U.S. Borders stores move 'racist' Tintin title to adult section
Borders bookstores in the U.S. are set to follow the lead of their British counterparts and remove Tintin in the Congo from their children's section, after allegations of racism emerged last week.
"Borders is committed to carrying a wide range of materials and supporting our customers' right to choose what to read and what to buy. That said, we are also committed to acting responsibly as a retailer and with sensitivity to all of the communities we serve," the superstore book chain said in a statement Monday.
The controversial title in the classic cartoon series will be moved to "a section of our store intended primarily for adults — the graphic novels section," Borders said.
"We believe adults have the capacity to evaluate this work within historical context and make their own decision whether to read it or not."
Tintin in the Congo has often been criticized for its demeaning portrayal of Africans as chimpanzee-like idiots who come to worship both Tintin and his dog, Snowy.
Other Tintin titles, first created in the 1930s by Belgian author and cartoonist Hergé, will remain in the children's section.
Last week, the commission for racial equality called on British Borders stores to pull the title about the intrepid boy reporter and adventurer from its shelves, citing the "words of hideous radical prejudice" between its covers.
"The only place that it might be acceptable for this to be displayed would be in a museum, with a big sign saying 'old-fashioned, racist claptrap,'" a CRE spokeswoman said.
The group had initially received a complaint from a human rights lawyer who came across the book in the children's section of a Borders store while shopping with his African-born wife and their two sons.
Hergé, whose real name was Georges Prosper Remi, originally penned 23 comic books about the spiky-haired Tintin. However, over the years, he revised the stories and was reportedly embarrassed about some of his earlier, naive views of the world.
Tintin in the Congo is considered the most controversial of the series and is often criticized for its racist and colonial views, as well as scenes of violence against animals. However, some have also criticized Hergé for his depiction of Asians, Russians and Americans in other Tintin stories.
In the past, some publishers who decided to republish the original version of Tintin in the Congo have packaged the finished book with a warning and message explaining the context and time period in which it was first written.
With files from the Associated Press