*While Thanksgiving may look a little different this year due to COVID-19, the tradition of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and its problematic scene involving the cartoon’s lone Black character continues on.
After Apple signed a deal to broadcast all Charlie Brown holiday specials exclusively on AppleTV+, the company allowed PBS to air the Thanksgiving special so that all families can watch for free. As in previous years, some viewers, again, were disturbed regarding the treatment of Franklin.
In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” the Peanuts gang gathers for an impromptu holiday meal after Peppermint Patty invites herself and others to Charlie Brown and Sally’s house for the holiday. The pair decides to have two Thanksgivings — one with their friends and then their planned feast with their grandmother. The”friendsgiving” is organized by Linus, Woodstock, and Snoopy who piece together a last minute, yet heartwarming meal. But the seating arrangement is also hastily arranged, and Franklin – the gang’s only Black friend, ends up not only seated by himself at the table opposite of all his white friends, but also on the only lawn chair.
The scene, to some, shows racial bias and, as it does every year, has prompted strong reaction on social media. Here’s “The Real’s” Loni Love in 2018 explaining the controversy and the reaction of Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz to allegations that the scene is racist.