To Samantha Bee’s credit, she gave us something to distract us from the ‘Roseanne’ mess

Before we go any further, let me warn you now that I am not going to use euphemisms. I’m not going to use “C-word,” I’m not going to use “c–t,” I’m not going to use “a vulgar term to describe the female genatlia,” I’m not going to use “See You Next Tuesday,” I’m going to use the word “cunt” and I am going to use it often because YOU know what word we’re talking about, you are hearing it in your head right now, and if your delicate little eyeballs are somehow blistered by seeing the letters “c” and “u” and “n” and “t” arranged next to one another thusly — CUNT — this is not the blog for you and you should just go somewhere else.

As I mentioned yesterday in passing — because shit hadn’t yet completely melted down — in a segment criticizing Ivanka Trump for posting a tone-deaf, if not outright trolling, photo of herself with her child while the rest of the country was talking about immigrant parents being torn from their children at the border, Samantha Bee called on Ivanka to do something about her father’s horrific policy before calling her a “feckless cunt.”

And then everyone lost their cunting minds.

Sarah Sanders called for an apology and for Samantha Bee’s head on a spike, Autotrader and State Farm suspended their advertising on the show, and hours later, Samantha Bee and TBS both issued apologies.

TBS also removed the entire episode from the web.

This, obviously, was not good enough, and this morning President Orange Smear tweeted:

Some people had Bee’s back:

And one woman who has been through this herself encouraged Bee to not apologize:

And while I don’t think Bee needed to apologize for it for political reasons, she probably had to if she wanted to save her show. Her ratings have slipped in the past season fairly dramatically, and the last thing she needed was the right waging an advertiser boycott against her. While they might still do that, it will now carry less weight thanks to Bee and TBS having released almost immediate mea culpas.

Still, the right continues to howl that the fact Full Frontal hasn’t been canceled, but Roseanne was, is evidence of Hollywood hypocrisy — and this is perhaps exactly the problem. Samantha Bee has used the word “cunt” on her show before — hell, she used to sell “Thunder Cunt” t-shirts on her site. But while Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump would have always been met by outrage by the White House and MAGAites, the fact that it happened the same week Roseanne was swiftly canceled after Roseanne Barr wrote a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett was the fuel necessary to ignite this into a full-fledged culture war. And as a fan and supporter of Samantha Bee and someone who 100 PERCENT AGREES that Ivanka Trump is a feckless cunt, this makes it harder to defend the comment.

I have been struggling with what to say about this whole mess because I really am of two minds about it. Mind Number One: what Bee said is not equally as offensive as what Barr tweeted. Bee was calling Ivanka out as not just being impotent to do something about her father’s abusive policies towards children — the feckless part — but also for rubbing salt into the wounds of every parent who has been separated from their children (and those of us who are horrified that it is happening) by posting that photo of herself — the cunt part. Roseanne, on the other hand, was calling an African-American woman an ape. That’s it. That’s the entirety of her message. (Well, a Muslim terrorist ape, to be specific.) Bee was making a point albeit with loaded language, Barr was being a racist: these two things are not the same.

Mind Number Two: By using such a vulgar term, one that she could have replaced with any number of others, Bee all but passed out grasping pearls and smelling salts to the Trumpites. I’m not going to get into whether it is somehow less bad that a woman was wielding the word cunt against another woman, because I refuse to try to lighten the weight of the word. I love the word “cunt.” In fact, one of my closest friends and I use the word “cunt” to describe each other all of the time because it is a mean, brutish word that has real power and heft. My friend and I use it to express how neither of us is not just merely a not-nice person, but that we are mean people who have mean thoughts and say mean things. We aren’t bitchy, we aren’t assholes, we’re cunts. And because I know — and you know — and Bee knows PERFECTLY well — what that word means, I can’t let Bee off the hook for using it. Samantha Bee said that Ivanka Trump was a cunt because she meant that Ivanka Trump is a cunt because Ivanka Trump is. a. cunt.

The problem is because Bee used that word, she gave her critics something to be outraged by — a vulgarity!!! lodged by a SUPPOSED FEMINIST AT ANOTHER WOMAN!!!! — and a tool to use to distract from her larger point about the horror that Ivanka Trump is complicit with. This is a pattern with the Trumplings and their critics: the critic criticizes something The Offender-in-Chief did or one of his policies, and President Culture Wars and his followers attack the way it was criticized, ignoring and distracting from the original criticism. Football players are kneeling in protest of police brutality: kneeling is disrespectful to our military. Kathy Griffin poses with a Trump mask covered in ketchup as a criticism of his “bleeding out of her whatever” comment about Megyn Kelly: Kathy Griffin is calling for the violent death of the president. Michelle Wolf makes a joke about Sarah Sander’s perfect smokey eye being created from all the facts she burns, and compares Sanders — a woman who is the mouthpiece for an administration that is openly hostile women’s issues — to Aunt Lydia from The Handmaid’s Tale, a character who literally subjugates other women: Michelle Wolf is attacking Sarah Sanders’ looks. And now suddenly we’re not talking about police brutality or Trump’s misogyny or Sanders’ lies or in this case the fact that our government is separating children from their parents at the border, but instead we are screaming at the top of our lungs about how the left are a bunch of America-hating hypocrites.

