Lena Waithe faces backlash for racial violence in new Amazon series ‘Them’

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The series, created by black producer and writer Little Marvin (left) and produced by Emmy-winning black producer, actress and screenwriter Waithe (right), was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.



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Lena Waithe is facing a backlash on social media over her new series ‘Them’, with some claiming they ‘thought a white person wrote it’ because of her portrayal of racial violence.

Several people took to Twitter on Saturday, accusing the show of invoking “hate crime fantasies” because of a scene in the fifth episode where a baby is brutally murdered while its mother is raped.

The new horror series tells the fictional story of a black family who moved from North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in Compton, Los Angeles, during the great migration of the 1950s.

Though she’s hoping the move is an escape from the Jim Crow South, the Emory family soon find themselves in peril of supernatural forces and racism from their new white neighbors who, among other things, burn the n-word on their lawns.

Lena Waithe faces a backlash on social media over her new series ‘Them’ (illustrated promotional poster), with some claiming they ‘thought a white person wrote it’ because of her portrayal of racial violence.

The series, created by black producer and writer Little Marvin and produced by Emmy-winning black producer, actress and screenwriter Waithe, was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

But the show’s fury largely erupted after the Los Angeles Times published an article asking if the show had gone “too far.”

The review pointed to a flashback moment in episode five showing the murder of the child before the family left North Carolina.

In the scene, mother Lucky hides her son Chester in a closet as a white crowd creeps into her home.

The mob finds them and the men sexually assault Lucky as the woman stuffs the baby into a pillowcase and throws it while chanting “cat in the bag” before dropping the child to the ground, killing him.

The episode in question was written by Little Marvin and Dominic Orlando and directed by Janicza Bravo.

Social media users criticized the violent portrayal and attacked Waithe, questioning his portrayal of violence against blacks, with some calling it “propaganda for white terrorists.”

“I have been a huge horror fan for over 30 years. Lena Waithe’s ‘Them’ is the cheapest horror genre, ”one person wrote.

“This is propaganda for white terrorists and torturing porn fetishists. There is a huge difference between fear and loathing. The sight is disgusting.

The series, created by black producer and writer Little Marvin (left) and produced by Emmy-winning black producer, actress and screenwriter Waithe (right), was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

The series, created by black producer and writer Little Marvin (left) and produced by Emmy-winning black producer, actress and screenwriter Waithe (right), was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

Another person rang: “Lena Waithe, like many bourgeois black artists, uses black trauma to give their work a depth that they are too lazy or unable to provide.

“Too often people see a job as deep because black people are victimized and Waithe doubles down to appear deep. ”

Others cast doubt on how people of color approved of the show.

“I think Lena Waithe should see them again and try to decipher who her target audience was,” one person wrote.

‘Who exactly was she doing this series for? Honestly, when I saw the trailers and read about the show, I thought a white person wrote it. do NOT look at them. ”

Another agreed: “Lena Waithe going as far as she does could be a sign that there is still little to no diversity in these pieces as there is no way for Lena to present this story to a real black person alive and having the green light. “

“Lena Waithe will pay for her crimes against the black community,” wrote one person alongside a meme of an angry Barney the dinosaur.

Several people took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize what they claim to call 'hate crime fantasies' about a brutal scene in the fifth episode where a baby is brutally murdered while his mother is raped

Several people took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize what they claim to call 'hate crime fantasies' about a brutal scene in the fifth episode where a baby is brutally murdered while his mother is raped

Several people took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize what they claim to call “hate crime fantasies” about a brutal scene in the fifth episode where a baby is brutally murdered while his mother is raped

Waithe and Little Marvin are both black.

Little Marvin defended the spectacle of violence by saying it was necessary for the “genuineness” of the black experience during this time in America.

“Yes, there is a concern, but at the end of the day, as an artist, I have to sit down with myself and fight against the authenticity of the show,” he told LA Times.

“If I can sleep through the night knowing that this whole business has authenticity and integrity, then I’m fine. “

He said the point was not to be “provocative or hot”, but to ask for two things: “what terrified us the most and what felt most true.” Usually these two things were the same.

The executive producer also highlighted the key moment of its release, saying it was “a scary place in 2021”.

“We are incredibly fractured and separated in the middle,” he said.

“There are people who want to bring the country back to a time that they think is great, and there are people who are fighting for progress. It’s a scary place in 2021. ”

The nation faces a racial toll after the death of George Floyd and multiple black police murders.

The new horror series tells the fictional story of a black family who moved from North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in Compton, Los Angeles, during the great migration of the 1950s.

The new horror series tells the fictional story of a black family who moved from North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in Compton, Los Angeles, during the great migration of the 1950s.

The new horror series tells the fictional story of a black family who moved from North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in Compton, Los Angeles, during the great migration of the 1950s.

Despite hopes that the move would be an escape from the Jim Crow South, the Emory family soon find themselves in peril of supernatural forces and racism from their new white neighbors who, among other things, burn the n-word on their lawns.

Despite hopes that the move would be an escape from the Jim Crow South, the Emory family soon find themselves in peril of supernatural forces and racism from their new white neighbors who, among other things, burn the n-word on their lawns.

Despite hopes that the move would be an escape from the Jim Crow South, the Emory family soon find themselves in peril of supernatural forces and racism from their new white neighbors who, among other things, burn the n-word on their lawns.

White cop Derek Chauvin’s trial for Floyd’s murder is currently underway in Minneapolis court.

Floyd’s death has sparked new calls for racial justice and an end to systemic racism, but it comes as concerns also grow about the re-emergence of white supremacy and extremism.

Little Marvin said seeing shocking videos of violence against blacks lately had inspired him to tell the story of “Them”.

“My inspiration was to wake up every day and see cellphone videos of black people being terrified in some way, either by threats from the police, surveillance or whatever,” he said.

“This story goes back to the founding of our country. I was also thinking of the American dream. There is nothing more iconic than owning your home.

“There is great pride in this, especially for blacks. But as you know, it was anything but a dream. It has been a nightmare for black people.

Little Marvin defended the violence saying it shows the 'genuineness' of the experience of racism and several social media users agreed those who criticized it were simply 'uncomfortable' about it. to the reality of racism.

Little Marvin defended the violence saying it shows the 'genuineness' of the experience of racism and several social media users agreed those who criticized it were simply 'uncomfortable' about it. to the reality of racism.

Little Marvin defended the violence by saying it showed the “authenticity” of the experience of racism, and several social media users agreed that those who criticized it were simply “uncomfortable” with the reality of it. racism.

Several social media users agreed with the creators, saying those who criticized the portrayal of violence were simply “uncomfortable” with the reality of racism.

“#THEM on Amazon is insane. This new kind of horror that examines the trauma of black people through racism is not going away anytime soon, ”one person wrote.

And judging by the reviews, it makes our friends without melanin uncomfortable. So you know it’s good.

Another person agreed, responding, “Glad you enjoyed (?!) That! I couldn’t agree more – I heard one reviewer say it was too much and she wished it had been redialed.

“The whole point is missing there. Really tough show to work on anything considered, but I’m glad it got recognized. ”

Much of the criticism was directed at Waithe, better known than Little Marvin, after she became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the Netflix comedy drama series Master of None.

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