Tina Fey Is “Opting Out” Of The Internet And Its Incessant Apologies
Tina Fey is on the cover of Net-A-Porter in a profile that discusses her career, motherhood, being a reformed “mean girl” and, naturally, the vagaries of the internet and the outrage culture it’s created. Like many, Fey is disdainful of internet outrage and is taking a hard stance against explaining any of her jokes.
“We did an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 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.”
She’s probably referring to the plot line in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where Jane Krakowski’s character, the white, W.A.S.P-y and wealthy Jacqueline Vorhees is revealed to be Native American, rejecting her background and passing for white, a move that she achieves by dyeing her hair blonde and putting blue contacts. She eventually comes around to accepting her heritage, but not without a hearty handful of stereotypes and caricatures. Naturally, this was met with a fair amount of criticism.
As Vulture pointed out in a piece that was published earlier this year, critics generally tended to ignore that entire plot line. Robert Carlock, co-creator of the show, offered the following explanation, which feels a little weak: “We have a couple of writers on staff with Native American heritage […] So we felt like we had a little room to go in that direction.”
It’s not any artist’s responsibility to pander completely to the whims of their public, so Fey can opt out of acknowledging any outrage freely, I guess. “Steer clear of the internet, and you’ll live forever,” she says. Decent advice, but considering that Netflix, a streaming company dependent on the very devil itself, premiered Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we probably shouldn’t listen to her anyway.