- Students at California State University San Marcos claimed “VeggieTales” was racist because the villains in the show use ethnic accents while the heroes sound white.
- The project was part of a recent “Whiteness Forum” held for the class, “The Communication of Whiteness.”
- The lead characters in “VeggieTales” are a red tomato named Bob, and a cucumber named Larry.
Students at California State University San Marcos, in San Marcos, California, argued at a recent “Whiteness Forum” that the Christian children’s show “VeggieTales” is racist because all of the villains use non-white-sounding accents.
The forum held last Thursday was part of a class called “The Communication of Whiteness,” taught by professor Dreama Moon.
For the event, students presented projects including “White Avoidance,” “Civilized vs. Uncivilized,” “Kill the Land, Kill the Indian,” “White Women’s Role in White Supremacy,” “Gun Ownership and Racial Bias,” according to The College Fix.
In the project about “VeggieTales,” a student who worked on the presentation told The College Fix that accents of the evil characters in the show sounded like they were Latino or from other minority backgrounds, while the heroes of the show sounded white.
The project, titled “Children in the Church,” said that whiteness in the Bible is “seen as “good.'”
“When kids see the good white character triumph over the bad person of colour character they are taught that white is right and minorities are the source of evil,” the project stated.
The lead characters from the show, which first aired in 1993, are a red tomato named Bob, and a cucumber named Larry.
The show’s villains include a zucchini named Mr. Nezzer and a group of peas called the French Peas, which speak in broken French accents.
For the majority of the show’s run, both Bob the Tomato, Mr. Nezzer, and some of the French Peas were voiced by Phil Vischer, one of the creators of the show.
Former “VeggieTales” writer and narrator Eric Metaxas told PJ Media that the show isn’t racist.
“All vegetables are part of one race, even though they are of many colours. They are all descended from the same parents – the Adam and Eve of vegetables, who foolishly ate a forbidden fruit (irony?) and screwed everything up for all vegetables descended from them,” Metaxas told PJ Media. “At least I’m pretty sure that’s the story.”
In an Atlantic article published earlier this year, sociolinguist Calvin Gidney said villains are often characterised with foreign accents.
He started studying the concept after watching “The Lion King,” during which he noticed Scar spoke with a British accent and his minion hyenas used “African American-sounding and Latino-sounding” dialects.
“Villainy is marked just by sounding different,” he said.
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