FACT CHECK: NOPE, Betty Boop wasn’t inspired by a black woman.
“No, Betty Boop wasn’t inspired by a black woman.”
In fact, In this article; we will have proven with facts and historical evidence Beyond A Reasonable Doubt; that Betty Boop was not at all, inspired by a black woman.
Besides, the Fact that PBS already admitted that it published the origins of this fake news fairytale
We feel the need to verifiably fact check it, and put this fake news to bed once and for all.
PBS Posted this un-researched and fictional masterpiece of fake news of which they swiftly retracted with a Betty OOPS My BAD Apology, Shortly thereafter its release, the damage had already been done, it would become a viral phenomenon of misinformation and spread faster than you can say genital herpes.
Like most fake news, “The Betty Boop oops story” had catastrophic effects, Causing even people like of TaraJi P Henson at the BET AWARDs of 2021, to make a complete ass of herself by going into Full Betty Boop cosplay attire and claiming “Betty was black culture”.
This further led into even more reputable sites such as “the history channel and not so reputable sites such as The New York Daily news to echo the same false hoods. Which still to this day have not been fully retracted for misinformation.
Since PBS’s “Betty oops” Countless people have made youtube videos and blog stories quoting the now recanted fake story, further spreading this lie, so much so; that people actually believe it’s true.
““If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.”
The Crown Of A Life, By The Author Of ‘agnes Tremorne’
The whole “Betty boop is really black- completely fake story” started on a random tumblr of all places, with some heavily photoshopped images of a light skinned model with filters and sepia tone to make them look vintage, but research into these photos would show that these photos were cosplay and taken in 2008 and not the 1930s.
The photos were then taken from the tumblr to provide some sort of proof that the PBS story had any sort of credibility and from there it developed thousands of variations of the story from there.
The problem is, when people see so many sites covering a similar story and stating almost the same exact thing they are more likely to believe said propaganda, without even researching or verifying its content.
Which brings me to how I came to know of this fake news story myself, and why I decided to fact check it.
I was just about to settle into bed for the night when my daughter came strolling in and announced that she had written a truth piece on Betty Boop. After reading her completely fictional piece on Betty Boop, I explained to her that she cannot turn that in as her final paper because it’s simply not true.
No matter what I said or what I showed her as proof, I couldn’t refute the lies she had researched on the internet. She had already swallowed the propaganda pill, and so I set out to prove her wrong, with some strong solid evidence that absolutely could not be argued.
Can Inspiration Even Be Proven Though?
Inspiration can sometimes be hard to prove as a journalist, unless however you have Insight from its original artist and some hard core facts.
Where did Betty Boop actually come from?
The original Artist of Betty Boop, Whom I deeply researched named: Myron Natwick is your typical white man born in Wisconsin, Who would later be known as a world renowned artist but is primarily best known for creating the Fleischer Studio‘s most popular character, Betty Boop.
Besides the fact that, Natwick never mentioned in any of his literary or any other works that a “black woman was his inspiration for betty Boop” let alone Lil Esther. He never met or saw Esther perform either.
Upon further investigation though, I did however find a quote where he directly named his inspiration style for his art, and so let the historical records reflect that it was Artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Kilmt that directly influenced his art at the time Betty Boop was created.
Furthermore during that time Natwick had left Chicago to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna & May I dare say Vienna, is a European goldmine of white culture and the birthplace of some of the greatest artists in history, Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by many white people including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
Needless to say, people of this magnitude of talent don’t need to copycat side freak shows.
In addition to those pertinent facts, It was historically documented and known that Natwick mostly composed artistic drawings of female figures based on the wildly popular “vaudeville “ style of performers.
He Graduated in late summer of 1928. Shortly thereafter he took a job with Fleischer Studios not until late in 1939 and began creating what we now know as Betty Boop.
The original drawings created by Natwick of Fleischer studios of Betty Boop looked more like that of a dog or animal with long floppy ears than that of a human originally.
