Readersforum's Blog

November 2, 2011

Tintin in the Congo not racist, says Belgian judicial adviser

Mbutu Bienvenu holds a placard that shows a scene from the book Tintin in the Congo. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Setback for legal bid to have Hergé’s 1931 adventure banned.

Reuters

A Belgian judicial adviser has recommended the country’s courts reject a legal bid to have a book featuring fictional boy hero Tintin banned for racism, court documents showed.

Valery de Theux de Meylandt, a Belgian Procureur du Roi whose opinion is requested and typically followed by the court, advised judges in a written statement to rule against campaigner Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo’s application to have Tintin in the Congo banned for racism.

De Theux de Meylandt said in the document seen by Reuters that Tintin author Georges Remi (better known as Hergé) did not intend to incite racial hatred when he depicted his cartoon hero on an adventure in the former Belgian colony in a 1931 work that was updated in 1946.

“The representations (of African people) by Herge are a reflection of his time,” De Theux de Meylandt wrote.

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