Tintin blog shut down after attack on media
Famous Belgian cartoon reporter Tintin was at the centre of a media storm on Monday after the man who controls his image rights took aim at Belgian and French journalists on his official website.
The blog by Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart which handles the Tintin rights, was shut down after he posted a string of fierce attacks against named TV and print journalists.
He called one French newspaper reporter "The Liar" and virulently attacked two French and Belgian television reporters for what he called their "hatred towards me".
As his comments were brought to a wider audience via the press, the official website Tintin.com announced it had "suspended Nick's blog".
"Rodwell has gone too far on Tintin.com" the Brussels newspaper Le Soir said on its website, in an article which attracted hundred of reactions within hours.
The Internet message writers suggested sending Rodwell some of the very elaborate insults of Tintin's bluff companion Captain Haddock, whose favourite curses included "Billions of Bilious Blue Blistering Barnacles!"
The main carping has been over Rodwell’s strict control over the legacy of Tintin, who has been a popular and sometimes unauthorised addition to gatherings large and small in Belgium, France and elsewhere.
His blog rants have "deeply hurt journalists and collaborators" at French-language Belgian public broadcaster RTBF, the company said in a statement.
Although the offending blog items were removed from the Tintin website, there was no online apology for Rodwell's remarks. Rodwell saw himself as the victim, described a statement on the website later.
"In a spirit of appeasement, we have decided to remove the contested texts and comments," the statement read. However, it accused the detractors of being fuelled by "hate and a desire to harm."
The boy reporter, the most loved figure in Belgium's cartoon history, first appeared in January 1929 bound for the Soviet Union, in a supplement to the Brussels weekly Le Vingtieme Siecle.
A Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg is in the works.