So the inspiration of the character seemed to be more canine in its infancy, so clearly from evidence depicted below he wasn’t copying Esther, the character wasn’t even human.
It was in the mid 1940’s when Betty developed earrings and a human-like form and that was at the Instruction of the studio to make her look more risqué and provocative like a flapper or vaudeville performer.
Now the argument that was made in the original article is that Flapper, vaude led to the Jazz era and swing and big band. Yes, this is true however, The style, dance, hairstyle and even songs all originated in good ole white people’s Europe.
Vaudeville Performance otherwise known as Vaude which initially got its start in Europe which the flapper style was derived from including what we now know as Jazz.
Vaudeville became popular in the US in the late 19th and 20th century but it started in the 1800’s in Europe. By the 1900’s Vaudeville theatre chains were everywhere in the US In which the Becks Orpheum Circuit at the New York palace was the most famous for.
We can sit here all day and debate this but we simply didn’t have cameras and voice recorders before 1860. So To be fair I just decided to research this going back to the very first known recording, and it was French “Au Clair de la Lune” was the first song ever recorded.
And to debunk that Black’s were the birth of Jazz well, we can simply go back to the invention of jazz instruments. White European People Invented Every single Brass instrument, They also Invented the Piano and others but lets stick to Jazz shall we.
Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax who invented “the sax” all jazz instruments are invented by whites and then later played by white Europeans, some of the earliest brass brands formed in Britain known as the British brass band movement later evolved into bands and orchestras.
The saxhorn also laid the groundwork for the modern euphonium instruments and sound we know as jazz which was played in Orpheum theatres, Vaude theatres, and French hot clubs.
Vaude is a French word so common sense would tell you it derived from the French, specifically that of White Europeans. That’s right, French white folks.
Black people Didn’t invent Jazz Or Flappers It Originated In France, White Europeans taught black Americans how to use these instruments, so they couldn’t have been the birth of jazz or any music for that matter.
Even Before Migration The Us Military had its own Brass Bands, Filled with talented strong straight white men.
During the 1930’s era a huge mass-migration took place into America so many French white folks came to America especially New Orleans, The history of New Orleans, Louisiana, traces the city’s development from its founding by the French in 1718. In fact Louisiana is named after a White French king (king louis XIV).
In 1762 and 1763 France signed treaties ceding Louisiana to Spain Then for 40 years it was a Spanish city heavily influenced by Cuban and Mexican traditions only later to be reverted back to the French and then sold to America for 3 cents an acre.
The majority of where Chicago’s black Harlem’s renaissance style and culture is primarily based off of Parisian culture (Paris’s Moulin rouge cabarets and hot bars) which originated way before Black American Jazz.
Some well known white jazz singers & performers way before blacks
Paul Whiteman, Jack Payne and his Band, Nat Shilkret & The Victor Orchestra, Ambrose, Harry Reser, Tom Stacks, The virginians, Max and Harry Nesbit, Kalmar and ruby, Helen O’Connell, Johnny Marvin, Arden & Ohman, Leo Reisman & His Orchestra, Fred Rich & His Orchestra
Moulin Rouge was a cabaret in Paris known for their “can can“ dance. This dance’s roots originated deep in Europe’s culture and history, many American songs are inspired by European music, dance and folklore.
Also called the roaring 20’s, “White Europeans”- originally came out with the popular Art Deco style, Jazz, Flapper fashion, Food, Museums and more.
This era was known and referred to in French as the Fin de siècle or Belle Époque. period of French and European history, usually dated to between 1871–1880 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
Vaude and other shows such as the circus, cirque du solei are all French European inventions. Pretty much all of America’s so-called culture originated from white Europeans.
Ella Fitzgerald was not the birth of Jazz
In fact she never wrote a single song that she sang, all songs she sang were forgotten European white songs that she conveniently stole.
