But you see, Aaron McGruder wrote his own personal farewell so to speak on his own Facebook page for a new show…also on Adult Swim:
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.
It seems almost as if McGruder had some sort of realization that what he wanted versus what he could get weren’t aligned and also realized in the same breath that he was fighting a battle he couldn’t win. Except, again, he got another show on the exact same station. This confruses me. Word to Young Buck.
Confession time: The Boondocks, the television show, never quite lived up to what the comic strip was to me. I realize we loved the show – similar to Chappelle’s Show – almost in a way that what it represents its greater than what we actually got. Don’t get me wrong, the shows I enjoyed, I truly thought were well executed. But I just don’t know if it ever truly lived up to what I expected. Also my fault, you know what they say about expectations.
Somehow, McGruder being either put out or leaving almost makes sense at some point to me. I’m not even sure i can articulate why, but the show seemed to be successful despite not being, to me, what I thought Aaron McGruder was trying to accomplish no matter what he says via his FB message.
At some point, perhaps we all outgrow the very things we created. Now perhaps that can be spurred on by the powers that be or maybe it can be created from our own demons. But in the case of somebody like McGruder who is so closely tied to the show and its very ethos, I wonder how this might potentially affect its brand and its fanbase going forward. McGruder wasn’t a central character and yet we felt his fire and passion through the characters he created, envisioned, and executed finally turning them into television characters. It was McGruder editorializing via characters. It’s Family Guy with an urban edge.
Boondocks holds a special place amongst the urban professional and thinking sect. While I may not think it was as good as it should have been, I can’t pretend that it doesn’t occupy a certain rebellious space and a counter in ratchetry that most of us can relate to. I do wonder if leaving the ship to the mateys and a captain that might be just learning how to navigate can maintain its significance.
All this to say and to ask, does McGruder being out at the Boondocks matter in the grand scheme of things? Seems like he’s okay with it, but can it maintain its relevancy without its captain? What do you think? Does anything matter…at all?
-VSB P aka MR. MISTER aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3