Cartoon Network Uses STEVEN UNIVERSE To Deliver Anti-Racism PSA Videos; Watch Them Here
Cartoon Network is doing what it can to fight systemic racism with "The Crystal Gems Say Be Anti-Racist," a series that encourages anti-racist behavior and fostering inclusion and equity.
Cartoon Network is taking a stand against racism. The network launched a series of anti-racist PSA videos in hopes of "fostering inclusion and equity." So far, a pair of videos have been released, each addressing a different topic regarding racism. Interestingly, the first video arrived back in October but only recently did the series spark conversation and debate on social media.
The first video, "Tell the Whole Story," addresses systemic racism and the problem of white-washing history when it comes to education in school. When discussing the invention of the light bulb, Pearl (DeeDee Magno Hall) brings up Lewis Latimer, "the black inventor behind the filament inside the bulb." You probably never heard of him, and there's a reason for that.
Pearl goes on a tear about why schools are often only teaching students about white historical figures. "There were black roman warriors, black medieval knights, black classical musicians, black cowboys, black pilots. Where are they?" she laments, while pointing out that with systemic racism "storytellers prioritize white accomplishments." The result is an incomplete picture, so she encourages students to constantly question the story.
Black inventors, heroes, and leaders are often left out of history. Ask yourself as you're learning...who is the focus? Why? Question the story.
Tell the Whole Story was written by Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey in collaboration with Dr. Kira Banks, Dr. Allen E. Lipscomb and Deborah J. Johnson, PhD. It was directed by Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey in collaboration with Chromosphere.
The second video, "Don't Deny It - Defy It," addresses white privilege, specifically those who remain silent around racist behavior. The video begins with a commercial being shot in which a black boy tells a white boy that they are going to get married when they grow up. The moment is ruined when a bully shows up and tells them that "black people can't marry white people."
Enter Garnet (Estelle) from Steven Universe. She simply tells them not to be racist and that's a cut for the commercial. However, when one of the white kids scoffs at the idea that racism is real, he's quickly educated on the subject.
"Just because this has never happened to you, doesn't mean it doesn't happen," says Garnet. The rest of the video explains the importance of acknowledging racism to work against it.
The Crystal Gems say BE ANTI-RACIST! You have to acknowledge racism to act against it. Don't be silent, use your voice and privilege to help ✊🏿✊🏼✊🏾✊✊🏻✊🏽💖
Don't Deny It - Defy It was written by Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey in collaboration with Dr. Kira Banks, Dr. Allen E. Lipscomb and Deborah J. Johnson, PhD and directed by Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey in collaboration with Chromosphere.
So far, these are the only two videos that have been released as part of Cartoon Network's The Crystal Gems Say Be Anti-Racist campaign. Hopefully, more are on the way because these are the exact type of conversations that need to be had more frequently. The videos are simple, effective, and succinct in talking about racism and how to actively be against it.