The holidays look a little different this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but there is one holiday tradition that endures, offering a little bit of normalcy as we head towards the day of gratitude that is Thanksgiving: the annual airing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. This year, the beloved film aired on PBS following an agreement with Apple following the latter's deal to air the Charlie Brown holiday specials exclusively on AppleTV+ and while many viewers came away with the warm feeling of continuing a time-honored holiday tradition, others came away with a bit of concern and, in some cases, ire regarding the treatment of one of Charlie Brown's friends, Franklin.
In A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the Peanuts gang gathers for an impromptu holiday meal after Peppermint Patty invites herself and others to Charlie Brown and Sally's house for the holiday. The pair end up deciding to have two Thanksgivings -- one with their friends and then their planned feast with their grandmother. The friend Thanksgiving comes together with the help of Linus, Woodstock, and Snoopy who put together a rather random, but still sweet, meal. Equally as put together are the seating arrangements and that's where the controversy comes in.
During the meal Franklin, the one and only person of color in the core Peanuts gang, ends up sitting on a different side of the table from the rest of his friends and is seated in the only piece of "non-proper" furniture, a lawn chair. The scene, for some, has undertones of racial bias and, as it does every year, has prompted some to take to social media to speak out about the moment. Here is a selection of what people are saying and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!
This has been an ongoing conversation
remember 2 years ago when people tried to cancel charlie brown thanksgiving and call it racist because of the dinner scene, franklin was just sitting by himself.— louie, the future. (@thelouiefuture) November 23, 2020
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is on. Time for our annual love and disappointment that Franklin is sitting on one side of the table all by himself. #Thanksgiving2020— Ms. K (@MsKDD72) November 23, 2020
Another year another Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where they do my man Franklin dirty as hell pic.twitter.com/su67nXgphN— Jake Bailey (@JakeBaileyTM) November 23, 2020
I still don't understand why Franklin had to sit at the dinner table on a side all by himself on a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.— Katelyn Kelley (@katiekelley1991) November 23, 2020
Time to start paying closer attention
I need to start paying closer attention to my old holiday specials. https://t.co/DhQY45DksS— Eyes on the Right (@EyesOnTheRight) November 23, 2020
An interesting perspective
60 years later and schools across this nation are still not equal. And to show you that inequality is so woven into our culture, 1973 ‘ A Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving’— ThattGirl TASS (@T_A_S90) October 30, 2020
featured the first black character, Franklin, who doesn’t talk by the way...
A few other subtle debtails
There's a part when everyone was coming in and charlie brown was welcoming everyone to his house, he gives everyone that was white a normal formal handshake, then gives franklin a 'hood' handshake. Plus they Rosa Parks him when they go somewhere in a van. My 15yr mind was blown— Jose Hernandez (@JoseHer16119030) November 23, 2020
And this perspective.
Franklin's presence is what sways Charlie Brown to follow through with his dinner with Peppermint Patty. He's the entire catalyst to the meetup involving more than just Patty and Marcie.
Take that, you "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is racist" believers.— Kim Belding (@picpak) November 23, 2020