And it’s not fair that President Grab ‘Em by the Pussy reportedly called Sally Yates a cunt and Ted Nugent definitely called Hillary Clinton a cunt and these MAGAites certainly wore these shirts:

… and our side can’t use the word cunt to describe a woman who is ACTUALLY ACTING LIKE A CUNT, but apparently thems the rules. It’s not fair, but here we are.

But while you are angry at the blatant hypocrisy at work here, and while you are angry that the outrage machine is fueling itself on the word “cunt” and not on the fact that thousands of parents and children are being torn apart by a policy that this administration could halt at any time, please set a little time aside to also be angry that we are not collectively more angry that the government, as embodied by Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Donald Janice Trump, is calling for a private citizen’s First Amendment rights be stripped. Look, if TBS wanted to cancel the show or replace Bee with someone else over this kerfuffle, I would be disappointed, but I would understand that was within their rights to do — just like it was within ABC’s rights to cancel Roseanne. But it is never within the government’s rights to silence — or even call for the silence of — a citizen. It’s literally our very first rule.

In Other TV News that Does Not Involve the Word “Cunt”

Chris Farley Garrett Yrigoyen has responded to his Instagram controversy via Instagram. And I actually have to give him points both for not being defensive and at least appearing to be attempting to learn from this. That is assuming, of course, that this wasn’t crafted by ABC publicity because he’s the season’s winner and they don’t want it to taint Becca’s “love story.”

Donald Trump is considering pardoning Martha Stewart and Ron Blagojevich and everyone’s collective responsive seems to be “what the fuck?” Fun fact: Blagojevich appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, and Stewart hosted The Apprentice. However, most people think this has more to do with Trump wanting to send a message to any number of people, including Comey and people under investigation in the Mueller case.

Ted Cruz challenged Jimmy Kimmel to a one-on-one basketball game and … just … no. Don’t give him the attention, Jimmy. But if you are going to give him the attention, invite Beto to play, too.

Meanwhile:

I somehow missed that MTV was making West Virginia Wilder, a sequel to Buckwild. Anyway, Joe Manchin isn’t happy about it.

Allison Mack is taking credit for her sex cult NXIVM’s whole branding thing. Ok.

I’m not going to file this under my #MeToo section … yet, but Mark Steines has been removed from The Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family under … mysterious circumstances.

The Emmys are going to be broadcast on a Monday this year so as to not have to compete against Sunday Night Football.

Fox News has expanded America’s Newsroom to three hours, bumping Happening Now from the schedule.

Here are the 101 best tweets by Megan Amram, The Good Place writer who comes up with all those amazing food puns.

Speaking of The Good Place, the show has a “no jerks” policy, according to Kristen Bell.

A few Game of Thrones filming updates.

Nerds be nerding.

Feel better soon, Montel Williams!

Renewals

  • Busted! has been renewed by Netflix.
  • Tangled has been renewed at Disney. It has also been renamed: Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

R.I.P.

Sid Cohen, TV Executive

Michael Ford, Art director and set director

WATCH THIS

FRIDAY

C.B. Strike: This new P.I. series is based on books written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Series premiere. 9 p.m., Cinemax

The Pistol Shrimps: A documentary about a amateur basketball league that Audrey Plaza plays on? Sure. OK. Starz.com

Phenoms: A new docuseries about soccer — I’m sorry, FOOTBALL — ahead of the World Cup. Series premiere. 8 p.m., Fox

SATURDAY

Balde Runner 2049: Beebots. Beep Boop. 8 p.m., HBO

Twin Peaks marathon: Dougie! 4:35 a.m., Showtime 2

SUNDAY

Pose: Ryan Murphy’s new series about the ball-culture world of the 1980s. 8 p.m., FX

Wrong Man: A new documentary series looking into the cases of three men who may have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. Series premiere. 8 p.m., Starz

Succession: “Media magnate and Waystar Royco CEO Logan Roy shocks his family, who are anxiously awaiting his imminent retirement, by announcing at his 80th birthday party that he’s staying on indefinitely, a decision that ignites tension among his ambitious children and heirs apparent.” This is not based on the Murdochs. (This is totally based on the Murdochs.) 9 p.m., HBO

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