1. The One Where Betty Boop Silences Crying Black Babies With a Watermelon
In 1935s “Making Stars”, Betty Boop is an emcee for a stage show of child performers, including the “Colorful 3”—three black babies who sing “Hi De Ho”—and a pig-tailed Asian baby with that performs acrobatic stunts.
2. The One Where Donald Was a Nazi
In 1943’s admittedly hilarious “Der Fuehrers Face”, Donald Duck is a Nazi who says “Heil Hitler!” no fewer than 30 times during the episode, even saluting a picture of Adolf with his tail. The episode ends with Donald waking up from his nightmare and declaring “I love being a citizen of the United States of America!”, but image-conscious Disney probably wishes it had never given Donald a swastika armband.
3. The One Where Bugs Made a Black Man Naked
In 1941’s “All This and Rabbit Stew”, a slow-witted black hunter looses his clothes to Bugs Bunny in a dice game and finds himself clad only in a fig leaf. Bugs then steals the fig leaf just as the epidode irises out. This episode was one of the “Censored 11” that was banned from syndication due to racial stereotyping.
4. The One Where Popeye Causes a Japanese Commander to Commit Suicide
In 1942’s “You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap”, Popeye single-handedly defeats the heavily-caricatured crew of a Japanese battleship before the Japanese commander kills himself by drinking gasoline and then eating lit firecrackers.
5. The One Where Bugs Was in Blackface
In 1943’s “Fresh Hare”, Elmer Fudd catches Bugs Bunny and is about to execute him when Bugs breaks into a rendition of “Camptown Races”. The firing squad, Elmer and Bugs all spontaneously become minstrels in black face who sing their way to the end of the episode. For obvious reasons, the ending of “Fresh Hare” is usually cut out before broadcast.
6. The One Where the Flintsones Promote Winston Cigarettes
Winston Cigarettes was the main sponsor of “The Fintstones” in 1960 and 1961, resulting in a number of commercials where Barney and Fred get away from their wives by taking Winston cigarette breaks.
7. The One That Couldn’t Get More Racist if It Tried
Woody Woodpecker creator Walter Lantz claimed directing credit for this 1941 Universal cartoon about the residents of Lazy Town who are probably supposed to be black but are literally drawn as monkeys. After a number of sight gags showing just how slow and lazy the residents are, a light-skinned girl comes to town to sing the episode’s title track: “Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat”, which causes the residents to dance and eat watermelons.
8. And One They’re Probably Still Okay With…
At the end of 1943’s “Daffy the Commando”, Daffy is launched out of a cannon and into a Nazi rally, whereupon he hits a realistically-drawn Hitler in the head with a mallet, causing Hitler to start crying. Although a lot has changed in the past 70 years, I think everyone is still okay with this one…