The One With The Nauseating White Guilt

The One With The Nauseating White Guilt. By Brendan O’Neill.

I see white people are apologising for being white again. This time it’s the turn of Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of Friends. She’s really, really sorry that Friends had a predominantly white cast. She’s eaten up by remorse at having been ‘part of systemic racism’.

She’s so consumed by regret over her part in the cultural crime of creating a sitcom about six white New Yorkers that she has decided to throw some money at a non-white cause. She’s giving $4million to Brandeis University in Boston to create an endowed professorship in its African American studies department. ‘Will this wash away my sin of whiteness?’, she might as well say as she hands over the penitent cash. …

Everything about Ms Kauffman’s self-flagellation is absurd. … We need to talk about Marta Kauffman’s feelings. I wish we didn’t, but we do. Because there is something genuinely disturbing about a hyper-successful TV producer, the co-creator of one of the most successful sitcoms in history, feeling so much anguish about the skin colour of her actors. This is not normal behaviour. Ms Kauffman should feel ocean-going pride over the role she played in making millions of people across the Earth chuckle at the antics of six NYC singletons. But instead she apparently has to avoid mirrors lest she catch a glimpse of her own shameful, racist visage. … And yet here is poor Marta, prostrating herself before the elders of wokeness, burying her face in the dirt, declaring: ‘I apologise for my ignorance.’ (She literally said that.)

Kauffman seems to have been sucked into the cult of white shame. There really is a cultish feel to some of her recent comments. …

Friends has been the subject of woke maulings for years now. There are frequent media storms about how unwoke this oh-so-Nineties show was. ‘Why Everyone’s Favourite 90s Show Is Hugely Transphobic’, says one headline (apparently it’s because Chandler’s gay, cross-dressing dad was played by husky Hollywood icon Kathleen Turner, which, I’m sorry, was absolutely brilliant). ‘Friends: 10 times the classic sitcom was problematic’, says a headline in newspaper turned clickbait industrial complex, the Independent. Cosmo has slammed Friends for its ‘sexism, homophobia and fat-shaming’. …

But the Kauffman thing is more serious. … This is Friends itself effectively saying: ‘Yes, we were racist, we were phobic, we were wrong.’

What Kauffman and others should be saying … is that it is perverse and outright philistine to judge the entertainment and art of the past by the unforgiving standards of the present. … Kauffman should have told her unjust persecutors to go to hell. …

Kauffman is boasting that she is better than us:

The white, privilege-checking, self-flagellating, skin-hating members of the cultural elite appear, on the surface, to be consumed by shame. When they atone for their whiteness, or bow down to black people on a BLM demo, or confess to past racial transgressions, they seem to be self-mortified.

But in truth they are boasting. They’re saying: ‘I am an aware white person; I am a good white person; I am not like those white-trash hordes who never check their privilege.’ This is the moral complexity that informs the Kauffman story — she’s ashamed, but she’s also proud, because she is telling the world that she has reckoned with her whiteness, seen that it is wrong, and is now making audited amends.

It was just entertainment:

Screw that. Was Friends funny or not? That is the only question that matters. My answer, for what it’s worth, is: Yep, it was funny. Thank you, Marta.

Virtue signalling, moral vanity, and claims to be superior. What an ass.

hat-tip Stephen Neil