Whenever anyone mentions the name “Garfield” these days, most assume they’re talking about actor Andrew Garfield. Emphasis on “most,” however, as older generations less familiar with the Amazing Spider-Man films and Martin Scorsese’s later work will instead recall Jim Davis’ syndicated newspaper comic strip. That Garfield, whose creation in 1978 has spawned television specials, shows, and a film series whose initial outing featured Bill Murray, is very different (aside from the fact that he also loves lasagna and hates Mondays). Unless you’re curious about the beloved cartoon’s gender, because both cat Garfield and Andrew Garfield are just plain dudes. Right?
Wrong, says Internet satirist and Chapo Trap House podcast member Virgil Texas, who initiated an editing war behind the scenes of Wikipedia’s Garfield entry. According to the Washington Post, the fuss all began when Texas referenced a two-year-old interview with Davis conducted by Mental Floss, in which the comic’s creator proclaimed “by virtue of being a cat, really, he’s not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old.”
Texas’ late-February revelation led to a subsequent Wikipedia edit identifying Garfield’s gender as “none.” In an interview with the Post, he explained his concern was chiefly with “Garfield canon.” Sincere or otherwise (likely otherwise), the change sparked a fury of re-edits and re-re-edits that dragged on among Wikipedia editors for over 60 hours: