Another day, another woke mob-manufactured controversy, this time over the Netflix hit “Wednesday”. The show follows the broody adventures of Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) as she works alongside a cast of characters to solve a mystery at her boarding school. The Addams Family spinoff is Netflix’ first show to beat the streaming dominance of Stranger Things, and looks to pave the way for a post-Hawkins Netflix as the streaming network struggles to uphold their business model.
If the mob has their way, the show will not make it to a second season. Director/producer Tim Burton has been accused of racism because the show’s black main characters are the bad guys.
Critics have taken issue with black actress Joy Sunday playing a mean girl at Nevermore Academy and black actor Iman Marson portraying a bully and the son of a corrupt mayor.
The mayor also owns Pilgrim World — an eyebrow-raising choice considering the museum celebrates pilgrims and colonizers.
Some vocal audience members were not impressed.
“Don’t get me wrong…I love Jenna Ortega and that she’s playing Wednesday but one thing I hate about this show is that why did they make ALL the black people in this show terrible people?” one viewer tweeted. “Like how did Netflix see nothing wrong with this? I hate Tim Burton’s racist self.”
“Me trying to badly to push pass the racist and anti-Black undertones in the Wednesday Addams Netflix show. Like whoever thought making the Black man as the owner of a pilgrim amusement park is literally going to hell,” another sighed in a since-deleted tweet.
This ridiculous complaint really stuck in my craw. Usually, I just roll my eyes at the fragile, anxiety-ridden GenZ social media class, but as a black woman and entertainment buff (and sometimes filmmaker myself) this particular struggle session really annoyed me.
When I was growing up, the complaint from the black community about the entertainment sector was that they only made space for black characters (generally speaking) who were “thugs” or the “noble savage.” When I was acting in my 20s, I too found the audition landscape was severely limited for black actors, and yes, it was frustrating and unfair. Frankly, it was bigoted.
I, along with my black colleagues at the time, wanted black characters to be afforded the full range of the human experience. Couldn’t we just let black characters be regular, complicated people? Sometimes people are bad, sometimes good, sometimes heroes, sometimes villains, etc. We weren’t asking for special treatment. In fact, we were asking to stop being treated as some kind of special group and let us be absorbed into the entertainment landscape as normal fixtures in storytelling.
The entertainment industry has improved by leaps and bounds for minorities lately, and that’s been a wonderful thing. But because the progressive left can’t let us have good things, we now find ourselves in this bizarre world in which allowing black characters to have complex motivations and to represent all aspects of human nature is racist.
When I look at the black characters in “Wednesday”, I don’t see a racist smear of black culture. I see something I rarely saw on tv in my youth (shoutout to Tootie from “Facts of Life”) – wealthy and influential black characters; people rich enough to be uppity, and influential enough to be bullies, which is not uncommon among the rich and influential. If you want to give black stories and characters the dignity of normality, you have to be willing to let them occupy the full spectrum of normality. Some people are mean. Why can’t some of those mean people be black? I’ve certainly got plenty of mean folks in my own family (no, I’m not one of them, ask my children; I am a benevolent dictator in this house). Why can’t some of these corrupt politicians be black? Why can’t some bullies be black? Forcing black characters into the narrow lane of sainthood just puts us right back where we were when I was a young actor.
The entire thing is, of course, ridiculous. There is no pleasing the left-wing mobs, and everyone just needs to stop trying. Thankfully, Tim Burton seems to get that, as do the people who work for him. When asked for comment from Burton on the fake controversy, Burton’s agent’s response was quite clear.
“I’m not forwarding a comment request this silly to Tim.”
Good. Neither should we entertain complaints this silly any longer. I urge my fellow black Americans to take a deep breath and look at storylines like the ones in Netflix’ latest hit as an advancement in normalizing black presence on screen. We don’t have to be the “thugs” anymore, and we don’t have to be the “noble savages”, always ready with wisdom to help the white protagonist while we remain so blissful in our poverty. We can just be a normal part of the landscape as characters with rich personalities and varying motivations.
And as far as that pilgrim thing…the left is so blinded by their Racist Radar™ that they can’t even see a good joke when it’s right in front of them. A black man owning the pilgrim amusement park is meant to seem evil…he’s literally the bad guy. It is no wonder the woke mobs do nothing but complain. Their funny bones are irrevocably broken.
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