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Mr. Popo is a Racist Portrayal According To Sweet Baby Inc.

Chris Kindred, who I've spoken about before, works at Sweet Baby Inc., once again has found himself at the center of controversy. This time, tweets have sparked even more widespread discussions and criticisms, extending the discourse beyond mere internet chatter to address deeper issues of racial sensitivity and representation.

Chris Kindred works at Sweet Baby Inc., a company that supposedly prides itself on progressive values and social advocacy. His recent tweet (sent prior to locking his account down) has led many to question the sincerity and effectiveness of the overall advocacy, particularly when it seems to create more divisions... rather than bridge them.

Chris tweeted that Akira Toriyama gave us the best and worst characters in anime. A pathetically veiled slight at Mr. Popo, who has some history in being attacked by "progressive" culture warriors. Before going to much further, let's give a quick refresher on who Mr. Popo even was...

Mr. Popo is a fictional character from the renowned Dragon Ball series, created by Akira Toriyama. He first graced the pages in 1988, serving as the dutiful assistant and caretaker for Earth's guardian deity. Mr. Popo's unique design echoes the mythological Jinns of Arabian lore, positioning him high above the clouds, imparting wisdom and guidance to the Earth's protectors.

Originally conceived by Toriyama as a blend between reptilian and humanoid features, Mr. Popo's final design took a more genie-like form, reminiscent of the magical beings from ancient storytelling, with attire influenced by Indian and Arabian cultures. This portrayal stands as a testament to Toriyama's creative process, evolving from initial sketches of varied inspirations to the iconic character known today.

Mr. Popo's backstory further embeds him into the Dragon Ball lore as an ageless entity, predating many of Earth's defenders. His profound connection with the series' mythos extends to his contribution in crafting Shenron, the dragon central to the Dragon Ball narrative. Such details highlight his integral role beyond just a supporting character, underscoring his significance and depth within the series.

Despite the character's deep roots and positive attributes, Mr. Popo's appearance has stirred controversy in the past. This isn't the first time he's been under attack. Criticized by some, like Carole Boston Weatherford, as perpetuating racial stereotypes.

These attacks led to unfortunate modifications in certain media representations, such as altering his skin color and facial features to address and mitigate these concerns, particularly in Western adaptations (YIKES!).

The changes in Mr. Popo's depiction, particularly in the American release and CW4Kids TV broadcasts, reflected a broader conversation about cultural sensitivity and representation. While the original design was not conceived with harmful intent—stemming instead from a blend of cultural mythologies and fantasy elements—the adjustments acknowledge the evolving landscape of global media consumption and the diverse audience it reaches... Translation, bending the knee to psychopaths.

In reflecting on Mr. Popo's creation, design, and role within Dragon Ball, it's essential to consider the character in the context of the time and cultural background of its creation, over 40 years ago. While respecting contemporary sensibilities, it's equally important to recognize the multifaceted nature of Mr. Popo—beyond a mere caricature—acknowledging his place in the lore as a wise, benevolent, and complex figure within the beloved series.

The situation has escalated to a point where many feel that the discourse has moved beyond constructive criticism into something more harmful and divisive. The community's reaction reflects a growing frustration with what some see as performative activism—actions that appear to be more about personal visibility and gain rather than genuine advocacy or understanding.

Mr. Popo is a Racist Portrayal According To Sweet Baby Inc.

Mr. Popo is a Racist Portrayal According To Sweet Baby Inc.

Mr. Popo is a Racist Portrayal According To Sweet Baby Inc.

The backlash against Chris Kindred and the ensuing drama serves as a microcosm of broader discussions about accountability and the role of social media in shaping public discourse. There is a call for a more nuanced and informed approach to discussions about race, representation, and cultural sensitivity, especially from individuals and organizations like Sweet Baby Inc., which are positioned to influence public opinion and social norms.



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