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Korean Animators of “The Simpsons” are Pissed at Banksy

31 Oct 2010

Nelson Shin, veteran animator and founder of the production company Akom, does not in fact work in a sweatshop.

Having animated The Simpsons since its inception in 1989 and staple Saturday morning shows like X-Men and Animaniacs, he and his team are “disappointed” with their portrayal as sweatshop workers in Banksy’s controversial couch gag for The Simpsons earlier this month.

TIME reports:

The satire, he and other animators have since argued, gave the impression that Asian artists slave away in subpar sweatshops when, in fact, they animate much of The Simpsons every week in high-tech workshops in downtown Seoul. ‘Most of the content was about degrading people from Korea, China, Mexico and Vietnam,’ Shin fumed. ‘If Banksy wants to criticize these things … I suggest that he learn more about it first.'”

Shin reportedly lobbied for a lightened sequence:

He says the original storyboards, for example, showed animators wearing pointed Vietnamese hats, which were later replaced with more generic caps resembling those of postal workers.

Though South Korean animators make about one-third of the salary that their American counterparts do, to have them animate a highly exaggerated — and perhaps even racist — depiction of themselves is nonetheless problematic.

[via TIME]

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