I'll be naive, but I'm always amazed when I read the news about a famous person who turns out to be a piece of manure. Not that this is great news, you say. But you can't deny that it's still a shocker, especially when it comes to someone you know for their talent. Around the web, especially on social platforms, one of those posts with the title "the 20 most obnoxious movie stars" and similar stuff must have appeared at least once. I'm not a follower of these posts, but once in a while I read them to pass the time and discover something new.
In my case, the topic becomes interesting to me when it meets the world of animation.
Animation, as I have explained several times, is one of the most important businesses in the world. Every year it brings a lot of money to animation companies thanks to shows produced for different target audiences, often combined with targeted merchandise of clothing and games, as in the case of Pokemon. During the pandemic especially; it was helpful to entertain the kids.
But as I explained in the video dedicated to animation on the “Tea, Cookies and Art” youtube channel, a dark side hides behind this world.
Even behind successful works that have received awards or have been recognized by critics for the success of the idea, there are shadows, very thick, often cast by the same people who made them. One of the best-known names in the community is Butch Hartman, creator of the Fairly OddParents.
Although some of his cartoons are highly appreciated, in particular Danny Phantom of which he is considered his best work, and he has worked in the past on other famous Cartoon Network channel shows, he as a person is far from nice: disrespect towards its staff, bad taste jokes about serious situations such as suicide and even very heavy insults towards the LGBTQ community etc. And these are just a couple of the many big problems associated with this person... just know that his bad reputation has increased a lot over time and no one intends to forgive him for the mistakes he has made and above all for the things he has said, some of which involve money too. For a more specific explanation on the subject, read this article: https://qr.ae/pvfmt7
Butch isn't the first animator whose reputation has gone down the drain.
In his case, the fault lies mainly with his enormous ego… many others, however, have committed even more serious sins: sexual harassment, pedophilia, criminal acts… one must pale in front of the list of accusations for which some well-known animators are accused and then (of course) fired.
· Among the most recent, for example we have the name of Skyler Page, creator of the animated series Clarence, who was kicked off his own show for being a very aggressive sex offender.
· Chris Savino was fired from his show the Loud House for being a sex offender.
· But we also have big names like John Lasseter, former head of studios at Pixar Animation; whose dismissal was prompted by allegations of unwanted physical contact with female subordinates - from "hugs" to unsolicited kisses and even groping.
Not all animators, however, have such serious charges against them as to lead them to be fired (for now).
In this case, their bad reputation is due to their character (almost as much as Hartman) and their very "questionable" political or religious ideologies.
· Thomas Astruc, the creator of the Miraculous series - The Adventures of Ladybug and Chat Noir, is referred to as a rude individual and has little regard for other people's opinions, whether they are positive or negative. Quite commonly he blocks people on Twitter for ridiculous reasons and disrespects his own fans.
· Doug Tennapel, the creator of Earthworm Jim, is frowned upon by the community as an anti-abortion, Trump supporter, and conservative bigot "libertarian".
It is very serious that in the world of animation there can be subjects of this level. It's already fortunate that their crimes aren't being swept under the rug like they used to be, but I'm afraid there are still a lot of nasty people out there who manage to hide their dark side.
With this article, I don't want to start a riot against these people or make viewers stop watching their shows, also because it would be unfair to all those kids who loved and still love those works, even finding comfort and inspiration in them.
Because, let's remember: these people may be the creators of the product and perfect idiots, but to make it, giving it shape and color, there is a close-knit team of passionate workers who have really put their heart and soul into making it that fantastic product, as in case of Danny Phantom, who manages to convey those themes of justice and maturity to viewers old and new.
It's them, who despite the stress of their bosses, get the job done.
I can only give this suggestion: take that good that those cartoons gave you and use it to create other good.