By: Paul Goebel
There's no denying that this country has become less safe for any person who isn't a straight, cis white male but few people understand how bad it really is either because, they're white, male, straight, cis or just stupid. Yet there are still those who insist that today's hateful climate is no worse than it's always been. They claim that America has always been a scam, a lie, a dumpster fire, and trump has only brought it to the surface. While their thesis is valid, it fails to stand up to an important test.
Throughout history, there have been very few industries that always do well, despite the economy or political climate. The most popular of these is the entertainment industry. Whether it's Bush, Bush Jr. Reagan, Obama or Truman, people always look to escape by watching a movie, play, concert or a TV show. Not only does the show provide a distraction, it also has a truth that can't be seen other places. Whether it was the biting satire of SNL in the 70's, the stunning dramatization of Watergate in All the President's Men or all the times that The Simpsons “predicted the future,” Hollywood has always been a place where truth prevails.
Unfortunately, even Hollywood can't protect itself from the racists and homophobes that have been emboldened by Trump.
Over the summer on the 21st season of reality show Big Brother, the first three contestants to be voted out were people of color. The fourth person voted out was an old, white, cis man and he managed to get back in the house and finish in a top 5 of white, straight cis men & women. The winner, of course, was a man.
One of NBC's new sitcoms, Sunnyside, is about a disgraced politician who “lowers himself” to tutoring non-citizens for their citizenship test. It stars a racially diverse cast and provides an honest look at how immigrants live in America, even those who emigrated as babies. The show could not have been more relevant. The one thing it was missing was jokes. It was the first show to be canceled this season and will now be used as an example of “why these kinds of shows don't work”
After years of right wing, jingoistic films like Top Gun, Red Dawn, Rambo, Red Dawn (again), etc. someone had an idea to make a movie about conservative Americans being hunted for sport (a remake of The Most Dangerous Game with modern references). Even though, it's made clear through every form of advertising that the right-wingers eventually defeat their liberal pursuers and become the heroes of the story, the movie was shelved because Trump tweeted about it and his followers all did the same.
I'm too pissed to wrap this up in any acceptable way, so to be clear, my point is this...this kind of bullshit is as insidious as it is unacceptable. It needs to be called out EVERY TIME YOU SEE IT. Anything less makes you complicit if not just as responsible.
Don't @ me.
Paul Goebel has been doing comedy for over 30 years. His TV credits include Will & Grace, Curb Your Enthusiasm & @midnight. Paul is best known to nerds worldwide as the TV Geek from Comedy Central's Beat the geeks. Follow him on twitter