A satirical cover from the recently-pulled Bad Little Children’s Books
Following accusations of racism, Abrams has taken the collection of satirical illustrations Bad Little Children’s Books off the market at the author’s request. The pseudonymous Arthur Gackley maintains that neither he nor his book is prejudiced, but that public outcry has made it impossible to have “the kind of dialogue I hoped to promote.” If that sounds suspiciously high-minded to you, you’ll love his quote in The Guardian:
This act of censorship is dangerous on so many levels, as free speech, satire and parody are tools to help make us a stronger society, not a more divided one.
Totally true re: speech and satire, but I question his use of the phrase “act of censorship.” When you pull your own book because people said you were a jerk for writing it, that’s not censorship. That’s free speech convincing you. I’m kind of surprised it did, though, because the speech used to condemn Bad Little Children’s Books seems like the wrong way to convince anybody. Example after the jump.
Selma Hayek plays a sexually ambiguous taco in Sausage Party.
The problem with going on hiatus is that you invariably miss the year’s most important events, e.g. controversies over racial/sexual overtones in talking food. Probably, you already heard that Sausage Party has been added to the long list of Seth Rogen movies we agree to remember as funny. The film garnered mostly positive reviews, including one from Autostraddle written by a freelancer and subsequently unpublished. The site took down that review and ran a lengthy retraction/apology last week. It reads, in part:
After we published the review, we heard from Latinx readers who believe the portrayal of Salma Hayek’s taco was racist and that it reinforced harmful stereotypes. We heard from readers who were upset that we labeled the taco a lesbian when it seems more likely that she was bisexual. We heard from readers who questioned the consent of the sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun. We heard from readers who found the taco to be a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman.
They are not kidding.
I don’t know if you heard about this, but Seth MacFarlane upset some people at the Oscars. From the opening musical number—titled “We Saw Your Boobs,” in which he pointed out actresses in the audience who had appeared topless in films—to a gag about a nine year-old someday being too old to date George Clooney, to a series of gay panic jokes, an inordinate percentage of his comedy seemed to be about women or men who do not want to have sex with them. He also incisively observed that Jews run Hollywood. [Caution: link comes with irritating sound.] That last quote-unquote joke encapsulates why I dislike MacFarlane’s work, and also why calling him offensive misses what’s wrong with him.