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.
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.”
oh look the manny that will not be televised is on your tl. guess you’ve got to sign a petition now. i suppose it’s good luck i’ve linked some below pic.twitter.com/qannpzM46A
— 𝐞𝐥𝐥✭ kinda ia (@canyonloueh) June 24, 2020
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,”
“ACAB,” and “Revolt” indicate that Manny is becoming a symbol of protest both online and in the streets.
IF U SEE MANNY IN REAL LIFE OR ON ANY FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA STOP WHAT YOURE DOING AND GO SIGN A PETITION. ITS THE LAW NOW. pic.twitter.com/nxInaaiQP8
— trin for now (@garbingus) June 24, 2020
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.
Jokes of Manny Heffley being in ANTIFA have been going around for some time, but I think the graffiti started with this guy, then took off with the tiktok acc “themannyspotted” where ppl wld submit sightings of da manny which would then be reposted pic.twitter.com/yynwct7LYK
— 💚N30N💚 JSR BRAINROT (@MercilessNaps) June 23, 2020
i’m giving fox news 3 days to announce manny from diary of a wimpy kid as an antifa terrorist symbol pic.twitter.com/3fWSHPZJJZ
— paige (@wvtangdan) June 24, 2020
femboy manny pic.twitter.com/J7kWimW1AQ
— gi ☆彡 BLM (@c1ose2u) June 24, 2020
gen z just collectively decided to make manny a symbol of revolution 💀 pic.twitter.com/KUpIWibYUJ
— 𝐂𝐇𝐈𝐌𝐌𝐘 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐀⁷ | ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@seesaw_red) June 24, 2020
Some people have started selling Manny stickers, t-shirts, and other merch on sites like RedBubble.