New edition of Hergé book Tintin in the Congo condemned over alleged racism
The celebration of Tintin’s 90th birthday has been overshadowed by controversy over alleged racism in a new edition of one of his tales.
The allegations are related to the title Tintin In The Congo, which was first serialised in 1930. Pictures by Hergé which show Africans with fat, red lips and wearing loincloths have been widely criticised, including by Britain’s Committee for Racial Equality, as making black people “look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles”.
Congolese cartoonist Barly Baruti said it was wrong to bring out a new edition of the book at a time when far-right parties were on the rise.
He said: “We ask ourselves if it is the right moment.”
The new edition will be delayed until later this year as there is a dispute between the publishers and Hergé’s estate over whether or not the book should be prefaced with a warning about its content.
In 2007, a Belgian court rejected an attempt by Congolese campaigners to have the book banned.
It ruled “there was no intention in Tintin In The Congo to convey racist, upsetting, humiliating or degrading ideas towards the Congolese”.