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Speedy Gonzales

Speedy Gonzales

Speedy Gonzales. The mouse speaking with a Mexican accent, was banned by Cartoon Network in 1999 for depicting unfair and untrue stereotypes about Mexicans.

"¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" Famous all over the world, Speedy Gonzalez has become an internationally recognized icon of Mexico. Speedy is an animated cartoon from the Warner Brothers Loony Tunes cartoon series. Known as being the fastest mouse in all Mexico, he wears a yellow Mexican sombrero, wraps a red handkerchief around his neck, is extremely mobile, very intelligent, and speaks with an exaggerated Mexican accent. He has appeared in up to 46 different cartoons.

Mexican Stereotypes

Speedy was banned by Cartoon Network in 1999 for depicting unfair and untrue stereotypes about Mexicans—not necessarily Speedy, but his fellow mice who were portrayed as drunk and lazy. Speedy is a character that is surrounded by controversy but also fame and popularity even to this day. His adventures have him always outsmarting and outmaneuvering the greengo pussygato Sylvester. Speedy doesn’t always journey alone and is often helped by his fellow mice or his slow footed and slow minded cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez. When Speedy was banned a lot of opposition to his removal from Cartoon Network actually came from the Hispanic community, who saw Speedy as a hero and a "cultural icon". Cartoon Network has relented and have played Speedy cartoons but have limited his air time significantly due to some of the derogatory material towards Hispanics. There is now an interesting disclaimer played before these cartoons which reflects the level consciousness shown in the United States today:

The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were false then and are still false today. While the following does not represent the WB view of society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these prejudices never existed.

His signature catchphrase is what attracts most viewers to watch this little rodent cause havoc and save the day. His first appearance came in 1955 in the cartoon Cat Tails for Two, in 2003 he appeared in the movie Loony Tunes, back in Action, in which he mocked his politically incorrect origins. He has more recently appeared in video games and music videos and is a regular on Latin American television.

Speedy Gonzales has come a long way in the last 50 years. From being represented as a racist farce of the Mexican identity to becoming a defender and icon for Hispanics, this is a case where the perception of race has been inverted. Today, Speedy Gonzales is a considered a hero to many Hispanics because of his intelligence, sense of justice, and sense of humor. What will be interesting is if an image of Hispanics be portrayed in the media in the future without including racial stereotypes.

Speedy Gonzales Quotes

Hola Pussycat! Are you looking for a nice mouse dinner?
They don’t make pussycats like they used to
Give me back my mota!
You are much too pink, that is why that is your nombre!
Holy Frijols, that thing runs faster than me!.