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Black Frieza refers to the character Frieza from Dragon Ball Super and his new power upgrade form, a black-colored version, which debuted in the Super manga during chapter 87 (also known as the Granolah arc). Black Frieza rapidly became the subject of memes after his reveal in August 2022, which often revolved around Frieza's continual use of racial disparagement in the series. The black version of the character also sparked fan art and widespread discussion online in the following days and weeks.
Frieza's In-universe Racism Background
Throughout the years of Dragon Ball Z, one of Frieza's defining character traits was his absolute hatred of the Saiyan race, which resulted in Frieza constantly referring to them as "monkeys," on account of their tails and Great Ape form. This was ramped up dramatically in Dragon Ball Super, in which Frieza becomes a recurring main character, giving him more dialogue to say "monkey" in reference to the Saiyans. On June 27th, 2020, the YouTuber Saiyan Goku uploaded a video splicing together every time that Frieza says monkey within the show, earning over 180,000 views in two years (shown below).
This strict racism of Saiyans and the use of the word "monkey" itself (and the connotation it has in the real world) have led to Frieza being labeled one of the most racist anime characters by many (though typically in jest), with several fan creations over the years portraying Frieza as racist against Black people, with memers recording voice lines in which Frieza would use the N-word in a racially disparaging way and dub them into clips of the series.
2022 Black Frieza Reveal
Years of people memeing and discussing Frieza's in-universe racism toward Saiyans collectively came to a head with the release of Dragon Ball Super chapter 87 on August 17th, 2022, in which Frieza, who was previously missing for the arc, appeared with a new transformation, which is called "Black Frieza" (shown below), stirring up years of memed anti-Black racism into a viral topic.
The news of Black Frieza's new form rapidly spread on social media following his reveal in mid-August 2022, with many connected to the Dragon Ball fanbase having a strong reaction to it online. For example, on August 17th, 2022, the Twitter account @TooRealUnreal uploaded an image of Black Frieza where he was edited to have a Yankee Hat with a brim, a gold chain and Hennessy in each hand, earning over 25,000 likes in two days (shown below).
One of the most reposted things revolving around Black Frieza is an animation fandub made back in 2019. As part of the "You Niggas In Trouble" trend, a fan-dub of Frieza saying the phrase was made, with a reupload being posted to YouTube by the channel Typically Kesi on September 6th, 2019, which was subsequently and retroactively considered acceptable by memers in the community due to Frieza's "mixed race status" referencing his black form (shown below).
Several Dragon Ball Super content creators reacted to the news on August 17th, including YouTubers like MaSTAR Media, who uploaded a video titled "BLACK FREEZA IS REAL! FREEZA NEW FORM REVEALED!," receiving over 196,000 views and 10,000 likes in five days (seen below, left). Memes referencing Black Frieza similarly spread on platforms like YouTube, including one from user kishinpain on August 20th, receiving over 230,000 views and 25,000 likes in two days (seen below, right).
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