Feb 2, 2021
Guy who loves children’s TV shows a little too much also loves white people WAY too much
Wanna read some just stunningly racist shit? Me, either—but I just did so now I gotta write about it.
There’s this guy—Mathew Klickstein—who’s not really anybody in particular, but he wrote a book called SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age so that makes him an expert of sorts on late 1980s-early 1990s children’s television.
Oh, and he’s also a racist, sexist scumbag.
In an interview with Flavorwire, Klickstein was asked about the lack of diversity in classic Nickelodeon shows, and damn. This guy LOVES how nice and white TV used to be:
I think it’s worse when they shove [diversity] in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity.
You’re saying, “If it doesn’t matter, then why not let them be Indian?” I’m saying, “If it doesn’t matter, why make them Indian?” There’s no reason for it.
Got that? Everyone on TV should be a white male unless there’s a REASON for them to be otherwise. White male is the default human setting. You don’t need a reason for a character to be a white male, but you MUST have a reason if he’s not.
He then white-splains to all the Indian people out there why THEY should be demanding all-white children’s TV shows even louder than he is:
If I were Indian or Jewish, for example, and watched something where the characters are Jewish or supposed to be, and if it’s not specific to that, then I start to wonder, “Why are they doing this?” It becomes blackface.
Yeah, blackface. Klickstein is very sensitive about how unfair this all this is to Indians and other colored people. What a guy, huh? If anything, Klickstein is a champion of all those non-whites:
[T]here’s no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They’re all white. […]
They’re exploiting this, they’re using this thing, they’re taking advantage of it. They’re doing it just for that reason: “Hey, here is the Jewish character” or “Hey, here’s the Indian character” or “Hey, here’s the token black.”
Got that? Well forget it, because later Klickstein says:
Why does someone who’s making something about a black person need to be black? Why does someone making a show about an Indian person need to be Indian? Why does someone making a show about women need to be a woman? If you’re making something about an alien, you don’t need to be an alien to do it.
So it’s clear this asshole doesn’t have a coherent point; he’s just ranting about all these damn ethnic people ruining his TV shows. And don’t get him started on women. Wow does he hate Clarissa Explains It All, and you would too if only you didn’t have a vagina and thus can’t think clearly:
[Clarissa] was a girl, and many of the people who are writing these blogs and editing these pieces are women — which is fine, it’s just the way that it is, and a lot of the publishing world is women. I think people like yourself, who grew up with these shows, empathized with and connected with Clarissa. […]
You might not like this or care, but it’s very hard to be a man in the publishing world. No one talks about that. My agent: woman. My editor: woman. My publicist: woman. The most successful genre is young adult novels — 85% of which are written by women.
Yeah. Stupid chicks writing about stupid chick characters because that’s who they relate to. Why can’t they just relate to white male characters like Mathew Klickstein does? What part of “default human setting” do they not understand?
And then there’s Dora the Explorer, which he double hates for obvious reasons. In fact, he can’t even bring himself to admit that either Clarissa or Dora are ratings successes, which takes a sort of willful, rage-filled delusion that blows my mind.
Rest assured that this guy did NOT work on any of these old Nickelodeon TV shows he earns his nickels talking about. Don’t let his racist, sexist bullshit taint your love for your favorite childhood TV shows. There’s no real connection at all. In fact, he’s really an aspiring stand-up comic:
I’m starting to do stand-up comedy now and it’s hard to go up there and talk about how hard it is to be a guy. People don’t wanna hear it! A girl can go up there and talk all she wants about how hard it is to be a girl, and she gets applauded.
Damn. That is one gigantic asshole.
The entire Flavorwire article is a great read if you can stand it without your head exploding.
By the way, New York Super Week canceled its “Nite of Nickelodeon Nostalgic Nonsense!” with Mathew Klickstein scheduled for tomorrow night after the Flavorwire article came out. Good on you, New York Super Week.