Usually, being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.
But judging from a recent dustup over script and casting decisions she made, comedy writer and producer Tina Fey isn’t covered by that rule.
An episode of Fey’s Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” drew fire for what viewers interpreted as a double dose of racism. First, a character in the show (Jacqueline Voorhees) is revealed to be an American Indian who rejected her heritage.
Worse yet, the part wasn’t played by an Amerindian actress. The woman cast for the role, Jane Krakowski, is white.
Horrified viewers took to Twitter to express their displeasure:
Jane Krakowski as a Native American is so… Not okay.
— bassey ikpi (@Basseyworld) December 5, 2015
@Ebswearspink and then there was the casting of a white blonde woman to be native American? Like…I love Jane Krakowski but mannnnn
— *gasps in unfit* (@blackadlerqueen) April 22, 2015
Fey responded by indicating she’s having none of it:
Steer clear of the internet and you’ll live forever. We did an episode and the internet was in a whirlwind, calling it ‘racist,’ but my new goal is not to explain jokes. I feel like we put so much effort into writing and crafting everything, they need to speak for themselves. There’s a real culture of demanding apologies, and I’m opting out of that. [Emphasis added]
The whole kerfuffle is absurd from the get-go. Putting lines in the mouth of a fictional character is not the same as endorsing a political point of view, not that there is anything that heinous about rejecting one’s culture. People do it all the time, and liberals — who are bullish on people’s right to “self-identify” with whatever group they choose — should be the last to criticize this.
Complaining over the casting of a white woman to play an Indian is also absurd. The Left is perfectly OK with allowing blond-haired, blue-eyed Elizabeth Warren to pretend she is an Indian, in addition to which the history of theater has a rich history of actors playing roles for which they are not typecast. In Shakespeare’s time, men played the roles of women in plays.
Finally, I applaud Fey’s decision to opt out of the silly culture of demanding apologies. Now if only she and her fellow libs were willing to extend the same courtesy to conservatives, we’d really be getting somewhere.