Jynx Design Controversy

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Racism involved with Jynx's original design prompted Game Freak to make changes to what it looks like.

Jynx, known as Rougela (ルージュラ) in Japan, is a Pokémon species. It made its debut in Pokémon Red and Green in 1996. It is No. 124 in the National Pokédex.

The original design of Jynx was met with controversy after the airing of an episode in the anime featuring Jynx (titled "Holiday Hi-Jynx"), as its face was colored black, implying racism. Cultural critic Carole Boston Weatherford published an article in the Greensboro News & Record alleging that Jynx's design bore a striking resemblance to blackface actors, an image which is considered racist against black people. Jynx was further criticized in Weatherford's article in the magazine Advertising Age, comparing it to Little Black Sambo and describing the species as "a dead ringer for an obese drag queen."[1] The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University mentions Jynx and lists it as a case of racism.[2] Jynx has also been favorably compared to Mr. Popo of the Dragon Ball franchise.

As of Pokémon Gold and Silver, Jynx's face is colored purple in international versions; its original appearance was maintained in Japan. In all versions of core series games since Ruby and Sapphire, Jynx's face is colored purple.[3]

Virtual Console re-releases of the first generation Pokémon games have Jynx's sprite modified.

Affected Episodes in Anime

These episodes were affected because of Jynx in its original appearance (face is colored black instead of the current color purple):[4]

  • "Holiday Hi-Jynx" (unnumbered standalone Christmas special): Jynx was originally shown in black skin. Later airings of the episode had Jynx's appearances modified. Also not on Pokémon TV. Can be found on VHS and in the original complete DVD box sets.
  • "Stage Fight!" (episode 90): not in Pokémon TV or in the 2015 Series 2 DVD re-release.
  • "The Mandarin Island Miss Match" (episode 99): not in Pokémon TV or in the 2015 Series 2 DVD re-release.
  • Episode 250 (translated to "The Ice Cave!" from Japanese) was skipped entirely in all non-Japanese dubs. Jynx is the main focus of the episode, but unfortunately, it is portrayed in its original design instead of the current design.
  • "All Things Bright and Beautifly" (episode 287): Jynx in black was cut from the dub.

All future appearances of Jynx in the anime, starting with "Mean with Envy" (episode 389), have Jynx appearing in its current design.

Complaints of Jynx's Current Design

Criticism of the modern Jynx persists.

  • 1UP.com described Jynx as the "infamous blackface Pokémon".[5]
  • Games.net ranked it number four on its list of "Top 10 Disturbingly Sexual Game Characters".[6]

Videos

Comments


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DarkMatterMan4500

4 months ago
Score 2
I've heard of this controversy. And this isn't the only one. Oh no, there's a LOT more.
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ThunderKat

2 months ago
Score 1

One I can think of was in Diamond/Pearl which depicted Registeel's spite doing a Nazi salute.

I believe the Jynx controversy also affected Cloyster if I'm not mistaken.

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