Cartoon Network’s late-night action block, Toonami, has recently produced a new bumper featuring their iconic mascot TOM voicing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
On August 29th, TOM took to the screen and informed viewers that “there’s been a lot of talk about race lately.”
TOM then asserted that statements such as “‘I don’t see color’, ‘racism isn’t real anymore’, and “All Lives Matter” were “actually harmful and steer away from the bigger issue: racism still exists.”.
You can watch the entire clip below:
As this is said, images of unity, teamwork, and perseverance from various Cartoon Network-aired series appear.
Shows such as Dragon Ball Super, Samurai Jack, Naruto, and Ballmastrz 9000 flashed across the screen. While this is going on, TOM informs the viewers that “it’s up too all of us to recognize that and take action.”
To that end, TOM states that viewers who have thought “maybe, but not me” are, in fact, racist and have some “truth to uncover.”
For fans who thought “this isn’t why I watch Toonami”, TOM informed them to “think again”.
The special bump ends with TOM asking viewers to “Think about how you can be part of an honest conversation about racism, because Black Lives Matter and will always matter.”
On Twitter, Adult Swim SVP/Creative Director and Toonami Co-Creator Jason Demarco explained the bumper. In a series of Tweets, Jason Demarco first thanked those, “who reached out to say it meant something to you, I’m really glad it did”:
Demarco went on to give some background behind the clip for the program.
Saying, “this piece came together because a group of Toonami staff came to me and asked, ‘are we going to address this clearly?’ I agreed with them that we should. This piece was produced, co-written, and edited by our Black staff members. The all did an amazing job.”:
In the following Tweet, Jason Demarco said, “special shoutout to @stuidgill who wrote the backbone and shepherded it home as well. I work with some very good people and I hope you felt our sincerity, even if it made you uncomfortable. Thanks for watching, as always.”:
Finally, in conclusion, Demarco said, “We at #toonami know we can only do so much with our platform but we wanted to be clear what our little block stands for. Equality, compassion, love and strength are at the core of so much of our programming and at that core of the message we want Toonami to deliver.”
Toonami currently airs on Saturday nights as part of the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network.
What do you make of Toonami’s message? Are all Toonami viewers unconscious racists? Let us known on social media or in the comments down below!