Racism in Despicable Me

Okay..

The truth is, when I first watched Despicable Me (the first film)~~

DM

I mused to myself, ‘Let’s see how long they can get away with this.’

DM1

Mmmmm……………. Minions…..

Little, yellow-skinned, black-haired, brown-eyed, glasses-wearing, gibberish-speaking creatures, which all look alike.

Any thoughts anyone?????

I must admit I am a very suspicious individual, however, there are a number of attributes, that these animated creatures have, which are very closely associated with Asian stereotypes.

Common Asian stereotypes:

*All look the same 

*Glasses wearing

*Inability to speak English

*Small stature

*A hard-working crowd

A second movie (Despicable Me 2) has since been produced and released, and it seems like I may be one of the few who believe that the inspiration for Minions may have come from Asian stereotypes.

Well done to the animators for incorporating these stereotypes so subtly into these little Minions, and knowing exactly when to stop pushing the boundary, that no one appears to have noticed the racist undertone of the film.

In actual fact, it was done so well that alot of  Minion fans are of Asian descent.

Bravo! Animators of Despicable Me (and Despicable Me 2)!

It must be entertaining to you that not only was your intent undetected, a large number of Minion fans are actually of the race you are trying to make fun of!! 😉

You are probably laughing your asses off in your expensive La-Z-Boys, seeing that these films have done so well!

Ah~~ I have exercised my patience FOR SO LONG to keep this theory to myself, but upon seeing the release of the second movie I just could not endure it anymore, and decided to once and for all share my suspicion with the world! 😀

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18 thoughts on “Racism in Despicable Me

  1. Wow, i realize that my self and i search for it , thats why im in this blog. In the second movie in the minute 01:02:00, the minions say “kanpai” that means cheers in japanese, that is more evidence. I don’t know if there is racism, cause the movie doesn’t promove the hate against asian, but it make’s fun of our stereotype of asian people.

  2. Having worked on the second movie extensively, I would like to reply that you’re finding racism where none exists. The minions are yellow because that’s the color that looked the best in Gru’s mostly blue lab. They’re voiced mainly by a Frenchman, who mainly blends nonsense and bits of French in his performance – he doesn’t know any Asian languages, so any similarity is coincidental. They all look the same because there’s only 6 models, repeated ad nauseum, which was done because the first film was produced independently, and needed to be cheaply produced. They wear goggles because it’s cute – if you saw the ad where one of them pulls another’s goggles off, they look weird and freaky without them.

    In short, that you’re finding racist undertones, to me, is probably more a result of trying really hard to get comments or generate controversy, as opposed to the very small possibility of a crew of over 400 people, many of whom are asian, all collectively aspiring to sneak racism into a film designed to have the broadest possible appeal.

    In addition, Gru’s accent is a combination of German and Russian, not Jewish. It sounds not even remotely Jewish.

    • Hi Matthew, Thank you very much for your message. I now understand the reasons behind the minions’ design. I made these observations at a time when I was in a very bad environment, and negative emotions played a big part. I will post an updated entry with your response to clear things up. And I sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding and offence caused, especially when it is concerning something you have worked so hard on. To be honest, my blog doesn’t generate a substantial amount of views, which is why I am very surprised you would even come across this entry. Anyway, hope you have an awesome day!

    • Thank you for two movies that I have enjoyed greatly (more than once). I have come across several people who claim to have found offensive stereotypes in these movies. You have to just ignore these types of people. They are slowly but surely complaining themselves into complete non-relevance to the rest of the human race.

  3. Miss Ragdoll,

    How dare you apologize to a total stranger claiming to have worked on this racist film! You aren’t the only person who saw the obvious racism in this movie. You’re eyes and instincts are NOT deceiving you. Not only are you CORRECT about the minions but you missed the INCREDIBLY racist caricatures of Asians from whom Gru stole the shrink ray.

    There are others who caught it too. This is from another blogger.
    “Gru needs a shrink ray to complete his plan to steal the moon. So he steals a shrink ray from a topic secret research facility, presumably belonging to another villain. Throughout the scene where Gru steals the shrink ray my jaw was on the floor – the henchmen in the top secret facility are Asian cartoon stereotypes straight out of U.S. World War 2 propaganda. They have monkey-like features, with mouths that split their entire faces, small pig noses, and beady slanted eyes. They are wearing nondescript uniforms that are also evocative of World War 2.”

    Google these cartoons from WWII! It’s astonishing! I recognized the connection instantly in the shrink ray scenes. I couldn’t believe it.

    I doubt the fool who responded worked on the film and I don’t give a shit about the film being independent. Indie filmmakers can be racist too for crying out loud. I also doubt most of a substantial amount of people working on the film are Asian but also, what does that matter… There are plenty of people of color participating in their own degradation for a paycheck!

  4. Um, lets see. Do the minions who are the servants and whose lives have no value in the movie have blue eyes? No. And Does Gru, who is the hero and their master, have brown eyes? Hell no! You see what I’m getting at? Racist Hollywood claims not to reinforce racist stereotypes but will never once reverse those stereotypes. And ask yourself, since when does Western cartoonists go out of their way to color movie characters eyes brown, many of them at that, if not to cast them in a degrading role? Which makes Despicable & Despicable Me 2 blatantly racist movies at their core.

  5. The Minions are most definitely racist asian stereotypes. The sequel has an English stereotype character who drinks tea from an antique teapot (along with a butler) and a racist, fat mouatachioed Mexican racist stereotype. Typical American Hollywood, always quick to make fun of others.

  6. Until today, I have not noticed any hints of racism in regards to the Minions.
    With that being said, I also wanted to point out a borderline case that might not entirely be racism, but it sure as hell reeks of xenophobia. The scene where the clerk says “do I look like I speak Spanish?”…yeah, that hit a nerve. How is anybody supposed to look like they speak Spanish in real life? And no, there is no arguing against this point.

  7. Are you kidding me?? Asian stereotypes?? I am italian. The “gibberish” they’re speaking happens to include a lot of italian words. Those creatures all look dumb as hell and they’re all blue collar workers with brown eyes and brown hair…the only thing that’s missing is a pair of giant mustache and you have it all ._.

  8. Thanks for the post – I found it at the top of google search “minions racism”.

    To what the person claiming to have worked on these trash films says – your excuses are so pathetic.

    Yellow to match the scene background? Are you f*cking serious?

    German & Russian language – proves your racial and geopolitical bias against East Europe Jews even more.

    “Nonsense language” can only be foreign (non-european) language – which one is it that the Frenchman was mimicking? Or rather – which ones? Just tell us.

    Get over with it fam and give the really independent bloggers a break.

  9. Hello, east Asian person here.
    First of all I love how you stand up for east Asian people. I don’t know all of your races in the comment section, but those of you who back it up truly warm my heart. I mean it. All too often majority groups blatantly dismiss the racism people of color say they face, and laugh at them because apparently racism is more a debate topic where you argue how yu aren’t a Bad Person as opposed to being considerate to a non white…sigh.
    What you have here is rare and precious. I don’t know if this blog focuses on social justice issues in the first place, but lots of people, some of them not Asian probably, calling out racism against Asians is so pure.
    I feel like while the minions could easily be seen as anti Asian caricatures, though, the main thing that keeps me from seeing that is the round eyes. Maybe I’m just naive and give people too many chances, but most definitely when you see an Asian coded character in the despicable films it’d be obvious. See Ken jeongs character.
    Regardless, the despicable films ARE Hella insensitive and racist in its own way. Why the rastafarian dreadlocks on gru in the first movie as he was in disguise? Also, aren’t there anti latinx stereotypes too? The creators don’t understand how these things hurt, how they’re harmful. And that’s bullshit.
    Anyway, though, although the minions as far as I can tell aren’t extremely racist like they could easily be seen as, I commend you for going out of your way to stick your neck out for people of color. Keep rocking, dude!

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