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“He’s known for making evil or unlikeable characters black”: Is Wednesday Director Tim Burton Racist? Fans Divided Over Discrimination Accusations

tim burton racist wednesday

Tim Burton’s entire ethos revolves around the director construing a reality that is not defined by the rules and sanctioned limitations of humanity and its imagined potential. One of the beauties of modern technology and cinematic evolution is that Burton can actually make his visions come true — on film. The curriculum vitae of Alice in Wonderland director is filled with works that are as visually enigmatic and enchanting as the aforementioned Mia Wasikowska movie.

Dotted with projects that are haunting and yet without the unnecessary jump scares, a Tim Burton classic is defined by its lasting after-effects that serve to educate almost as much as entertain the audience.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on the set of Alice in Wonderland
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on the set of Alice in Wonderland

Also read: ‘This casting looks exactly like in the comics’: Netflix’s Wednesday Trailer Opens Up To Rave Reviews, Fans Applaud Netflix for Staying True to Source Material

Director Tim Burton Faces Public Allegations of Racism

Since the cinematic premiere of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Tim Burton has become a subject of the controversial debate about whitewashing characters to better fit his stories. Whether true or not remains a matter of discussion and subjective opinion of the masses given the director’s refusal to comment on the matter in direct terms.

Interviews held over the years with Burton often found him going off on tangents that don’t explicitly state his stance about why his gothic characters appear on television and films only if they have alabaster skin. Fans have accused Tim Burton of finding Black characters to not seemingly fit the profile of his gothic protagonists and are hence instead pitted against them as the villain of the story.

Also read: Tim Burton Reveals Why Jenna Ortega Is Perfect As Wednesday Addams

While the debate still rages on, especially centering around the Netflix series Wednesday, people recall Tim Burton’s career and filmography that has delivered so many definitive cult classics, and while one faction finds their memories of those movies now tainted by these allegations, others continue to defend the director since most of his works are not his own creations but adaptations of pre-existent literature.

Tim Burton Sticks to the Mould With Netflix’s Wednesday

Tim Burton
Tim Burton

The Addams Family was one of the most original creations produced by cartoonist Charles Addams who illustrated over a thousand single panels in the classic gag format between 1938 and 1988, some of which found a home in The New Yorker cartoons. A satirical take on the ideal American suburban dream, the Addams family became an instant favorite for their fascination with the morbid and the macabre, and the characters themselves became synonymous with all things gothic and unusual.

Often considered the source of inspiration for the literary and fashion subgenre associated with goth, The Addams Family was not left among the pages of The New Yorker for long before being adapted into film, television, video games, musicals, and direct-to-streaming projects. One of the most recent ones happens to be the Tim Burton-directed Wednesday on Netflix which specifically focuses on the young girl of the infamous Addams family.


Also read: “I’m a weirdo”: Netflix’s Wednesday Actor Jenna Ortega Admits She’s a Real Life Psychopath, Performed Autopsies on Dead Animals as a Kid

If fan allegations about the director in fact turn out to be true, it will be paradoxical to witness Tim Burton as the adopter of all the classically and morally ambiguous characters onto film and television while also impressing an image in popular culture as someone who only portrays unlikable personalities as Black characters. On the other hand, the debate also exists about horror being inclusive of all races and not simply a subject fit to be portrayed by eerily pale-skinned and dark-haired personalities.

Wednesday is now streaming on Netflix.

Source: Twitter

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.