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Aaron McGruder

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Aaron V. McGruder (born May 29, 1974) is an American cartoonist best known for writing and drawing The Boondocks, a Universal Press Syndicate comic strip about two young African American brothers from inner-city Chicago now living with their grandfather in a sedate suburb, as well as being the creator and executive producer of The Boondocks TV series based on his strip. Through the exceptionally intelligent Huey (named after Huey P. Newton) and his younger brother and wannabe gangsta Riley, the strip explores issues involving African American culture and American politics.

History

Aaron McGruder was born in Chicago, Illinois. When McGruder's father accepted a job with the National Transportation Safety Board, McGruder moved to Columbia, Maryland, at the age of six with his parents and his older brother. He attended a Jesuit school from grades seven to nine, followed by public high school at Oakland Mills High School and the University of Maryland, from which he graduated with a degree in African American Studies. The Boondocks debuted in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback, in late 1997, under its then-editor, Jayson Blair. McGruder created the comic while working at the Presentation Graphics Lab on campus. At the time, he was also a DJ on the "Soul Controllers Mix Show" on WMUC. McGruder currently lives in Los Angeles, California, where his projects include the Boondocks animated series and the Super Deluxe variety comedy series The Super Rumble Mix Show. He is the author of five Boondocks collections: All The Rage, Public Enemy #2, A Right To Be Hostile, Fresh for '01: You Suckaz, and Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper. McGruder is also the co-author, with Reginald Hudlin, of a 2004 graphic novel, Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel, drawn by cartoonist Kyle Baker, and a frequent public speaker on political and cultural issues. He recently worked as screenwriter in the final treatment of the film Red Tails. With George Lucas as executive producer, the story is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II. In 2013, McGruder expressed interest in filming a movie starring Uncle Ruckus (a character from The Boondocks) with Gary Anthony Williams reprising his role from the TV show if a total of $200,000 was donated to www.uncleruckusmovie.com between January 30 through March 1 7:00 p.m. EST. The campaign ended with 2,667 backers and $129,963 of the $200,000 goal.

Leaving The Boondocks

In March of 2014, The Boondocks was revived, set to air on April 21, 2014, without the show's creator. McGruder has created a new series for the network entitled Black Jesus. He Later then left a post on his Black Jesus Facebook page saying 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. - AM

Controversy

McGruder has been a Controversial veritable lightning rod for criticism since The Boondocks's debut as a comic strip in 1999, with newspapers consigning it to editorial sections, or suspending the run of the strip altogether. Favored targets of The Boondocks include BET, Condoleezza Rice, Whitney Houston, Bill Cosby, Vivica A. Fox, black political commentator Larry Elder, even Star Wars.A feud with BET has given McGruder much material both for his strip and the animated series based upon it; he has had an adverse relationship with BET for years. Two episodes in Season 2 of The Boondocks animated series were banned in the U.S. and Canada; however, they resurfaced for television airplay weeks later. The episodes in question depict BET as an evil media empire plotting the destruction of black people.
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Aaron McGruder With Studio Mir

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