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The news that controversial Boondocks’ creator Aaron McGruder was leaving the show was as you expected, met with plenty of sadness and fans swearing off the show. After a few days of idle chatter between both McGruder and Adult Swim regarding the matter, McGruder took to his Facebook page to discuss his side of the story.

“As the world now knows, The Boondocks will be returning for a fourth season, but I will not be returning with it. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Sony and Adult Swim for three great seasons.

“I created The Boondocks two decades ago in college, did the daily comic for six years, and was showrunner on the animated series for the first three seasons. The Boondocks pretty much represents my life’s work to this point. Huey, Riley, and Granddad are not just property to me. They are my fictional blood relatives. Nothing is more painful than to leave them behind.

“To quote a great white man, ‘Hollywood is a business’. And to quote another great white man, ‘Don’t hold grudges’.

“What has never been lost on me is the enormous responsibility that came with The Boondocks – particularly the television show and it’s relatively young audience. It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons. For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable.

“As for me, I’m finally putting a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, BLACK JESUS.”

Given that McGruder is producing Black Jesus with Adult Swim means that both parties are at least amicable on that end but when it comes to his pride and joy, no true agreement could be reached. As a longtime fan from the comic section all the way to “The Garden Party” and now, watching the lives of Huey, Riley and Grandad won’t feel the same, even if the voices are still there playing them. Right or wrong, controversial, satirical or insightful, McGruder’s mind was what brought people to the show.

The show of course has its detractors from its gratuitous use of the N-word to its fight scenes paying more homage to anime and kung-fu flicks as opposed to just sticking to societal issues but when you own something, you want to hold on to it until the very end. We may never get the full reason as to why McGruder had to give his baby up and for any creator of anything in life – giving up something you control for the “greater good” isn’t an easy decision to make.

To be honest, the show didn’t necessarily have the greatest of third seasons, almost going over the top in plenty of moments as opposed to just flat out being funny and letting the magnifying glass on not just black culture but society as a whole get bigger and bigger. McGruder had a lens for even making our noted heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr. seem reviled and repulsed by the actions of the people today. As a black man with his boldness, you have to respect it in a way.

Black Jesus may not hold the same sort of pop culture appeal that The Boondocks has, it may not even attract the same number of viewers or have a legion of fans ready to stand behind it whenever it premieres. But there will be a few ballads sung about McGruder’s involvement for 20 years with arguably one of the smartest comics to ever be syndicated and translated into a very well received television show.

One Response

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