From: Jan Miller
This is a response to Scott Rivers. After reading his rebuttal, I decided to watch a little more of the show he ended up defending. After finally taking into account some the background behind the show, I realize that Nightmare Moon is in fact, NOT supposed to be portrayed as someone of African decent. After seeing years of racism in older animated shows and movies, my reaction may have been slightly exaggerated. However, after his mention of another character who is indeed supposedly African, I decided to give it a watch. The episode “Bridal Gossip” did in fact refute some of the other ponies’ prejudice against Zecora. However, I still believe that presenting her as a Zebra and having her talk in rhyme still creates problems for the integration of African Americans today. My question is why would the animators portray her as a Zebra instead of a pony? I’ve noticed that all the other ponies have white accents. I have not heard a pony voiced by a black actor/actress. Wouldn’t having black ponies tell today’s children that everyone is the same, no matter what accent of voice we have? Why did the creators feel the need to choose a stereotypical creature from Africa to fit her character? I also think that having her speak rhyme simply amplifies the silly little stereotypes that have been used in past animation projects. (For example, the crows in Walt Disney’s Dumbo) Even my niece told me (after we had watched the episode together) that the black children she is friends with don’t talk like Zecora. Another note: I watched another episode that seemed to have confounded me. In it, the smart purple pony, Twilight Sparkle, doesn’t believe in some sort of mystic power her friend Pinkie Pie has. In the end, she just comes to the conclusion that it must exist, even though she can’t prove it. This type of thinking goes against science, and all of the great ideas people have come up with about our universe. Just like Bill Nye the Science Guy said, believing in things such as god or creationism holds back societies. And I certainly don’t want my niece to be held back by silly faith.