South Park: Adding Insult to Injury

South Park: Adding Insult to Injury

On this date on November 19, 1997, the television channel Comedy Central’s cartoon South Park debuted its character “Starvin Marvin”.  It would be one of the most negative protrayals yet of Ethiopians on network television.   According to a wikipedia summary : “In the episode, Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan send money to an African charity hoping to get a sports watch, but are instead sent an Ethiopian child whom they dub Starvin’ Marvin. Later, Cartman is accidentally sent to Ethiopia, where he learns activist Sally Struthers is hoarding the charity’s food for herself.”
According to Nielsen Media Research, it was viewed by approximately 2.2 million households during its original broadcast, which at the time was roughly eight times Comedy Central’s average viewership.
In spite of the popular ratings, the episode received numerous complaints, including from Struthers who was quoted as being   “offended” by the episode.  The producers of the show defended their character, and argued it had a moral purpose.   The character has reappeared on the show since his debut.  There has even been produced Starvin Marvin action figure and keychain, both trademarked by the television show. (Photo: Starvin Marvin , representing Ethiopia.

About Ethiopia the African Tibet Show - Ethiopianism Online Revival

Promoting Ethiopia, Ethiopianism, and the African Nation that Acquired its Name.
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