French Sociologist says “The Smurfs are Racist!” French Sociologist says “The Smurfs are Racist!”
Cartoon Culture

French Sociologist says “The Smurfs are Racist!”

A new book written by French academic Antoine Bueno suggests that the Smurfs are racist and spread anti-Semitism.

In Le Petit livre bleu (The Little Blue Book) Bueno tries to demonstrate that their community “is an archetype of a totalitarian utopia, full of Stalinism and Nazism”. He claims racism is clearly evident in the story Black Smurfs where purity of blood is vital – and brown is ugly – and that in The Smurfette the blond Aryan is idealized.

  • Law

    He is a genius!

  • Christopher Cook

    I always found the Smurfs to be more dystopic, what with their need to always use the word “Smurf” as a verb, conjunction, or speech trope of your choice. Gargamel was doing the world a favor in trying to get rid of them.

  • tonma

    in the original concept the smurfs are a quite common society with a lot of flaws and a tendency to brawl on the street(usually inside a little cloud of dust), so they could quite easily fall into xenophobia or racism as soon as papa smurf left the village for a while. The misconception of them as utopian folk comes from the late, blander seasons of the cartoon.

  • Pieter

    I stopped reading when I saw “sociologist”.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      Sociologists are evil people with a bad reputation. Best to steer clear of them. XD

    • Funkybat

      And I’m sure some other people stopped reading when they saw “French.” The world is full of biased people, and they aren’t all biased against others because of “race.” I learn interesting things sometimes when I keep reading past a word or phrase that sets of my bells…

  • showplease

    I’ve never been a fan of The Smurfs, and even I’ll say that this person is an absolutely stupid, rambling, insanely delusional crackpot of the highest order.

    If The Smurfs franchise is guilty of anything, it’s guilty of being mindless kiddie pablum drivel.

    But this person is just another rambling lunatic trying to use a children’s franchise just to get some kind of trolling attention.

  • Cypo

    Why is there always somebody uses a cartoon, book, song or movie to try and state there was some ‘secret’ underlining theme that somehow fits the person’s viewpoint of faith, politics, etc. when there really isn’t?

    What’s next, Mr. Bueno? The Mystery Inc Gang from Scooby-Doo was REALLY an archetype for The Manson Family? Give me a break.

  • DonaldC


  • Not a smurf

    The more outrageous the claim, the more evidence one needs to prove it. In this case, I can’t imagine there is anything beyond conspiracy to dig up. Interesting idea though.

  • John

    I’ve never heard that one before…

  • Jeez, again?
    People are always saying stuff like this about the Smurfs.
    Don’t they have anything better to do.

  • If the stuff Bueno says is true, that would make the Smurfs actually interesting. It appears, however, he is full of pork cracklins.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    So…. I guess that means they’re not Commies then? :-)

    • Funkybat

      Maybe they can be both. Frankly, I think the “evidence” of them being Communist is a lot stronger than it is for them being “racist.” I mean, if you really want to tear apart the seeming similarities of any kind of popular entertainment to a sociopolitical idea or movement, you can usually find something.

      I’ve heard a few people say that Smurfette is symbolic of misogyny, because the Smurf Village was happy and orderly when it was all men, and then Gargamel created Smurfette (an artificial Smurf) and implanted her in the Village to disrupt their way of life. Therefore, life was fine until these “lesser” versions of men were “created” and came along to mess up the male unity thing.

      This stuff sometimes is thought-provoking and perhaps even insightful into an artist’s inner workings, but a lot of it is just “eye of the beholder” and says more about the person making the accusation than it does about the original creator.

  • uncle wayne

    …AND, don’t forget….End of the World is Oct. 11, AND the film, “Coal Black,” is “racist!”

    • Steph

      Actually, the end of the world is now on Oct. 21.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      And “Coal Black” WAS racist.



      • James E. Parten

        Yes, “Coal Black” was racist–against the Japanese!

    • Well, Coal Black wasn’t *intended* to be racist, the people who made it weren’t racists, and it’s a *very* good animated short… but yeeeeah.
      It’s a pretty racist cartoon.

  • Yeah well, when I was a kid my teachers in Mexico used to say the Smurfs were diabolical. It’s kind of nice to find some things haven’t changed since I became an adult ;)

  • Kevin Marintez

    How much of this “Communism” stuff was present in the original Peyo stuff, and how much of it was added for the H-B cartoon and its executive-mandated “Going against the group causes trouble” philosophy?

    That might have colored this guy’s ideas.

    • Bud

      Yeah–it DOES sound like the teabaggers.

  • Frank M

    A desperate attempt to grab attention to this predictable overexposed property.

  • Jason

    I wonder what he’d say about He Man.

  • The perception of one of the interviewed French persons that Hollywood movies always cast black people as the bad guys is interesting. I bet the actual percentages are quite small.

    In the Hollywood movies I see it’s usually a white guy trying to look Hispanic by pulling a knit cap down over his ears.

  • James E. Parten

    Oh, give me a break!. . . and, while you’re at it, you can check the oil!

    This has got to be the silliest ukase since some French (!) member of their Chamber of Deputies–a Communist, if memory serves–claimed that the “Harry Potter” books were fascist, as the entrepeneurial Weasley twins were treated as role models, while Governmental bureaucrats were treated like–well, bureaucrats!

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    How long before some indignant numbskull bursts into the comments, raving about POLITICAL CORRECTNESS HAS GONE MAAAAAAD over a book about the Smurfs?

    I love shit like this. It’s all speculation, you white, shining champions of political incorrectness and vulgarity. All in good fun. Stirring the pot. Nothing to wet yourselves over.


    • derpderp

      You even hint that something might be a product of a culture that isn’t always nice to non-white people/women and people ’round these parts chomp at the bit. Being called racist is the worstest worst that ever worsted and nothing in our medium has ever been it! EVER! And anyone who disagrees is the WORST and DUM and ZANY!

      We wanna be taken seriously as an art form… until someone wants to analyze our wares in the context of culture. Hm!

  • tamera

    At first I thought this was some kinda humorous satire, some kinda “Onion”-piece that was just made for fun, pointing out how people go overboard with PC…

    Then, after reading the comments and watching the video, I found out he was serious…..


  • Chris

    People have been making up stuff like this about books, movies, etc. for years. The more popular something is the more people make stuff up. It’s just a way for them to be pretentious. If people would stop listening to their crap, stop buying their books and generally ignore their ramblings maybe they would get a hint and find something better to do with their time. We need to ignore them when they spout stuff like this and stop giving them legitimacy.

  • Billy Batz

    Years ago a friend of mine told me the creator of the Smurfs, ‘Peyo’ was an anti semite. I thought that was funny, I guess it’s true. but nobody in America knows the Peyo Smurf comic strip from the 1950’s, they only know the 1980 Hanna Barbera show which was totally different, so chill ‘PC’ critic, chill!

  • Alissa

    I thought smurfs were what initially inspired zombie movies, not racism. Or was it communism? Zombie communists? Racist zombie communists?

    I never understood how Smurfette symbolizes Aryan stereotypes. She’s blue isn’t she? But who am I to argue with fancy-schmancy academic types…

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with his observations. There are plenty of old children’s books with racists themes behind them. Don’t think it’ll make any kids racists and he ain’t arguing that in the video or saying they should be banned. Just making an obvious observation. Especially that comic strip when they get sick. Come on.

  • Oliver

    As the Japanese film director Nagisa Oshima once quipped:

    “Being merely bad isn’t the same thing as being controversial.”

    Best comment on The Smurfs? In the Richard Linklater movie ‘Slacker’.

  • juan alfonso

    Is this guy loco taking on “Los Pitufos”(Smurfs)?Smurfette was a creation of Gargamel’s,and had black hair originally.The black smurf was black because of the bite of a black fly(GNAP!GNAP!).I lived most of my youth in a communist country and believe me it was not very smurfy-The Smurfs,like the Seven Dwarves,each embody the attributes of their name.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      And that’s all we should try to remember!

