The founder of #MeToo, Tarana Burke, is “deeply offended” by television and film executive Lee Daniels’ plan to create a comedy inspired by the movement.
Deadline reports Daniels and comedian Whitney Cummings have teamed up for a half-hour comedy series currently in development at Amazon. The show, starring Cummings, “revolves around the staff of the ombudsman’s office at a college that navigates PC culture and the #metoo climate,” according to the site. “The lead character…must reconcile the dissonance between different generations of feminism, and the struggle to reconcile our primal desires, and socially constructed identities with current ethical obligations regarding race, class and gender.”
— beachgal (@beachgal) October 12, 2018
Burke, who founded the movement 12 years ago, shared her reaction to the upcoming series with The New York Times.
“I just read something the other day that said Lee Daniels is making a Me Too comedy. The hair stood up on my arm. To put Me Too and comedy in the same sentence is so deeply offensive and not because I’m uptight and I don’t see comedy in things. We’re not ready for a comedy and it’s just so offensive that you think in this moment when we’re still unpacking the issue that you can write a comedy about it. And that’s the type of thing I’m talking about. We have to get out in front of that.”
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) October 16, 2018
The activist also stressed the need for diverse writers’ rooms within television, which would help prevent the movement from being misrepresented.
“That’s exactly why it’s important to get in the writers’ rooms now and to connect with Hollywood now, before it gets to be such a catchall phrase that they dilute its meaning, that we help people understand the gravity behind the words and that it’s not just used as, ‘Oh, look who got Me Too’d, ha-ha,’ like a punch line.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.