Last week, a war was launched as Wikipedia users went mad over the questionable GENDER of the famous cartoon cat, Garfield. People were demanding to know, is the lasagna-loving character a male, or is he simply genderless?
In the end, the controversy got to big for Garfield creator, Jim Davis. He was FORCED to give the marmalade-colored feline a gender identity.
It was writer Virgil Texas who brought the battle to the surface. A 2014 interview with Mental Floss came to his attention. In it, Davis was quoted as saying:
By virtue of being a cat, really, he’s not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old.
During these times, gender identity is important to many people in this country. Davis took responsibility and stepped up to the plate.
The Daily News reports:
“FACT: Garfield has no gender. This. Is. Canon,” Texas tweeted Feb. 23. “I have updated the Garfield Wikipedia entry to reflect this fact.”
Thus sparked a frenzied, days-long dance of edits, reverse-edits and earnest dialogue over a cartoon cat’s gender. The page’s furious editing activity, first reported by the Washington Post, prompted Wikipedia to lock it down.
One editor’s “cursory search” of the comic strips unearthed dozens of examples in which Garfield is referred to as male: “Arlene refers to Garfield as a ‘him.’” “Jon refers to Odie and Garfield together as boys.” “Garfield thinks to himself he’d ‘make a lousy father.’”
“Garfield is male,” someone claimed. “Any other view is Fringe.”