The Telegraph reports that comic book character Tintin was at the centre of a race row last night after Britain’s equality watchdog accused one of the books of making black people “look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles”. The Commission for Racial Equality claimed TINTIN IN THE CONGO depicted “hideous racial prejudice” and that it should be removed from sale.
“This book contains imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice, where the ‘savage natives’ look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles. It beggars belief that in this day and age Borders would think it acceptable to sell and display Tintin In The Congo. High street shops, and indeed any shops, ought to think very carefully about whether they ought to be selling and displaying it.”
TINTIN IN THE CONGO had long been banned in Britain because of its content. Egmont, the comic strip’s current publisher, issued a colour version of the book in Britain in 2005, but included a foreword which tried to explain the colonial attitudes prevalent at the time it was written – which resulted in attracting the CRE’s attention. Last night, the Borders chain of bookshops agreed to move it to the adult graphic novels area of its shops, but the official Tintin shop vowed to keep selling it, as did Waterstone’s and WH Smith.