(Bumping this to the top with updates.)
947am. We watch quite a bit of Nickelodeon with our kids–Jimmy Neutron, Spongebob, Avatar–but I missed this (Nickelodeon slavery claim outrages Alamo keepers):
The latest shots in the Battle of the Alamo are being aimed at an unlikely target — the children’s cable TV network Nickelodeon.
Keepers of the Texas independence shrine in downtown San Antonio are outraged by a Nickelodeon short that said the 1836 battle there was fought so “white farmers could keep their slaves.”
“I think it’s a shame that anybody would take that approach,” said David Stewart, director of the Alamo. “I think it’s an insult to the Mexicans, the Tejanos, who fought for freedom and liberty in the Alamo as part of the defenders. It kind of slaps them in the face to claim that was the reason the battle took place.”
The 50-second-long piece, part of a running series of Nickelodeon shorts called “My Back Yard,” says the dispute over slavery between white settlers and the Mexican government “led up” to the battle.
Despite being warned by respected historian R. Bruce Winders that the description was simplistic and inaccurate, the network ran the piece.
It’s P.C. stunts like this that drove us away from PBS. Now Nickelodeon? What’s next? PETA takes over Animal Planet?
Update: 1215pm. This is an e-mail forwarded to me from Dr. Bruce Winders, historian and curator at The Alamo…
Nickelodeon contacted me before the episode ran to “run her remarks by me.” I replied that it was an extreme interpretation that was very one-sided as well as inaccurate. They replied that they wanted to get a Hispanic opinion about the battle. I replied that an opinion can be wrong, as in this case. I pointed out that most viewers would not be able to tell that she was just expressing her opinion and take what she said at face value. I asked them what was more important for the media: fact or opinion. They ran the story as it was.
I’d suggest that you contact Nickelodeon to let them know you found the piece objectionable.
Good idea. To contact them online, go here. Addresses and phone numbers:
New York, NY 10036
4040 Vineland Suite 105
Studio City, Ca 91605