In deconstructing the culture and lifestyle habits of the Smurfs ("les schtroumpfs"), French sociologist Antoine Buéno depicts the little blue creatures as racist, sexist, anti-Semitic "archetype[s] of totalitarian society imbued with Stalinism and Nazism." Now friends and fans of the Smurfs are so mad at him.
It all seems like an unfortunate misunderstanding! A lecturer at the Sciences Po political sciences school in Paris, Buéno says he "loves" the Smurfs. He only wanted to shed light on how weird society was back in the 1950s, when the Smurfs were born. In Le Petit Livre Bleu ("The Little Blue Book"), he identifies the following issues:
- Anti-Semitism: This is embodied by the evil jerk-wizard Gargamel, described by Buéno as an "ugly, dirty, with a hooked nose (who) is fascinated by gold."
- Socialism: The Smurfs didn't own any property, supported ObamaCare, and did a lot of things together.
- Stalinism: Symbolized by Papa Smurf, a control freak who wore red pants and a red hat that were possibly made out of Soviet flags. Our theory is that elderly Papa S. wore red in order to speed up his reaction time, but unlike Buéno we have no evidence to support our claims.
- Sexism: Only one gal Smurf, Smurfette, whose blonde hair also represents...
- Nazism: They didn't get along with Gargamel or his maybe-Jewish cat, Azrael.
- Racism: Supposedly Peyo, the Smurfs's Belgian creator, initially came up with The Black Smurfs, in which the sting of a black fly changes a Smurf's skin color to "jet black." Somehow the whole Smurf village eventually turns black as well. After this happens, Buéno says, the Smurfs "are reduced to the state of primitives who jump around and cry: 'Gnap! Gnap!' [Gnash! Gnash!] They lose all trace of intelligence and become completely moronic."
Supposedly Buéno now says he's afraid for his safety, because Smurf fans have called his book a "disgrace," and also said other mean things on the internet. Eh, they'll get over it.