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April 7, 2003

Boondocks: Banned in NC

This time, Boondocks artist went too far

...What the syndicate sent us for publication a week ago Saturday was the Boondocks strip with a statement plastered over it that read:

"Special Boondocks protest strip! In order to express the outrage and the disappointment at the situation in the Middle East, as well as an upcoming movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr., in which the actor will undoubtedly shame himself and his race, today’s installment of The Boondocks will not be appearing.

"Seriously, folks. Let’s stop the madness. The Bush administration’s hunger for war, and Hollywood’s continued production of movies starring Cuba Gooding Jr., must be stopped. — Aaron McGruder"

McGruder essentially mutilated his own strip for the purpose of forcing his political views on a page where they don’t belong in that context.

The syndicate did send an alternative strip for that day, in effect giving editors the chance to censor the strip.

I am not a proponent of censoring comics. In fact, we ran installments of the Cathy comic strip in The Herald-Sun years ago that were censored by other newspapers in this state when one of the characters in the strip endorsed presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

I said then I would not censor a comic, but would drop it if I thought the author was abusing his or her relationship with our newspaper for personal gratification.

Accordingly, I canceled the Boondocks strip.

It does appear today because our Sunday comics section is pre-printed. We replaced Boondocks in the daily editions with Get Fuzzy, which we have been running just on Sundays.

Whether that tenacious little feline will remain in our lineup remains to be seen. We may sample other strips in the coming weeks to see what our readers like...

Uhh... yeah.

Bill Hawkins is Vice President and Executive Editor of The Herald-Sun. He may be reached at (919) 419-6678 or at bhawkins@heraldsun.com

Posted by jsmooth995 at April 7, 2003 8:38 PM

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