Even Ella Fitzgerald herself admitted this, So how can the internet proclaim her to be the birth of jazz, when she didn’t actually write or produce any of the songs she performed?
Fitzgerald released her first song, the million-selling ‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket’, based on a 19th century nursery rhyme, iTisket a tasket originally written as “ atisket atasket “ originations from “Europe” with an unknown European author, however some speculate it was written by Thomas d’Urfey.
However, I can’t officially verify this. Even without the author we can verify the song originated in Europe because all the games mentioned in the song are of European descent not African.
The earliest use of the song was by Hofer in 1901 also used in ” I sent a letter to my love before Ella Fitzgerald plagiarized the widely popular European folklore song Tisket a tasket that she didn’t write, or produce. She just sang an already created European song.
Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)
“So was, Betty Boop inspired by a black woman?.”
absolutely not! Evidence below shows it was the current style of European white women
Now the other argument; the article had, was “the likeness of betty boops baby hairs curled on her face to the likeness of a black women”. Now clearly, this could be a sound argument; except for the fact that, this was also a European-French vaude hairstyle, brought over by European women to America.
Black women copied the style and still use it to this day, whereas white women moved on to new trends. All American styles and culture that black people have adopted originated originally in Europe and were brought over to America and were popularized by many ethnicity groups, so sorry it’s not a black excellence thang.
As you can see from the pictures below there were dozens of white actresses, artist and singers and vaudeville dancers who wore their hair exactly like Helen Kane aka Betty Boop.
As you can see from the picture, wearing baby hairs did not originate from black folks; it has always been a white European culture and style which came from the 1920 Vaude era.
Yes, there was a lawsuit between Helen kane and Fleischer studios however The Dispute was over the likeness of Helen Kane.
Esther was never a part of the lawsuit.
It’s also worth mentioning Helen Kane was in Financial Duress when she brought the lawsuit against the studio.
We gathered what we could find of “picture evidence of lil Esther jones, and it safe to say she looks absolutely nothing like betty Boop.
There is absolutely nothing linking her to the original cartoon character other than location, (Chicago). And a similar time. But she was said to be a child actress, at the height of betty Boop she would have been a young adult at least.
We also have zero records of her birth or death, we can only go off of unverifiable circulations from the time she was said to be a performer, There is absolutely no video, recordings or any voice recordings of her.
Besides these so-called 1929 Flyers that I found, of her there is absolutely zero record of her existence. Many of the images floating around the internet are photoshopped.
This concludes this fact check, If you have a story you would like me to fact check please comment below or tweet @whiteydiary
PBS retracts story of Betty Boop being Influenced By a black Jazz Singer
Historical Government Documents on Vaude
Vaude is European culture
List of vaudeville performers
Hurly Burly extravaganza Vaudeville performance
Bob Hope Vaude
First song ever recorded was french
French Cabaret music songs from 1881
Vaudeville state performance entrance in America
Los Angeles Orpheum Theatre
La Gioconda (opera)
Artist Myron “Grim” Natwick
Historic Footage- Vaudeville Acts 1898 to 1910 (Part 1 of 2)
None of the studios laws suits mention Esther
White people invented Jazz instruments
Tisket a tasket originally written as “ atisket atasket “ originations from “europe Atisket, Atasket (I Sent a Letter to My Love)
English Brass Bands
BET AWARDS Since removed the betty Boop mishap performed by Taraji
Hot club De France
Jazz and ragtag music by white people before harlem jazz era
Kalmar and Ruby
The Can Can Dance
Amilcare Ponchielli, composer of the first original euphonium solo
American actress and singer (1920–1993)
Alfred James Phasey
Clara bow Photo compilation
Fake news story’s I referenced
Helen kane music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hclK-UKJNgk
Upon reference we can also give a name of over 5,000 white European Vaude, vaudeville actresses, singers and dancers that originated way before blacks jazz era.