You probably realize this, but it bears pointing out: cartoons thrive on disabilities. Every single cartoon character of note from the birth of the toon age until the 1970s had a disability of some sort. Elmer Fudd has a speech impediment, plus he rode the short bus. Daffy, Donald and Porky also had speech impediments. Daffy had syphilis too, but that’s not widely known. Droopy Dog suffered from extreme depression and maniacal pessimism. Bluto and Grape Ape suffered from gigantism, also known as Andre the Giant’s Disease. The Tasmanian Devil was the first reported case of ADHD. Popeye was a meth addict, as was Speedy Gonzalez. Wimpy was addicted to hamburger. Olive Oil was anorexic. Yosemite Sam was a dwarf. Goofy was a functional retard. The Roadrunner is mute. And so on.
Of course, liberals took offense to these things and they whined about it for decades: how dare you insult retarded kids or midgets or anorexics!! Sadly, Hollywood tends to take the path of least resistance... and most obnoxiousness, so they responded by making modern cartoon characters rather bland and physically perfect.
But is this right?
Well, let’s start with the obvious. Did any kid ever see Daffy Duck and think, “I need to go make fun of some kid with a syphilis-induced speech impediment!” Hardly. Kids, who are generally smarter than liberals, saw the nuance. They weren’t laughing at kids with speech impediments, they were laughing at Daffy’s funny mannerisms... all of them. They were laughing at Daffy for being a fool, an arrogant duck who caused himself a world of hurt because he was a jerk. They may also have made fun of the kids who were different, but it wasn’t because they saw Daffy as giving them permission to do so.
In fact, it’s not even like only the villains had these flaws... all cartoon characters have flaws! Popeye mumbles, Mickey Mouse sounds like he’s been hitting the helium... or lost his testicles in ‘nam. Scooby never once spoke clearly, and Shaggy spoke hippy. Speed Buggy spoke with a stutter and smoker’s cough. Half the heroes were dumber than rocks too.
The point is this: the funny voices, the speech impediments, the crazy shapes and bizarre traits were never meant to be taken as insults to anyone. They were meant as a way to make these characters unique... something Hollywood no longer knows anything about.
This is what liberals don’t get. Just because you point something out does not mean you are making a point about it. If my villain is fat, it’s because a fat guy looks cool in the suit, not because I’m making some statement about people with Type 2 diabetes being evil. If my villain stutters or smokes or has only one hand, it’s just a way to make the villain stand out. It’s not an attempt to offend people, and if people are offended by the simple inclusion of such a thing, then they are fools. Would you rather live in a world where you fit into any film or a world where you become the dirty secret the human race pretends doesn’t exist?
What liberals need to learn (and a few conservatives at places like BH), is when that line gets crossed and something becomes a statement. Where does something go from incidental flavoring to political statement? Well, that all depends on the behavior. Behavior is what matters. Are these traits simply part of the character or do you mock them for those traits? Do you suggest those traits make them inferior? Do you suggest that those traits are things to be ridiculed? Do you treat them as second class citizen, by perhaps acting that they are so hypersensitive that they can’t see their traits portrayed on film?
People need to learn the difference between a statement for/against something and the simple inclusion of something to add depth and interest.