'Snoopy' Trends On Twitter After "Racist" Franklin Armstrong Tweet Angers Charlie Brown Fans

Though the popular Peanuts character Snoopy is adored by many, he started trending on Friday for a less-than-adorable reason. Charlie Brown fans reacted strongly to a controversial image featuring another character, Franklin Armstrong, shared by the cartoon dog's Twitter account. On February 21, 2020, Twitter users deemed the now-deleted tweet as racist.

On the official Peanuts Twitter account, @Snoopy posted an online image drawn by cartoonist/creator, Charles M. Schulz. In it, Charlie Brown and Franklin, the first African American character created specifically for the popular strip,stand by a brick wall. Addressing Franklin, Charlie remarked, "You're one of the good ones."

The caption below the image read, "You're one of the best people I know."

Readers were introduced to Franklin in the strip on July 31st, 1968. According to Snopes, the inspiration behind the character came about from the back-and-forth correspondence between Schulz and one his readers, Harriet Glickman. Their letters to each other discussed in detail why the addition of a black character was important to readers and to America's own race relations. Glickman sent her first letter to the cartoonist two weeks after civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.

The Peanuts gang sits down to eat in "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," which aired in 1973. ABC

Glickman wrote, "It occurred to me today that the introduction of Negro children into the group of Schulz characters could happen with a minimum of impact. The gentleness of the kids … even Lucy, is a perfect setting. The baseball games, kite-flying…yea, even the Psychiatric Service cum Lemonade Stand would accommodate the idea smoothly."

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The Twitter account has since issued an apology, "Earlier today a tweet from this account, featuring an image of two friends, was misinterpreted. As this was not the intended message of the post, it has been deleted so as not to perpetuate an inaccurate interpretation. The post was meant as a celebration of friendship."

This is how Twitter users responded after when they first the post:

Tyler Conway tweeted, "Always knew Charlie Brown was a bad person because he makes Snoopy sleep outside but even I didn't know he was racist."

Sophie Vershbow joked, "Be the Social Media Manager for Snoopy!" they said. "It will be easy!" they said."

Mark Ricks mentioned, "This tweet was deleted from the official Peanuts account. But some people still think: 'Diversity in the workplace isn't necessary.'"

Alan Arbelaez pointed out that, "It's still Black History Month right?"

Vanessa Clark wanted an apology from the Twitter account, "This is 2020, there's something called screenshot. Just write the apology note, have some accountability, and move on and do better."

The tweet has been deleted from the official Peanuts Twitter account, but many many users have shared the controversial image since then.

'Snoopy' Trends On Twitter After "Racist" Franklin Armstrong Tweet Angers Charlie Brown Fans | Newsgeek