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Super Mario Brothers Character’s Name “Blackie” is Changed By Nintendo to Possibly Avoid Racism


Video game maker Nintendo has announced it has changed the Japanese name of Spike, the foreman who appears in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” in advance of the film’s release in Japan later this month.

The character, who first appeared as an enemy of Mario in the 1980s game “Wrecking Crew,” will be renamed from “Blackie” to “Spike” in Japanese, just as he has been known to Western fans for the past three decades.

Nintendo did not immediately provide a reason for the decision to change the name, which could be read as a racist slur, saying only that the new Japanese name will be the same as the name used in Europe and the United States.

“The name in ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie,’ which will be released on April 28, 2023, will be ‘Spke’ as well,” the company added in a tweet posted to its official Japanese Twitter account last Thursday.

Foreman Spike originally debuted in the 1985 Wrecking Crew series as a construction worker and arch-rival of Mario. He made the jump to the big screen in this year’s “Super Mario Bros. Movie,” in which he appears as the former boss of Mario and his brother Luigi before they quit their construction jobs to start their own plumbing business.

The movie, which made more than $200 million in the US and Canada for its five-day opening run, according to a news release, and an estimated $377 million worldwide, stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi and Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach.

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Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.