Tintin creator was dogged by charges of anti-Semitism, racism: Book

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NEW YORK - The creator of Tintin was once criticised for being anti-Semitism and racist, according to a new biography.

In the new book ‘Herge: The Man Who Created Tintin’, writer Pierre Assouline said that Belgian artist Herge had once created a Tintin story featuring an evil New York banker named Blumenstein, “an anti-Semitic caricature [of which] Herge would later say, ‘That was the style then.’ “

He also promoted Tintin as the “great white medicine man” in a strip in which he visited the Congo.

Assouline revealed that Herge, however, made revisions years later and removed some Jewish and black characters from old strips.

A representative for filmmaker Steven Speilberg, who’s helming ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ along with Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Cary Elwes, said the director was “very much aware” of the controversy.

“Some of the early drawings were bad, but we’re talking about 50 or 60 years ago when the world was very different,” the New York Post quoted rep Marvin Levy as saying.

Herge was charged for collaborating with the Nazis, but Levy said the claim was made because he was working for a Belgian newspaper when the Nazis marched in.

“Many of these accusations are wildly exaggerated. The world loves these books,” Levy added.

“Unfortunately many creative people were infected by the disease of anti-Semitism, but it didn’t overtake [Hergi],” said Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

“Most people know Tintin not about the anti-Semitism, but for his many adventures. It’s a blemish in [Hergi's] character, but not enough for the people to want to throw away everything he’s created,” Foxman added. (ANI)

Filed under: Entertainment

July 30, 2009: 3:23 am

Herge was a genius of the comic form. Growing up, “Tintin” did more to introduce me to books than any other work or series I can recall. As far as anti-Semitism and racism goes, it’s unfortunate, but you’ll find it throughout art and literature: think of Wagner. I won’t stop listening to him because of his views.

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