Boondocks Blackout? Aaron McGruder Speaks

Aaron MacGruder's seminal comic 'The Boondocks'.  (Photo Credit: Aaron MacGruder)

Aaron MacGruder’s seminal comic strip ‘The Boondocks’.
(Photo Credit: Aaron MacGruder)

The blogosphere has been buzzing over recent reports that Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder was not involved with Season 4 of the highly anticipated comic strip slated for an April 21st return. Fans have been perplexed as to why the date of the season 4 return has been pushed back and now there is some idea about why this may have happened. McGruder posted a letter on the Boondocks Facebook fan page explaining that he left Boondocks behind, but not explaining why he was not involved in season 4 of the popular series.

McGruder writes:


As the world now knows, The Boondocks will be returning for a fourth season, but I will not be returning with it. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Sony and Adult Swim for three great seasons.

I created The Boondocks two decades ago in college, did the daily comic for six years, and was showrunner on the animated series for the first three seasons. The Boondocks pretty much represents my life’s work to this point. Huey, Riley, and Granddad are not just property to me. They are my fictional blood relatives. Nothing is more painful than to leave them behind.

To quote a great white man, “Hollywood is a business”. And to quote another great white man, “Don’t hold grudges”.

What has never been lost on me is the enormous responsibility that came with The Boondocks – particularly the television show and it’s relatively young audience. It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons. For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable.

As for me, I’m finally putting a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, BLACK JESUS.


This new information raises plenty of questions about authorship and ownership. Is a Boondocks without Aaron McGruder’s involvement worth watching? How will this new found knowledge about the creative process affect ratings for Adult Swim? How is it that programmers and creative executives at Adult Swim, which is known for being a progressive and subversive cable outlet, following suit with mainstream network and cable operators who are known to marginalize or patronize the creative voices of creators of color? The biggest question is will longtime Boondocks fans continue to watch?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. She is also a media scholar who serves as Chair of the Communications and Media Studies Department at Goucher College.

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