American cable television channel Cartoon Network released the third installment of its anti-racism PSA called "See Color" last week. The PSA, which features a new purple character called Amethyst voiced by Michaela Dietz and characters from "Steven Universe," explains the importance of recognizing a person's race.
According to Variety, the PSA teaching kids to be color-conscious is part of the network's four-part series that was developed by "Steven Universe" creator Rebecca Sugar and "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes" creator Ian Jones-Quartey in an effort to "provide kids and families with productive ways to disrupt common narratives about racism."
The "See Color" installment of the four part PSA series from Cartoon Network was developed alongside Dr. Deborah J. Johnson, who specializes in racial and cultural development.
Cartoon Network's new anti-racist PSA follows three characters --Amethyst the purple alien, a white girl, and a black girl-- as they begin singing about "color-blindness." They immediately become self aware and stop singing when they realize that race matters. The white girl even says to the black girl, "It makes a difference that I'm white, I know the two of us get treated very differently."
The little black girl agrees, saying, "My experience with anti-black racism is really specific. Other people of color experience other forms of racism, too. But you won't see any of that if you 'don't see color.'"
According to The Blaze, the Cartoon Network anti-racism PSA included a description that highlighted the importance of seeing "people in all their beautiful colors" and recognizing these differences and the "unique experiences that come from it."
Cartoon Network's anti-racism PSA appears to be a ploy to undermine "colorblindness" and highlight racism in an already divided world. A study published in August 2019 in the Pediatrics journal found that racism is a contributor to chronic stress, health inequities, birth disparities, and mental health problems among children and adolescents.
Some parents are even questioning if the content of the Cartoon Network anti-racism PSA is age-appropriate for their viewers. Maximo Aio commented on Cartoon Network's Facebook page, "It's not the message that bothers me it's that a five year old goes on a deep tangent about race, jeez at least make it a teenager."
Another commenter by the name of Raven Smith chimed in, "I can't help but imagine this video being used by many as ammunition against white people who don't judge anyone by race before continuing to badger them about how 'inherently racist and evil' they all are."
Cartoon Network previously faced backlash for their anti-racism PSA released in October last year. Parents and audiences took up their criticisms online and pointed out how Cartoon Network was using kids to tackle topics such as racism and marriage. According to WIO News, racism seemed like a "too heavy a topic for real-life children to comprehend" and "looked out of place for a cartoon aimed at kids."
The kids' network also previously worked with an LGBT group to "educate" young children about "gender identities."