Sven Stoffels, an animator, and illustrator who has worked with companies such as Comedy Central and CollegeHumor, is being called out as racist after releasing an offensive cartoon sexualizing Asian women and connecting them to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stoffels, who has worked as an animator for the Comedy Central show, “TripTank”, as well as an animation director for the CollegeHumor Originals series, “Infinity War of Infinite Avengers” posted the video to Twitter on April 22.
It depicts a cartoon version of what appears to represent a Chinese woman, dancing to traditional Chinese music in her undergarments. The features on the cartoon’s face are designed to accentuate some archaic Asian stereotypes.
— sven stoffels (@svenstoffels) April 22, 2020
The second scene in the video shows the cartoon character, this time, in a different set of undergarments. She is holding a pangolin in her hand, an animal believed to carry a virus closely related to the one causing the coronavirus pandemic today, according to BBC. Replacing her breasts are what look like cartoon viruses.
Then, the cartoon is depicted kissing a bat, an animal believed to be tied to the spread of COVID-19. Finally, there is a clip of the character’s face with bugs, a frog leg and a fishtail hanging out of its mouth.
Stoffels captioned the video: “Corona ChingChan does a ‘lil dance for us. #corona #covid19 #chinesevirus”. His post has garnered heavy criticism, with many people commenting on his racism and fetishization of Asian women.
That’s some old timey racism wow 🤦🏻♀️
— 3 satellites to trilaterate 🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@vipr38) April 22, 2020
Keep Chinese people out of your weird sexual fetishes, you fucking freak
— Amanda 余美娜 (@catcontentonly) April 24, 2020
Wooooow. This is 1950s level racist.
— Intensely Bi-Flexual (@intotheblue17) April 24, 2020
At this point I’m fine with China taking over 🤷🏻♂️🤷🏻♂️
— guillermo (@_notgui) April 24, 2020
About one day after posting the video, Stoffels replied to the criticism with a photo of a quote about the freedom of expression by the Chinese writer, Liu Xiaobo, seemingly as a means to justify his racism.
— sven stoffels (@svenstoffels) April 24, 2020
Instagram users have reported the video but the social media platform has allegedly refused to take it down as it doesn’t violate their community guidelines.
Stoffel’s tweet has garnered over 1,600 likes and over 1,000 comments.
This article has been updated to include findings from original reporting.
Feature Images via @svenstoffels