Whitewash is a 1994 television special and animated short film that was based on a true story.[1] The program was produced and directed by Michael Sporn with a screenplay by Ntozake Shange. Ruby Dee and Linda Lavin provide voices for the animated characters.

Directed byMichael Sporn
StarringRuby Dee
Linda Lavin
Music byCaleb Sampson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerMichael Sporn
Running time25 minutes
Production companiesHBO
F-Stop Studio
Michael Sporn Animation
Original release
ReleaseAugust 16, 1994 (1994-08-16)



The family special, based on a true story, uses animation to tell the story of a little African-American girl's encounter with mindless racism. On their way home from school, Helene and her brother are attacked by a group of white thugs who beat him up and spray-paint her face white. Why would anyone do this? With her wise grandmother's help, Helene is able to get over her hurt.


  • Ruby Dee as Grandmother
  • Serena Henry as Helene Angel
  • Ndehru Roberts as Mauricio
  • Linda Lavin as Ms. Steinberg
  • Danielle Robinson as Naomi
  • Randy Kaplan as Ronnie
  • Matthew Jacobson as George
  • Travis DeLingua as Tim
  • Ashanti Williams as Rafael
  • Winnie Zhang as Lorie
  • Meredith Rosco as Mary
  • Robert Felice as Jeff Ciolla
  • Michael McGruther as Shades
  • Tommy O'Connor as Ox
  • Joel Briel as Police Inspector
  • Sue Perrotto as Police Officer
  • Jay Aubrey Jones, Ed Askinazi and Heidi Stallings as Reporters


  1. ^ Heffley, Lynne (June 25, 1998). "'Whitewash' Hits Racism Head-On in Moving Message of Hope, Unity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015.