  • Steven M.

    I bet he’ll go for the Care Bears next.

  • Justin Delbert

    What the hell? The Smurfs are not politically incorrect. Of all the shows that he can attack (Family Guy, South Park, and the Boondocks) this is THE show he had to pick? It’s only a cartoon (or as some people call the Looney Tunes, an “old kiddy show”) Get a life; get a grip!

    • Family Guy, South Park, and Boondocks are all satires, often making fun of racism. Since The Smurfs doesn’t have that positive value to make up for any perceived offending content, then it’d be that much more insidious.

    • Justin Delbert

      One more thing I must add, Jokey Smurf has a present for Mr. Bueno; it’s a surprise;)

  • Barry

    Gargamel is obviously intended to be Jewish… With his obsession of turning Smurfs into gold and his cat named Azrael… I mean come on, this isn’t news. Peyo has been accused as being anti-semetic for a long time. It wouldn’t surprise me if Peyo really was one. I’ve read a lot of his comics in my youth. Looking back, in his other comics he also made the badguys look like Jewish stereotypes.

    • Peter Wassink

      “…and his cat named Azrael… I mean come on,”
      You mean because Azrael sounds a bit like Israel?
      I mean come on…

      Azrael is the name of the Archangel of Death.

  • BOogedy

    The Smurfs aren’t racist… They just SUCK.

  • AllThatIsRight

    Antoine is certainly no Bueno’ Smurfs aren’t racist. Antoine is a Frog. Now *that* is racist.

  • Weren’t the Smurfs initially created to be cartoon mascots for an oil company?

    You look it up. I’m busy.

  • Ignatz the Brick Pitcher

    LOOL Social scientists can interpret racism in any sector of our society and in everything we do.

    Everything has parallels to racism! For instance, I’m ravenously eating these Skittles right now, one could say in a similar fashion to Hitler rabidly consuming the Jews. Or, since there were no black or brown people on The Flintstones, it trained white kids to be racists! LOOL.

    Sociologists can kick rocks when it comes to the Smurfs. Sorry!

  • Brent

    This is what happens when you have a mixture of too much time, a grant deadline due to expire and a “publish or perish” deadline staring you in the face. The time is spent trying to figure out a study to qualify for the grant money which is used to write an article to beat the “publish or perish” deadline to keep one safely ensconced in academia.

  • Doodyville101

    Another idiot professional with too much time on his hands.

  • Umm…what has Winnie the Pooh taught us about disorders- and Tigger’s suggestive name?

  • Not this kind of thing again. It’s the same kind of thinking that Superman was a Nazi, banning Santa and anyone who has every seen anything wrong in a Disney Film. There is any hidden meanings, people actually exist a face value. You know all analysis and interpretation is pointless anyway because it is someone putting their opinion and biases onto something else. The fact that he has stated this says more about himself than the Smurfs.

  • Graham

    Oh, lordy… Again?

    This “theory” has existed as far back as 1985, possibly even earlier.

    (Click “View Issue” for the date.)

    Congrats, buddy! You believe in bullshit that’s as old as me.

    Also, Peyo was never interested in politics, so any allegations of communism or socialism can be thrown right out the window.

  • ZigZag

    Graham nailed it.

    End of thread.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Sacre bleu!

  • victoria

    This got me thinking about the talk the henchmen on Venture Bros had about whether the Smurfs were mammals

  • Scott

    Turns out it was actually a parody, a joke, a jest. Even the video, a joke. But look at all the hot tempered opinions it turned up.

  • When you see a book called The Black Smurfs, it definitely SOUNDS racist, but nobody who has actually read the Black Smurfs would think it has anything to do with race.

    Many translated versions are edited so that they turn purple instead of black when they’re infected with the zombie virus to avoid that first impression altogether.