In 1973, over 600,000 people made the pilgrimage to Watkins Glen at the Grand Prix racetrack in New York to see the Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead play on an equally hot, sweltering Summer day. Try to get that many people together in 2016 without a riot or murders.
So, who complained, exactly? Was there even an actual single complaint from a person? Where was the “controversy?” Who made this decision at Cartoon Network/AOL/Time-Warner? Who knows?
This is a stereotype that definitely missed the mark. When I think of Mexicans, I sure don’t think of fast-running mice.
Feeling that the character presented an offensive Mexican stereotype, Cartoon Network shelved Speedy’s films when it gained exclusive rights to broadcast them in 1999 (As a subsidiary of Time Warner, Cartoon Network is a corporate sibling to Warner Bros.). In an interview with Fox News on March 28, 2002, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg commented, “It hasn’t been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes.”
Despite such controversy over potentially offensive characterizations, Speedy Gonzales remained a popular character in Latin America. The Hispanic-American rights organization League of United Latin American Citizens called Speedy a cultural icon, and thousands of users registered their support of the character on the hispaniconline.com message boards. Fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air resulted in the return of the animated shorts to Cartoon Network in 2002.