Netflix is following in the footsteps of Twitter, the NFL and the Democrat party with a brilliant strategy of insulting more than half the country in one fell swoop. Will they be as shocked as their left-wing compatriots when they experience a harsh blowback to injecting identity politics into well… everything?
I’m referring of course to the announcement this week of a new original show, Dear White People, an adaptation of a 2014 movie by the same name. Basically it’s an opportunity for spoilt brats of color to lecture ordinary Americans on how unconsciously racist they still are — you know, just the sort of social-justice finger-wagging that lost Hillary the election and makes decent people everywhere gag and heave and run for the hills.
I believe I’ve pinpointed exactly why this show exists, and it isn’t globalist liberals striking out in anger at Daddy’s America. Instead there is a simpler answer to why such an astoundingly bad concept would be green-lit: Netflix is desperately seeking a followup science fiction hit to Stranger Things, and an alternate timeline story of Hillary Clinton’s presidency, one in which every conceivable identity group is in open warfare with each other, is a natural candidate.
That must be it, otherwise we must confront some depressing alternatives. Can it possibly be that a pitch meeting for a Netflix series can sound like this: “We’re going to take the worst idea MTV ever had, add in a healthy amount of Buzzfeed and spice up the blend with the same disdain for regular Americans that drove the white working class away from the Democrat party and which makes even people on our own side of the political divide absolutely hate us! Yeah!”
Because, if you reject my vision of Dear White People as a kooky, inter-dimensional science-fiction story, then you must presume that this pitch was met with a standing ovation in Netflix headquarters, not to mention a hefty production budget. That’s even scarier than the Stranger Things monster. I’m referring to Eleven by the way, the nameless inter-dimensional hell-spawn who was a good boy who didn’t do nothing and was in the middle of turning his life around.
Because the sort of people who commission shows like this are deeply stupid, they will no doubt interpret the reaction to this show as “precisely why the show is so needed.” Nothing could be further from the truth. America hates it because America is tired of entitled brats on TV lecturing other people about Halloween costumes while turning a blind eye to the real causes of racial tension.
Newsflash, Netflix: black people can be racist too. Many of them are. And by buying into the “let’s bash whitey” narrative cooked up on college campuses, you’re not helping to fix racism, you’re just further underlining the differences between people, and buying into a wacky far-left ideology that says the color of your skin determines what you can and cannot say. It’s ugly and hateful, and it’s why Donald Trump is in the White House.
(I have a dream that Americans will one day live in a nation where journalists, the entertainment industry and academics will not judge them by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.)
The reaction on YouTube to Dear White People is clear, regardless of race. As of this writing, with just over 2.1 million views, the video has 267,000 dislikes to just 25,000 likes. Some people are concentrating on the raw number of dislikes, which is impressive for a video in its first week, but not necessarily historic.
The video may never match the all-time YouTube losers, like this video game trailer with 3.4 million dislikes. But the raw number of dislikes isn’t the story: the visceral rejection of Netflix’s identity politics pablum is laid bare by the percentage of overall votes that its dislikes represent.
An astonishing 91 per cent of the votes on the Dear White People announcement are negative. To put this in perspective, a mere 77 per cent of the votes on the diabolical Ghostbusters trailer were negative. Congratulations, Netflix, you’ve made the worst movie I have ever seen look like it got a warm reception in comparison.
I bet a bunch of Sony execs are partying right now. “We lost a ton of money and ruined our careers, but America hates someone even more than us!”
The 91 per cent ratio of dislikes truly puts the Dear White People announcement in rarefied air. Very few other videos have reached a similar level of disdain. (PewDiePie reached 94 per cent negative with a video called “Can this video get 1 million dislikes?” but I feel that was cheating.) In fact, one of the few major videos to top Dear White People is YouTube’s own “Getting Started with YouTube Heroes,” a guide to the platform’s odious “anti-harassment” system, despised by most users.
An intensely disliked YouTube announcement video is not the end of this story for Netflix. A vocal group has sprung up on multiple social media platforms proclaiming the cancellation of their Netflix service over the series. Can you blame them? Americans who happen to be white or conservative are getting tired of being blamed for all of the world’s problems by crybaby liberals. They don’t want to hear it, let alone pay for the privilege of hearing it!
I know some people are going to say: hey, isn’t this just special snowflake behavior in reverse? And perhaps they have a point. But, you know, I can’t get too upset about the Left being forced to swallow a dose of its own medicine for once, as I explained on a recent college tour stop.
And we should view this PR disaster in a wider context: social justice is tanking, and the public appetite for and tolerance of far-left identity politics coming to a juddering halt. Journalists and commentators like to describe America as “divided,” as though these are just two sides moving further apart from each other.
But actually, even liberals are losing patience with the crazies on their own side, such as online talk show host Dave Rubin, who recently announced that he has left the Left.
The NFL took a serious ratings hit this season, in part thanks to politics. Based on the initial reaction from subscribers, Netflix may be about to experience the same. As we’ve seen from the reaction to the Breitbart Kellogg’s boycott, not to mention Trump’s election, liberal America is getting a taste of what happens when conservatives are sufficiently irritated to come out in large numbers.
As ever, the Left invents these tactics; the Right perfects them.
A subscriber boycott would be a big issue for Netflix stockholders, which includes everyone from your retirement fund to George Soros. Netflix has an astronomical P/E ratio of 340, which in simple terms means its stock price is predicated on massive continued growth and profitability. The last thing Netflix needs right now is to be shedding customers.
Until now, Netflix was on an amazing run. It is the clear leader in streaming and even if their movie selection can be dodgy, they continue to achieve new heights with their original programming. This leaves us with one tremendous question: why piss off so many subscribers and potential subscribers? Is the temporary glow they gain from virtue-signalling that they are good liberals worth all this pain? Or is it that liberals simply never learn?
My money is on the latter. And there’s evidence I’m right. The Daily Dot is labeling anyone who cancels Netflix over this as “white supremacist” and “alt-right”. The avowed Marxists of the Left have invented a new form of economics. Let’s call it shame-market capitalism. It goes like this: “Subscribe to Netflix or you are a white supremacist; drink Starbucks or you hate Muslims.” Good luck with that, lefties: conservatives already know how to vote with their dollars, and unlike you, Republicans actually have jobs.
Also, unlike liberals who quit social media crying about harassment, conservatives don’t come back to your brand two weeks later. Netflix will have to win back the customers it is currently alienating with radical ideas, such as entertaining shows that don’t vilify people by race. Shocking, I know.