Aubrey Plaza for Latina [March 2014]
On having her peers in high
school doubt her Latina identity:
“I was winning the diversity awards and
people were always calling bullshit on me.
I won the Hispanic teenager of the year
and I felt terrible. I always felt like I didn’t
deserve to win because I was really half.”
[look of the hour]
SNL has done some great stuff to debunk the old stereotypes that women can’t be funny; Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig have pretty much put that argument to bed. Why can’t they make the same strides with regards to race? Black, female comedians do exist, and they are working and becoming famous and having great success. Beyond just fielding the Michelle Obama impressions in a P.C. way, a more diverse cast (and not just black women but performers from a variety of backgrounds) might be just what SNL needs to get out of a rut.
Like Salinger’s retreat from fame, Chappelle’s departure demanded an explanation: how could any human being have the willpower, the chutzpah, the determination to refuse the amount of money rumored to be Chappelle’s next paycheck: fifty million dollars. Say it with me now. Fifty. Million. Dollars. When the dust settled, and Chappelle had done interviews with Oprah and James Lipton in an attempt to recover his image and tell his story, two things became immediately apparent: Dave Chappelle is without a doubt his generation’s smartest comic, and the hole he left in comedy is so great that even ten years later very few people can accept the reason he later gave for leaving fame and fortune behind: he wanted to find a simpler way of life.
art: drawing by Blake Souffrant
This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has done so and it isn’t the first time his behavior has been characterized as a meltdown. There is a long history of asking African-Americans to endure racism silently; it’s characterized as grace, as strength.