The Brief: Gen Z-ers are using Manny, a cartoon from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, as a symbol against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

Zoomers have established that the cartoon drawing of Manny from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid is now a symbol of protest, resistance, and anti-racism. The campaign for Manny to be aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement started online with young people declaring that he is a revolutionary icon and that “the Manny will not be televised.”

Social media posts urge viewers to sign petitions and take other actions to counter white supremacy and police brutality whenever they see Manny in their feeds. Images of Manny chalked or spray-painted in public places with phrases like “BLM,”
Β “ACAB,” and “Revolt” indicate that Manny is becoming a symbol of protest both online and in the streets.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid is a novel written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney in 2007 that was adapted into a film in 2010. This series is popular among Gen Z-ers who may have read the books and seen the movies as children or in their teens. Manny Heffley is the younger brother of the protagonist who is depicted in the books as a buck-toothed cartoon with a tuft of hair at the center of his head.

Why Manny was chosen as a Black Lives Matter protest symbol hasn’t been widely specified, but his familiarity among Zoomers and the fact that he’s easy to draw make him an accessible icon for socially and politically active young people.

Femboy Manny:

@builtlikeajuulpod

the manny has made it to your fyp. go sign a petition. #fyp #themannywillnotbetelevised #manny

♬ original sound – soupytime

Some people have started selling Manny stickers, t-shirts, and other merch on sites like RedBubble.