Some cartoon fan theories are enlightening, upsetting, or downright stupid — but rarely do they question the moral integrity of the creators behind them. One such sinister theory emerged this week, which put Powerpuff Girls writer Jake Goldman in a particularly dubious situation.
The theory emerged on internet cesspit 4chan and was then circulated on Tumblr and Twitter. 4chaners claimed that the minor character of Jared Shapiro was based on Goldman, who voices the character as well. The proof they cited was his bespeckled looks and the fact that he was involved with most of the episodes Jared was in. This wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that Jared Shapiro is Blossom's nerdy love interest. The theory claims that Goldman self-inserted himself into the show and then made one of the (underage) Powerpuff Girls fall in love with him. Yikes.
The backlash was swift, with many calling for the rebooted Cartoon Network show (which is currently in its second season) to be pulled. The Powerpuff Girls Wiki has also been overrun with comments condemning the show and its creators.
However as it turns out, Goldman was not responsible for the character at all. A spokesman for the network told io9 that the character of Jarad Shapiro was in fact created by writer Haley Mancini and co-executive producer Bob Boyle. They didn't clarify why Goldman had been brought on to voice the character, but a Twitter thread by former Powerpuff Girls storyboard artist Grace Craft confirmed that the creators thought it would "be funny to model a nerdy love interest after him" — but could see how that was a lapse in judgement:
While it's common for grown men to voice kids' characters, it can be a little disconcerting when their character both looks and sounds like the actor — especially when said character turns up shirtless and beefy in the fantasies of a child. Having said this, it seems as though there was no sinister conspiracy theory at hand, just an embarrassing lack of foresight.
Do you think it's weird for a grown man to be voicing a Powerpuff love interest? Should they have love interests at all? Let us know in the comments!