Wal-Mart has pulled copies of a Spanish-language comic starring Mexican comics mainstay Memin Pinguin CNN reports on charges the character is racist:
For more than 60 years Mexicans have followed the adventures of “Memin Pinguin.” But the dark-skinned Memin’s exaggerated features in “Memin for President” came as a shock to Houston, Texas, Wal-Mart shopper Shawnedria McGinty.
“I was like, OK, is that a monkey or a boy?” McGinty said. “To me it was an insult.”
She’d never heard of “Memin Pinguin.” She bought a Spanish-English dictionary and tried translating but still didn’t like what she saw.
This isn’t the first time Pinguin has run afoul of contemporary tastes; a few years ago the White House branded the character as racist after Mexico released some stamps of the beloved character.
The White House on Thursday objected to a postage stamp issued by the Mexican government, saying that “racial stereotypes are offensive no matter what their origin” and have no place in today’s world.
The stamp depicts an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book, which started in the 1940s and is still published in Mexico.