culture shockers: Is Nickelodeon denying Dora?

Doctored Picture of Dora the Explorer (AP Photo) courtesy of CBS News

Doctored Picture of Dora the Explorer (AP Photo) courtesy of CBS News

With a black eye, bloody lip and nose, Nickelodeon’s beloved cartoon heroine, Dora the Explorer, poses for a mugshot. Her crime? Illegal border crossing and resisting arrest.

Digitally altered mugshots of Dora have been circulating the internet, calling into question Dora’s immigration status.  According to Nickelodeon, Dora is “pan-Latina” and doesn’t belong to any specific ethnic or national background. We think Nickelodeon should probably admit that most audiences have labeled Dora into a certain ethnicity or background – it’s what audiences do.

However, now it’s gone too far as certain audiences have targeted Dora’s ethnicity or background all in the name of hate. The Facebook group “Dora the Explorer is Soo an Illegal Immigrant” pictures Dora sailing through the air over the US-Mexico border. Another image floating around features an ad for a TV show called “Dora the Illegal Immigrant.”

Since Arizona passed its controversial immigration law, tensions have been high and numerous individuals and groups have come out against the decision of Arizona officials to use racial profiling to target illegal immigrants. Critics of SB1070 say these images of Dora personify the racist and abusive nature of the law; supporters see the images as a harmless way to vent anger about illegal immigrants without actually doing harm to any real person. We can agree it’s pretty harmful.

According to Nickelodeon, Dora was originally created in reaction to the underrepresentation of Latinos in the media.  In response to the defamation of Dora in these images, Nickelodeon has taken a neutral stance, calling her a “citizen of the world” and that her home is not in any one place.  Whether she was created to be a representation in America or not, it has happened.  At such a fragile time in our nation’s history, when an innocent cartoon character is defaced all in the name of hatred,  Nickelodeon, her creator,  should stand against this behavior – for Dora and for all. We’re thinking a new episode is in order.

May 26, 2010 by Annie
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1 Comment »

One Response to “culture shockers: Is Nickelodeon denying Dora?”

  • mr. j says:

    Posted: May 26, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    We can only hope that Dora’s positive influence on kids will make hatred like this obselete in the future. But in the present, this hatred is unfortunately rampant and totally unacceptable. Nickelodeon was right for putting a show like Dora on television, now hopefully they will stand up for their character when hate groups use her image to promote their own causes.

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