Tina Fey Won't Apologize To The Internet

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We often think, “Tina Fey? More like Tina Bae” for a variety of reasons. But her new interview with Net-A-Porter may take the cake. In it, Tina talks everything from why her kids think she’s not funny to how everyone had a crush on Amy Poehler when the pair were up-and-comers in Chicago. We selected some choice answers that can basically be your guiding light in life. After all, we could all stand to be a little more like Liz Lemon.

She has some advice for maintaining sanity while working in a creative field: “Steer clear of the internet and you’ll live forever,” Fey tells Net-A-Porter.

That’s always solid advice. Whatever you write online, you’ll run into a deluge of comments telling you you’re either writing about the wrong thing, or ignoring the commenter’s pet cause. Any creator runs into this issue more or less all the time. But Fey had a specific example:

“We did an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode and the internet was in a whirlwind, calling it ‘racist’, but my new goal is not to explain jokes. I feel like we put so much effort into writing and crafting everything, they need to speak for themselves. There’s a real culture of demanding apologies, and I’m opting out of that.”

The episode, in which Jane Krakowski’s character is shown denying her Native American heritage, touched off a smattering of online voices calling the show, more or less, racist. There’s an interesting discussion to be had about whether or not portraying racially insensitive characters is itself racially insensitive. In other words, is showing racism on TV a tacit endorsement of the sentiments displayed? (Quentin Tarantino comes in for this sort of criticism all the time.)

To some degree, it’s true. The creators of a piece of media are more or less the gods of that particular universe. So they choose what they want to write about. That being said, not writing about racial insensitivity would be burying one’s head in the sand. It’s real, and is obviously at the forefront of the national conversation. The goal of any piece of art is first to entertain, and second to drive discussion. Fey routinely does both.

Krakowski’s character, the daffy Jacqueline Voorhees, would never be mistaken for a standard bearer for progressive politics. But her character plays the fool for the entirety of the series. Taking her seriously as an arbiter of modern thinking is, quite frankly, insane.

Anyways, heed Fey’s advice: Don’t read the comments.
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