Revolting Animation: The Hierarchy of Masculinities in the Representation of Race and Male Same-Sex Desire in Adult Cartoons
This article examines the representations of race and male same-sex desire portrayed by black gay male characters on the adult animated television show, The Boondocks (2005). Centralizing its analysis of The Boondocks as a canonical text of black gay representation within animation, this paper highlights the signs of the male matriarch, booty warrior, and homothug and their iterations in three other animated TV shows—The Cleveland Show (2009), American Dad! (2005), and Chozen (2014). This article posits that these signs connote the ideology of hegemonic masculinity and its racial ordering. Drawing on Halberstam’s (2011) ‘revolting animation’, Ngai’s (2005) ‘animatedness’, and Wells’ (1998) ‘hierarchies of masculinities’, this article addresses these contradicting signs of black gay masculinities within the aforementioned animated television shows, situating them within respective sexual and racial politics in the United States.