan challenge the status quo

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump hopes to reset America's trade relations

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump's speech was just another scam'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cazeneuve at the heart of Nice security controversy

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa: Prosecutors seek longer sentence for Oscar Pistorius

Read more

Europe

‘Tintin in the Congo’ not racist, Belgian court rules

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-07

A Brussels court has rejected a legal bid to ban “Tintin in the Congo”, the second adventure of Belgian writer Hergé’s globe-trotting boy reporter. Black associations in the country claimed the book contained racist stereotypes.

“Tintin in the Congo” - a classic 1920s comic strip about Belgium's celebrated fictional boy reporter - is not racist, a Brussels court ruled on Wednesday.

The Brussels Appeals Court upheld a 2011 ruling against Congolese immigrant Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo and the Belgian Council of Black Associations, who wanted the book banned.

In 2010 Mbutu, who lives in Belgium, Congo’s former colonial ruler, said Tintin employed a little black helper who was seen as “stupid and without qualities”.

“It makes people think that blacks have not evolved,” he said.

In one scene, a black woman prostrates herself before Tintin, saying: “White man very great. White mister is big juju man.”

‘Gentle and candid humour’

Alain Amici, lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the court in 2011: “The negative stereotypes portrayed in this book are still read by a significant number of children. They have an impact on their behaviour.”

Not so, said Brussels judges, for whom “Tintin in the Congo” is full of “gentle and candid humour”.

The cartoon strip, written in the late 1920s, was Belgian writer Hergé’s second Tintin adventure. It was followed by stories in which the author tried to add greater realism and historical accuracy.

Hergé himself recognised that “Tintin in the Congo” was a “youthful sin” that reflected the prejudices of the time.

In 2007 a British court ruled that “Tintin in the Congo” should be sold with a warning that it includes racist content.

Mbutu has also tried to have the cartoon banned in France, unsuccessfully.

Date created : 2012-12-06

  • COMICS

    ‘Tintin’ 1932 cover breaks the million-euro mark at auction

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Tintin’s ‘racist’ Congo adventure under scrutiny in Belgian court

    Read more

COMMENT(S)