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The Series: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Controversy: Cultural Appropriation
In the season 2 episode "Kimmy Goes To A Play!," Titus (Tituss Burgess) decides to put on a one-man show in which he plays a geisha. His "yellow face" performance gets him in hot water with the online advocacy group Respectful Asian Portrayals In Entertainment.
Yeah...R.A.P.E. is the tasteless acronym of choice. Ultimately, the show portrays that Asian American activists as overreacting to Titus' "innocent" performance, which, upon realizing it, literally causes them to spontaneously combust. The show was criticized for insensitivity, as well as for lashing out on an audience who had previously criticized other racist portrayals on the show.
The Series: UnREAL
The Controversy: The Traffic Stop Shooting
UnREAL has a reputation for being provocative, but not everyone was thrilled with how it handled the issue of police brutality against Black lives. In the episode, white producers Coleman (Michael Rady) and Rachel (Shiri Appleby) deliberately set up their Black suitor, Darius (B.J. Britt) to be stopped by the cops for "stealing" a car from set.
His cousin, Romeo (Gentry White) gets shot (but survives) during an argument between Darius and the officers. Some felt that UnREAL was using the very real issue of police brutality to further drama without truly exploring the problem in a real way.
The Series: Pretty Little Liars
The Controversy: Spencer & Caleb's Hookup
Many fans were angry that PLL broke up Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) and Hanna (Ashey Benson) in the first place, so anyone that Caleb got with next would likely face their wrath.
But few fans expected the show to break the girl code, as it did when Spencer (Troian Bellisario) went for her BFF's serious ex. Still, not everyone hated Spaleb as much as Haleb loyalists. Some argued that Spencer and Caleb were a well-suited match — perhaps even more so than the original Haleb.
The Series: How To Get Away With Murder
The Controversy: Wes Dies
Promos teased who the dead character "under the sheet" was for weeks before it was revealed that Wes (Alfred Enoch) was the one who perished in the fire. Some fans loved the shocking twist (and the new murder-mystery that was set up), while others wondered how the series would continue without the heart of the Keating Five.