People are accusing Netflix's 'Wednesday' of being 'racist'

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Despite smashing Netflix records in its first week, Tim Burton's latest project Wednesday has already been called out for being racist.

The horror-comedy series landed on the streaming giant last week and is a fresh take on the iconic Addams Family - husband and wife Gomez and Morticia, as well as their two children Pugsley and Wednesday. It is the latter - played by Mexican and Puerto Rican actress Jenna Ortega - who is the focus of Burton's show.

Focusing on her life at a boarding school for misfits - which includes students who are werewolves, vampires, sirens, and more - Wednesday has to learn to harness her growing psychic powers while also attempting to solve a decades-long murder mystery involving her parents.

Check out the trailer for Netflix's new series, Wednesday:

However, the show is already being criticized for its Black characters, with numerous critics arguing that they are only depicted as bullies in the series.

"Don't get me wrong…I love Jenna Ortega and that she's playing Wednesday but one thing I hate about this show is that why did they make ALL the black people in this show terrible people? Like how did Netflix see nothing wrong with this? I hate Tim Burton's racist self," someone tweeted.

The characters being referred to are Bianca - the school's 'Mean Girl' who targets Wednesday when she first starts attending - and the mayor's son who also portrays a bully. In fact, in the show the mayor owns Pilgrim World - a museum that celebrates the history of pilgrims and colonizers.

"Me trying to badly to push pass the racist and anti-Black undertones in the Wednesday Addams Netflix show. Like whoever thought making the Black man as the owner of a pilgrim amusement park is literally going to HELL," another person added.

Not everyone agreed with the comments, however, as one person commented: "Why is that bad? We have plenty of portrayals of all of the terrible people being white and literally every other race as the school bully/most popular kid. The fact that we have a Black girl as the popular snob should be a welcomed portrayal."

The backlash isn't unprecedented for 64-year-old Burton - who is most widely known for his films Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - who has previously been criticized for the lack of diversity in his films.

In 2016, Samuel L. Jackson stated that he believed he was the first Black lead of a Burton film during a promotional trail for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Burton responded in a Bustle interview, stating: "Nowadays, people are talking about [diversity] more [...] things either call for things, or they don't. I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct. Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a Black."

"I used to get more offended by that than just… I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, 'that's great.' I didn’t go like, 'OK, there should be more white people in these movies,'" he added.

Featured image credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

People are accusing Netflix's 'Wednesday' of being 'racist'

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Despite smashing Netflix records in its first week, Tim Burton's latest project Wednesday has already been called out for being racist.

The horror-comedy series landed on the streaming giant last week and is a fresh take on the iconic Addams Family - husband and wife Gomez and Morticia, as well as their two children Pugsley and Wednesday. It is the latter - played by Mexican and Puerto Rican actress Jenna Ortega - who is the focus of Burton's show.

Focusing on her life at a boarding school for misfits - which includes students who are werewolves, vampires, sirens, and more - Wednesday has to learn to harness her growing psychic powers while also attempting to solve a decades-long murder mystery involving her parents.

Check out the trailer for Netflix's new series, Wednesday:

However, the show is already being criticized for its Black characters, with numerous critics arguing that they are only depicted as bullies in the series.

"Don't get me wrong…I love Jenna Ortega and that she's playing Wednesday but one thing I hate about this show is that why did they make ALL the black people in this show terrible people? Like how did Netflix see nothing wrong with this? I hate Tim Burton's racist self," someone tweeted.

The characters being referred to are Bianca - the school's 'Mean Girl' who targets Wednesday when she first starts attending - and the mayor's son who also portrays a bully. In fact, in the show the mayor owns Pilgrim World - a museum that celebrates the history of pilgrims and colonizers.

"Me trying to badly to push pass the racist and anti-Black undertones in the Wednesday Addams Netflix show. Like whoever thought making the Black man as the owner of a pilgrim amusement park is literally going to HELL," another person added.

Not everyone agreed with the comments, however, as one person commented: "Why is that bad? We have plenty of portrayals of all of the terrible people being white and literally every other race as the school bully/most popular kid. The fact that we have a Black girl as the popular snob should be a welcomed portrayal."

The backlash isn't unprecedented for 64-year-old Burton - who is most widely known for his films Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - who has previously been criticized for the lack of diversity in his films.

In 2016, Samuel L. Jackson stated that he believed he was the first Black lead of a Burton film during a promotional trail for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Burton responded in a Bustle interview, stating: "Nowadays, people are talking about [diversity] more [...] things either call for things, or they don't. I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct. Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a Black."

"I used to get more offended by that than just… I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, 'that's great.' I didn’t go like, 'OK, there should be more white people in these movies,'" he added.

Featured image credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy