RUMOR: April O’Neil Toy Race-Swapped Back?

Hollywood may be playing fast and loose with its “values” again. In the new animated film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the Turtles’ ally April O’Neil – who is traditionally a white woman, outside of one of the more recent cartoon series – is depicted as a black teenager. It caused the controversy they knew it would (to such a degree that dishonest people were arguing that April has always been black because one time she gave herself a perm, which is, as Razörfist argues, dumb), as well as the usual virtue signaling. But today, Tom Connors of Midnight’s Edge tweeted pictures he’d received depicting a variant of a Mutant Mayhem action figure set where April had been race-swapped back to being white, with the sender speculating that perhaps this was for the Chinese market, which has a history of getting Hollywood to marginalize black characters in promotional material:

As of now, this is all speculation. The picture of the white April toy could be fake, although it looks real. And the suggestion that it’s for the Chinese market is pure speculation (by the sender’s own admission), if it indeed exists. It could be a lot of things, including an accident, though one wonders how that would have happened; it looks like it was painted, not that it was overlooked. Neither Nickelodeon nor Playmates have said anything about it, and no mainstream sites have reported on it – although ClownfishTV and YellowFlash have. But given how Hollywood has pandered to China in this way in the past, especially in movie posters (Black Panther and The Force Awakens being the best-known), it’s believable. If this is real and intended for China, it’s funny in the way crooked politicians are funny – wrong, but not all that surprising and entertaining in light of the perpetrators’ unctuous moralizing and the fact that they gleefully call Americans racist while pulling stuff like this.

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