McGruder02 McGruder02

New Season of ‘The Boondocks’ Excludes Its Creator Aaron McGruder

It was recently announced that, after a nearly four-year hiatus, the Adult Swim animated series The Boondocks would be returning on April 21st for its fourth and final season. However, any excitement that fans of the show experienced when hearing the news was cut short when they learned that the show’s creator, Aaron McGruder, would not be involved.

Adapted by McGruder in 2005 from his popular syndicated comic strip of the same name, The Boondocks follows the social misadventures of Huey and Riley, two urban black pre-teens being raised in suburbia by their eccentric grandfather. Its unapologetic ridicule of everything from conservative politics to black intellectuals has made it a source of controversy since its premiere while earning it a cult status among Adult Swim viewers.

When Sony Pictures Television, which produces the show, announced news of the final season, they simply stated, “This season was produced without the involvement of Aaron McGruder, when a mutually agreeable production schedule could not be determined.” McGruder, who is currently working on his new live-action Adult Swim show Black Jesus, hasn’t offered up details about his departure. However, all may not be well in the relationship between McGruder and the producers of the show. Both prior to and after Sony’s announcement, McGruder has posted on his Black Jesus Facebook page alleging that The Boondocks Facebook page has been “hijacked” and that he has “absolutely no control over the content being posted as of Friday, March 14.”

The result of the “hijacking” on The Boondocks Facebook page has been several re-postings of a single Los Angeles Times article announcing the new season and McGruder’s exclusion, culminating in thousands of comments from Facebook followers, which run the gamut from outrage to optimism.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    McGruder has never struck me as being a particularly responsible or professional individual, as his track record on this show and relationship with Universal Press Syndicate demonstrate.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      It does seem very erratic to say the least.

    • Dana

      Translation: he didn’t kiss enough a**.

      You know, everyone, including people not in the industry, complains about the toxicity coming out of Hollywood and related, both movies and TV. And yet any time someone tries to buck the system and call the upper echelons on their s?!t, there’s always gotta be some troll in the audience calling them “unprofessional.”

      You can’t have it both ways. Either Hollywood sucks or it doesn’t… if it sucks, quit hamstringing the people trying to change it. It’s not like YOU’RE there in the ring.

    • Satorical

      I remember reading a brief post by him saying it took all of his time just to make sure the show didn’t suck. I think that’s as professional as it gets.

      Cartoonists alter their schedules all the time (including my favorite, Garry Trudeau), for the best of reasons. Why give McGruder grief for the same thing?

  • Marbles471

    I was crushed when I first read about this. McGruder IS The Boondocks. From day one, across both mediums, the whole thing has been a reflection of his point of view and his take on issues, as channeled through the unique set of characters that populate his world. His absence would rob the series of what makes it itself. I’ll still watch, but the enthusiasm has dampened and is now mixed with trepidation.
    For McGruder, nothing was ever wasted. Everything always happened for a reason, everything always had some significance beyond the surface—-allegorical, metaphorical, or just plain satirical. Some might criticize this approach as a bit “anvilicious,” but it always made you think. It was sociopolitical satire at its best and most biting—-the kind borne from moral outrage.
    The only thing to hope is that whoever is in charge of this new batch brought a similar sensibility to the job, and didn’t aim simply for the surface laughs. Ideally, frequent cowriter Rodney Barnes is the one at the helm. That would soften the blow. But not enough to lessen the burn of having this series’ heart basically extracted.
    Whether he removed himself from the project or whether he was somehow edged out, the only thing to do is let ‘er roll and see.

    • enochrox

      You know he hasnt drawn or written a Boondocks strip in a long LONG time, right? Near the end there he basically had other artists/writers doing all the work only to be sent to him to “ok” it….

      • Marbles471

        Yes, the ghost artists were very obvious. (In my opinion, Seng’s version was by far the most attractive of the three interpretations.) But he was always writing it.
        The strip was always funny, but it was really a lot of wasted potential after the first year. The first year was pure gold. I’ve always thought so. But its development stopped dead in its tracks after Caesar came along. I love Caesar as a character, but unfortunately his arrival signaled a halt in the strip’s progression. It became just him and Huey doing their talking-head act about several select topics, with only occasional changes in routine.
        But the first year always reminded me what McGruder was capable of, and that’s why I was so eager to see the series when it was announced. I didn’t know what to expect in the transition of mediums, but I wasn’t disappointed.

  • DanO

    What, he couldn’t fit the N-word into that comment 2 or 3 times? He must be slipping.

    • enochrox

      Yes, because he IS the show’s characters afterall. Jesus.

    • Pennyjpie

      Umm..isn’t his show a satire?

    • Marbles471

      There are more insightful ways of expressing disapproval of his characters’ use of that word…

  • WJD

    Titanic cup.

  • Jack Daniels Old Number 7

    I have no idea whether or not this will matter but something tells me it’s possible for the show to still be funny even without McGruder.

    • Marbles471

      I think the real question most people have isn’t whether it will still be funny. It probably will. The question is will it still be insightful, multi-layered satire.

      • Jack Daniels Old Number 7

        But all those traits you listed are so engrained in boondocks’ very fabric. I highly doubt they would make another season at all if it was wasn’t going to be all those things.

        • Satorical

          I wish I had your faith. There’s no shortage of properties that turned into pap once the creators left. I still watch The Walking Dead, but I don’t pretend it’s the complex, engaging work it was under Frank Darabont.

          • Jack Daniels Old Number 7

            As of right now I’m going to hold out hope and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that McGruder is not the end all be all. I could be wrong but we’ll just have to wait and find out.

      • Funkybat

        I suspect Boondocks Season 4 will be like the seasons of Ren & Stimpy which had no involvement from John K. Some people will like them for whatever reason, but most people who really “get” and love the original for what it was will reject them.

        Personally, I am not sure which amazes me more; that they are trying to have an additional, stand-alone season so long after what most people assumed was its cancellation, or that they would do so without the creator’s involvement.

        This is giving me vibes of “Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles.”

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Sad to see another artist get hosed by all this, never watched the show though.

  • Nikolas

    The new trailer for the upcoming Boondocks season looks good anyway.

  • profwrightbsu

    Other than the kickball episode in season 3, I didn’t think that McGruder was really involved past the 2nd series.


    im sick of them saying ” this is the last season”. season 2 wasn’t going to happen but when it did, season 3 was supposed to be “the final chapter” but now season 4 is supposed to be the last season? yea, whatever we’ll see.

  • Bo-Liever

    Not impressed by either episode 1 or 2 and episode was hollow and left me feeling that the rest of this season is going to be horrible, I think I’m bowing out on it before I start to resent it.

  • eni

    The show has completely lost what it had going for it. I am more and more bored as I watch.