Sunday, February 01, 2015

TV: How they pretend they care about racism

"Black Artists Matter#"?

Is that it?

We're not sure what the bulls**t is these days, we just know it's oozing across the nation.


If you missed it, an African-American woman (badly) directed her first studio film and didn't get nominated for an Academy Award -- so  it's racism, the howler monkeys from Salon on down  insist it's racism, pure racism.

As TV critics, we know all about racism.

We know all about these liars pretending to be concerned about racism as they whine about the Academy Awards 'snubbing' a director who couldn't even win the award for directing from the Georgia Film Critics Association.  That wasn't the only loss on the film festival circuit.  And about the only award the director won was from the same lunatic organization that awarded Oprah Winfrey "Best Female Action Star."

No, not for Oprah's work in the trail blazing home movie Eating Gayle, but for Selma.

When you're handing out awards declaring Oprah Winfrey to be the "Best Female Action Star," you're not only insulting the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Pam Grier, Angelina Jolie,  Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Milla Jovovich, Halle Berry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Hamilton, Lucy Liu, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriquez, Michelle Yeoh and others, you're also making a joke out of yourself.

And if you're one of the critics in The Water Cooler Set trying to insist you're opposed to racism, maybe you should stop practicing it.


The finest acting being done on television these days in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Drama would be Alfre Woodard's performance on State of Affairs as President Constance Payton.

This is a very complex portrayal, one full of shading and dimensions.

But two things apparently happened.

The Water Cooler Set's hatred for Katherine Hiegl (and all women) meant they'd be damned if they'd give Alfre credit for her great work and The Water Cooler Set's inherent racism means they can only applaud one woman of a color a season.

And this season, they've made that one woman Viola Davis.

Davis has done a wonderful job on How To Get Away With Murder -- despite the fact that every time the show could have made her the series lead it has instead reduced her to supporting actress.  Here's a hint: When your series is entitled "How To Get Away With Murder" and Viola's character is married to an abusive murderer, you let her character Annalise do the killing and get away with it.  When she  is instead 'rescued' by a bunch of students who kill her husband for her, it's less a series starring Viola Davis and more of a filmed version of  The Bobbsey Twins And The Doodlebug Mystery.

A really stupid woman in The Water Cooler Set (you have to be a stupid -- or at least a self-loathing -- woman to get in) was whining mere weeks ago about Empire and how it was so awful that this was airing opposite Blackish and whine, whine, whine.

The two shows -- one a soap opera, the other a sitcom -- do have things worth praising and are shows worth watching.  But the soap opera is male dominated and The Water Cooler Set has glommed on the actor in Blackish while ignoring the amazing Tracee Ellis Ross.

The idiotic woman rushing to embrace men (in this case African-American men) seemed woefully unaware that Thursday nights presented many strong women of color including Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Lucy Liu.

It's characteristic of the babbling fools posing as TV critics that make up The Water Cooler Set.

And it's past time they were called on their racism and their sexism by people other than us.

Katherine Heigl is not a bitch and the fact that Shonda Rhimes can't get over their conflict isn't reason for The Water Cooler Set to attack Heigl.  Considering her success, we think Shonda should have been a lot more gracious or at least kept her mouth shut.  She may think it's amusing but she's a woman and her one-sided cat fight with Heigl will later be used to help bring Shonda down -- probably in two years when Shondaland no longer seems new and the viewers fall away and The Water Cooler Set can really sharpen their knives on her.

Yes, Shonda, you dominate ABC TV.

Once so did Carsey-Werner -- and where are they on the ABC schedule today?

The trashing of Heigl is inexcusable all on its own.  It becomes even more downright offensive, however, when it means that Alfre Woodard's amazing acting is ignored in The Water Cooler Set's efforts to continue the trashing of Heigl.

They don't even have the excuse that they're defending Shonda when they go after Maggie Q.

And, make no mistake, they're tearing apart Maggie Q.

The only Asian-American woman to carry an action TV show -- or one hour drama -- in US TV history is following up Nikita with Stalker on CBS.*

Like Mandy Patikin, we've long criticized the violence in so many CBS vehicles, violence presented in a sexual manner.

So if Stalker were the show The Water Cooler Set says it is, we would've long ago called it out.

But it's not.

It's a smart drama that needs to emphasize the continuing elements more.

It is not an exploitation show.

And Maggie Q alone should have earned it strong raves due to the work she's doing.

But women don't get applauded by The Water Cooler Set, they get attacked.

Viola Davis is applauded.

Yes, but only after there was pushback when a TWCS-er wrote a highly offensive and insulting piece about her.

