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New 'Pokémon' Episode Where Ash Looks Like He's In Blackface Won't Be Airing In The West—And We Can See Why 😳

4Kids Entertainment

This is definitely not the time for America to see Ash Ketchum in blackface. Unfortunately, Japan didn't consider the United States' history of racial prejudice when they produced the 64th episode of Pokémon Sun and Moon.


In the episode, Ash is making an effort to grow closer to a group of Passimian, a pokemon that resembles a muscular lemur. They also happen to have black faces. To blend in with the Pokémon, Ash paints his face black and dons a Passimian costume.



Of course, there was no malicious intention to the Japanese cartoon, but the image of a character donning blackface holds a far different connotation here in the U.S.



Past episodes of Pokémon have been held back from the U.S. airwaves before. Most notably, an episode starring the controversial pokémon Jynx, whose black skin was changed to purple after poor reception in the U.S.




Most of Twitter was pretty on board with the episode's suspension:






Others didn't think Ash's getup was such a big deal.




Perhaps in the far future, once America has dealt with its intense tensions regarding race, we'll be able to enjoy episode 64 in its true, innocent context.

H/T - Mashable, Newsweek, YouTube