Conservatives have been quick to laud Netflix as a supporter of freedom of expression ever since the company defended Dave Chapelle’s recent stand-up special, The Closer. But don’t be fooled, binge-watchers: the streaming giant still wishes you ill. In the new season of serial-killer sympathy drama You, Netflix endorses the wholesale slaughter of the unvaccinated.
(SPOILERS AHEAD: though, having suffered through all ten episodes, I’m doing you a favor…)
There seemed to be hope that the financial backing of free speech would win out at Netflix. Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore quit after kicking up a fuss on Twitter about Chapelle’s special. Another employee, Terra Fields, was suspended when Fields intruded on a director-level meeting to protest. Despite these controversies, co-CEO Ted Sarandos stuck by Chapelle, stating the comedian earned his $20 million keep, and has not incited hate nor violence.
However, as the old adage about broken clocks goes, Netflix isn’t likely to renew this rare principled stand for another season. Paired with lectures about “Missing white woman syndrome,” the institutional racism of America’s justice system, and how “White men get all the second chances they want,” You dedicates its second morally ambiguous murder to an “anti-vaxxer.”
I’m predisposed to like the show. A book collector with horrendous taste in girlfriends? I’ve never identified with a main character more. But, as the culture war wages on, the writers of Netflix’s original series metamorphose their characters into the propaganda mouthpieces of the progressive establishment.
Likewise, You has always attempted to make its serial-killing stalker a socially liberal ally. Joe’s close friends and dating pool are disproportionately “diverse”: non-white, disabled, and LGBT. His internal monologues are peppered with scorn for Trump voters and anti-feminists. But the primary tactic employed by writers to make viewers compromise their moral unease with vigilantism was to make Joe’s victims all awful people. Cheaters, wife beaters, murderers, mob enforcers, stalkers, pedophiles. Quite the rogues’ gallery concocted to tempt a viewers’ appetite for vengeance.
This track record primes us for when, in season 3, suburbanite father Gil gets Joe and Love’s new son ill because his children aren’t vaccinated against meningitis. (A move very out of character, given Gil hosts a science-themed birthday party for his kids an episode prior.) To add insult to injury: Gil’s bludgeoning with a rolling pin is a blow softened when we learn he covered for his son’s repeated sexual assaults, and that he embezzled church funds during an extramarital affair. But these later sins are revealed after he has already been beaten and imprisoned for his anti-vaccine views.
Gil’s confessions break the creative writing 101 convention of “Show, don’t tell.” Having characters monologue their topically relevant backstories shows that the scriptwriters are more committed to bolstering an extra-textual narrative than telling an authentic story. Joe & Love’s anti-“anti-vaxxer” soliloquies likewise bear the hallmarks of the writers’ ideological possession. But the biting irony is that having serial killers side with your political convictions isn’t the ringing endorsement you think it is. The protagonists of You are horrible people, no matter how attractive and intelligent they are. Nobody should take lectures on social responsibility from characters who moonlight as murderers.
As a man who’s had his MMR jabs, I was very uncomfortable watching the disturbing trend of world leaders’ anti-unvaccinated rhetoric translated into glorified violence in popular culture. President Biden and the Australian premier have blamed breakthrough cases on “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Scotland, Wales, Italy, and France have introduced vaccine passports to access nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Citizens of Canada, Queensland, and New York, as well as U.S. federal employees are threatened with unemployment due to vaccine mandates. The worldwide trend of authoritarian action in pursuit of an impossible zero-COVID utopia is instituting medical apartheid, at great profit to manufacturers with a history of unethical testing practices.
The logic of the married murders is that Gil deserves to die because he “put [their] son at risk.” With the show making mention of lockdowns, this appeal to collective responsibility goes for more than just the MMR vaccines. You breaks the fourth wall to accuse its unvaccinated viewers of being walking bioweapons, despite the infinitesimal statistical risk COVID poses to healthy children. In fact, side-effects like heart palpitations from Pfizer and Moderna have caused pauses in usage in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. When You’s writers conflate concerns about COVID vaccines with skepticism of the safety of long-term-tested MMRs and the endangerment of children, they overplay their disingenuous hand.
The inertia of our news cycle induces a collective amnesia. The headlines of today make us forget what outraged us yesterday. We’re so desensitized to tragedy and nonsensical wokery that our attention spans have worn thin. That’s how the cognitive dissonance concerning Netflix persists, how it can be applauded for defending Chapelle while Cuties still exists for every pedophile’s degenerate pleasure. But Netflix shouldn’t be allowed to let its endorsement of violence against the unvaccinated slide, no matter how addicted you are to Squid Game.
As long as Netflix populates its content with identity politics and endorsements of violence against your fellow Americans, they don’t deserve your subscription. Stop paying the wages of those who hate you, while fellow citizens lose their livelihoods to medical tyranny.
Connor Tomlinson is the Policy Director for the British Conservation Alliance, and a Young Voices UK Associate Contributor. He has a regular by-lines in American Spectator & 1828, and appearances on talkRadio & GB News. Follow him on Twitter: @Con_Tomlinson
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