That may have helped the TWCS take Viola seriously -- especially considering that they've never embraced Shonda's show before.

Maggie Q's work had another problem to face.

Dylan McDermott.

Please note, we're not picking on Dylan.  He's a talented actor and a heap of hotness.

But his last CBS show, which was solid and amazing, was CBS' Hostages.

The show didn't draw the audience it should have.

That was, in part, due to Dylan being in an unlikable role.

Yes, as the show evolved, viewers (those who stuck around) learned he was only planning to kill the president due to the president having committed rape and his wife (the product of the rape) needing bone marrow and . . .

CBS didn't learn their lesson.

Viewers will take Dylan cheating on a wife (American Horror Story), they will take a great deal from him.

But they draw the line at evil.





When Stalker began, some idiot thought it would be great to present Dylan's character as a stalker -- a stalker of a young boy and then, a few episodes in, reveal the truth.

It was not a great idea.

It did not make for great acting or great television.

It did, however, run off viewers.

The young boy is not being stalked by Dylan's character.

The young boy is his son.

And if CBS wanted to help the ratings of Stalker, they would have done advertisements around that because the storyline was creepy, did leave viewers with the wrong impression and ran many off.

But none of that has anything to do with Maggie Q.

None of that destroys the fact that she's given a solid performance worthy of praise.

Or that Lucy Liu has done so on Elementary.

None of these women -- Maggie, Lucy, Tracee, Alfre . . . -- are getting the applause they deserve.

In fact, it appears the only time this TV season that women of color not named Viola Davis are going to get attention, it's going to be to attack them.

Case in point: E. Alex Jung's sexist sliming of Mindy Kaling at Al Jazeera.

The idiot Jung argues Mindy is basically a race traitor and this is because she won't present herself as he wants her to.

Right or wrong, women have to be very careful on TV.

We have to be very careful here.

There are two show runners -- who do not have shows currently -- who rightly called out the sexism of network TV.  One immediately back pedaled in the face of backlash while the other just resorted immediately to "no further comment."

One of them we know and know very well.

And we know how badly her speaking out hurt her.

So we didn't note it here.

We didn't know either woman's statements.

We applaud it.

But we're perfectly aware that speaking that truth destroyed both women in the industry.

Our friend thought she could just go to a different network.

Didn't work out.

Never does.

Margaret Cho was dicked around by ABC in the 90s.  She made similar public comments to the ones Mindy's now slammed for -- made them while she was starring in All American Girl.  At the same time Cho was being cautioned by the networks not too appear 'too Asian,' Ellen DeGeneres was learning how far ABC would go with her in the lead up to "The Puppy" episode.  It must be seen as a development for the show -- her character realizing she was gay -- but not as the focus or as the dominant theme.

This is the world Mindy Kaling has to navigate.

All the more so because her hilarious show does not have outstanding ratings and should she become too 'controversial' for Fox, The Mindy Project ends this season.

Crap f**k E. Alex Jung doesn't know any of this, doesn't know anything at all.

He just wants Mindy to be the voice of Indian-Americans.

Who would want to do that?

Outside of a politician, who would presume to speak for any segment of humanity?

Here, we've said from the start, we present a feminist viewpoint, not the feminist viewpoint.

Equally true, it's hard to imagine how Mindy can both mine humor and be the voice for every person from India and those who Indian-American.

E. Alex Jung is asking far too much from one person.

He's also deeply sexist which is why he glommed on Mindy Kaling to begin with.

We're failing to remember the Al Jazeera article celebrating Mindy but you can be sure the one trashing her will not soon be forgotten.

E. Alex Jung would never write such an article about the star of CBS' Scorpions -- a British citizens who's repeatedly toyed with is-he-or-isn't-he-Indian throughout his career.

But they think it's acceptable to go after Mindy who, for the record, has never played "Guess my ethnicity because I'm not going to tell you!"

For weeks now, we've had to endure Anglo White media critics insisting a woman not getting nominated for Best Director was racism.

Note, the 'it's sexism!' argument was not one they made.

Because women don't really matter to them.

That's why more time has been spent by these so-called critics whining about a nomination that didn't come then has been spent celebrating the outstanding work done this TV season by Alfre Woodard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mindy Kaling, Maggie Q, Lucy Liu, etc.

The same media freaks that have turned a non-nomination into a circus have failed to use their platforms to applaud women of color.  Which is why their cries of 'racism' ring so hollow.


* Lucy Liu is a co-star on Elementary.  She co-carries the show.  Maggie Q was the star of Nikita.

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