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The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage

By Baiting Irrelevance Mar10,2023
The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks OutrageThe New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage

Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael are making their way back to the TV screens in an all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. In a star-studded cast featuring Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, John Cena, and show creator Seth Rogan, this all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem series will be on Nickelodeon starting in August.

The Ninja Turtles have a long history with fans dating back to 1984 when Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created it as a one-shot project. Due to the overwhelming reception of the comic, it was adopted for TV almost instantly, making its debut in 1987. The show followed Splinter, a former human ninja master turned sewage rat, as he trains four young talking turtles to become world-saving heroes. Along with their companion April O’Neil, they fight to rid the world of the Evil Shredder and his foot soldiers. Not to mention the evil aliens trying to take over the planet.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has a long history spanning many decades. Every generation has its version of the classic turtles that they enjoy. It was the 2003 version starring Michael Sinterniklaas and Wayne Grayson. Although I must admit, I also enjoyed the 2012 version of Nickelodeon. The series did so well that it was adapted into a 2014 live-action remake starring Megan Fox and Johnny Knoxville.

the New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series
The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series

Outrage Over The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series

With this brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles iteration thought up by comedian Seth Rogan, people are already outraged. You might wonder what that would be since the series is not even out yet, but at this point, we all know the reason. The portrayal of April O’Neil within this series has been the subject of much debate. In all honesty, most of the backlash has more to do with her appearance.

For years now, most of the fanbase has come to know April O’Neil as a red-headed girl with ginger hair. With that, imagine the surprise of the internet when an all-new version of O’Neil showed on the screens. In this brand-new character portrayal, you can see her depicted as a young African American woman with dreadlocks. Just like that, the debate over race swapping started all over again. On the one side, people find it ridiculous that fans would even care about children’s cartoons. On the other hand, you have people who called it an obvious attempt at Woke pandering.

The debate about the history of April O’Neil was also very quickly brought to the forefront. Some argue that audiences only know her as a white Ginger, while others point out that this is not the first time that the character has been depicted by an African American. In the original Mirage Comics, April is described as a young black woman with curly brown hair. More recently, in the 2018 Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, she was also a young black woman. Critics have, however, pushed back against this, stating that in every mainstream depiction, she is white.

The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage
The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage

The Argument Against Race Swapping

It feels like every other week, we are debating race swapping. Every week, there is a reboot of a classic show, and every week, there is debate about one of the characters not being of the original race. In the era of reimaginings, this will continue moving forward.

Critics against the idea of race swapping have been very vocal online, speaking out against this practice. Many have voiced their displeasure, stating that it destroyed the original work. Some within the fandom feel that classic IPs should remain untouched. If they are being remade, they should be for something other than a modern audience. Many think that race-swapping and gender-swapping are only done to annoy those who love original characters. Some argue that minority or female-led characters do not generate the same amount of interest.

Thus, they are inserted into storylines to generate the same amount of interest that the original work had. You have many self-righteous, fake, victimized people complaining about representation in franchises. These people have no original stake or interest in the original work. Most people complaining about this are middle-class white people from California, trying to prove how stunning and brave they are standing up for others on Twitter. The movie industry is left-leaning, and thus, they whimper and yield. If you want representation, stop ruining old classics and focus on remaking shows with existing black people and women, or start focusing on creating new IPs that will eventually become the classics of the future.

The Argument For Race Swapping

On the other side of the argument, you also have those who favor this practice. Representation is essential; it must be done if race swapping is the only way to achieve that. Some fans feel it is ridiculous for adults to upset themselves over cartoons or Disney movies. The children these shows are for do not care or understand anything about race or staying faithful to the source material. They want to watch the film and enjoy the story.

If you are upset about the remake, you can ignore it and go back and watch the original. No one can take the classic version away from you, so why do you care what a new audience will consume? If the younger generation is not complaining about this, why are you? Many children flock to these classic remakes, and none of them mind. They just want to enjoy themselves. It is only older adults who complain about these shows that they are never going to watch.

My Opinion On Race Swapping

I have shared my views on race-swapping on numerous occasions. I have no issues with it. There is a long list of things that I look for in a series or movie, and race or sex is not on there. As long as you create a good story, I do not care about any of it. If Superman Tomorrow becomes Superperson and is played by a black gay person, I would not even blink.

What bothers me is if the movie sucks. It bothers me more if the movie sucks and people criticize it, and then those critics get dismissed as racist and phobic trolls. More so, what bothers me is pandering directors and writers using people’s identities to promote their movies instead of just focusing on writing a good story. What bothers me even more is people being labeled racist for not liking the idea of race-swapping.

As stated, I am perfectly fine with this concept. However, it would be best if you were allowed to disagree with me on this issue without being labeled horrible names. I will acknowledge that some people do not like it because they don’t like black or gay people. These people deserve the label of racist or homophobic, as that is precisely what they are. These people need to be called out by everyone, as it makes both sides look bad. However, this is a small group of people, and the overwhelming majority of people against race-swapping is not racist. They disagree on how classic IPs should be represented in the current age.


You should be allowed to voice your opinion and express your feelings without anyone shutting you down. Wanting to preserve classic IPs does not make you a racist, sexist, or homophobe, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. I wish people would be more open to race-swapping and understand that it does not take away from the classic, but that is my opinion. Just like I am free to express my thoughts on the matter, you are free to express yours as well, even if they disagree with mine.

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