Moreover, the ugly and perverse relationship between Weinstein and Mann, in which each attempted to use the other for gain, occurred in the transactional business environment of Hollywood and American public life generally. The sickness of their relations developed out of a dynamic of mutual exploitation. In the process of procuring whatever it was they wanted – whether sex, money, a Hollywood career – they tested the limits of self-degradation.
As a celebrity on the internet, Merchant admits that he’s “quite dull”, a result of being skittish about causing offence. He remembers once being about to tweet about New Zealand, but then being unsure if the term “Kiwi” is problematic. “When you’re policing yourself in that way, because you don’t want the headache of it [if it goes wrong], it’s absurd to me.” Writing television, he adds, you have numerous people figuring things out behind closed doors and having the space to be thoughtful. The speed and brevity of Twitter, meanwhile, leaves no such room.
“I’ve become more and more cautious because I don’t want to get into a debate,” he says. “I don’t want to have to defend a tweet from 10 years ago. It’s not interesting to me to spend time defending a point of view or a glib joke that I made at 2am.”
We are now in a time when a sexual encounter can be recast in a malevolent light, no matter whether the participants all appeared to consider it consensual at the time and no matter how long ago it took place. Looking back, it can be even harder—perhaps impossible— to know what really happened in a private sexual encounter.
In the course of their fight for tolerance, many progressives have become intolerant of those who disagree with them or express other opinions and taken on a kind of self-righteousness and censoriousness that the right long displayed and the left long abhorred. It has made people uncertain about the contours of speech: Many know they shouldn’t utter racist things, but they don’t understand what they can say about race or can say to a person of a different race from theirs. Attacking people in the workplace, on campus, on social media and elsewhere who express unpopular views from a place of good faith is the practice of a closed society. Unanswerable Prayers
Apart from a bit of press-release groveling — a big mistake on the part of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, who shouldn’t have indulged these babies — the activists got zilch. The special remains up, without a trigger warning. Far from ditching Chappelle, Netflix is re-upping with the standup, who has agreed to produce and host four new specials highlighting other comics whose work Chappelle likes. And the activists? They just sort of….shut up and went back to work after their meaningless little break. Maybe some of them quit the company. From Netflix’s point of view, who cares? Chappelle is a huge draw to the service. Retaining him matters a lot more than whether a handful of self-righteous fringe characters are happy. Netflix’s refusal to make any substantive policy concessions should be a model to every company that is getting bombarded with demands from the people who came of age on woke college campuses where it’s the norm to boycott, block or shout over people you disagree with.
Will Gen X please stand up? I have something I want to say to you — to us. We grew up in a country that didn’t ban books. We all agreed that witch hunts and blacklists were bad. Censorship was an outrage. The 1980s were not that long ago. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. So obviously we’ve got a problem here. Everybody can see it. Everybody knows where it’s heading. What we don’t have — yet — is a group of people who are willing to do something about it.
“that access to the means of sustaining good health, the opportunity to learn from the wisdom accumulated in our culture, and the expectation that one may do so in a decent home and neighborhood are not privileges to be reserved for the few who have learned to game the system. They are rights that follow from the same source as those that an earlier generation called life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”