CEMOTAP Open Letter To Netflix

An Open Letter to Ted Sarandos Co-Chief Executive Officer of Netflix

CEMOTAP Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People
135-05 Rockaway Boulevard South Ozone Park, N.Y. 11420 (347-907-0629)

Ted Sarandos
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Netflix Corporate Headquarters
100 Winchester Circle Los Gatos, CA 95032,

Sir, the purpose of this letter is to express outrage at your ill advised and ill named release of “Netflix Good Times Reboot.” This insulting cartoon has only the most superficial and negative relationship to the original Good Times TV series. The claim by some of the creators that this is satire is so bogus as to not warrant response. The great satirists took on powerful people, not the people in the ostensibly less powerful position. When powerful people such as yourself and Seth McFarlane portray African people in this way you are ridiculing us not satirizing the powerful. 

Historically such ridicule has often preceded actual violence against the people ridiculed. Hollywood’s “Birth of a Nation” preceding the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and Red Summer of 1919 in which more Black people were lynched in America than in any other year of its history, is just one example of that sequence. If you do not understand this reference, google it. It is not the purpose of this letter to educate you comprehensively. 

However, we will take the time to review with you seven of the specific offensive messages delivered in your trailer for this series. 

Message 1. Black People are Ugly: Portraying the father figure’s face with small cranium and wide jaw in such a way as to fit the template of Magilla Gorilla is not funny. It is a part of a longstanding trope of whites making simian references to African people. Ironically Thomas Jefferson made similar reference in his Notes on the State of Virginia. We would have thought you would not be guilty of the exact same hypocrisy. 

Message 2. Black People are Stupid: Having a father ask his son, is it possible for his daughter to get disability for her face is not funny. It is ridicule and in the tradition of another long-standing trope.

Message 3. Black People are violent and criminal from birth : Portraying Black babies as selling drugs and shooting Automatic weapons at each other is not funny. It is all too real. 

Message 4. Black People are rude, crude, lewd and hypersexual Portraying a bug-eyed dog watch a man with the profile of a gorilla have sex with a Black woman doggy style while slapping her bottom is not funny. It is not satire it is ridicule. Portraying the Black teacher as an alcoholic ( sipping from her flask), nicotine addict (cigarettes in her pocket), pedophile, making sexually loaded comments about one of her students (a child) is not funny. 

Message 5. Black People's Struggle for Freedom, Justice and Equality is a joke: Using Rosa Parks name as a rebuke is not funny. Portraying Harriet Tubman having sex with Gwyneth Paltrow as McFarlane did in earlier cartoons is not satire. It is ridicule and the recurrence of a sick McFarlane theme. 

Message 6. Black People are worthless: Portraying a Black Father telling his children he was dumb for not wearing a condom when his wife conceived them is not satire it is ridicule. Having your characters calling a Black woman the B word or a Black boy the N word is not funny it is offensive. 

Message 7. Black People have nothing sacred that whites are bound to respect: Superfluous reference to our ancestors, ridicule of Jesus portrayed as white, ridicule of Jesus portrayed as Black and ridicule of God with a Black voice portrayed with lavender and turquoise fingernails, superfluous reference to the Ancient African God Anubis and to Ancestor Rosa Parks is sacrilege to the main objects of worship of Black people in America. Please note that It did not go unnoticed how you did not make reference to Muhammad Ibn Abdullah or the God Allah in this trailer. You have obviously learned the lesson taught to Salman Rushdie in his ill-advised attempts at humor. True satirists don’t generally spare foes they consider dangerous. Bullies do. Since you have released all 10 episodes of this atrocity, already and appear to have the intent to leave them available to the public indefinitely. There is no room for negotiation. We are going to exercise our right as free people to withhold our dollars from your enterprise for as long as you show this outrage and to withhold our dollars for at least an equal amount of time after you stop. 

James C. McIntosh, M.D. and Betty J. Dopson