It seems like every time Tina Fey is getting a lot of attention, people start to complain about her ubiquity or her “message,” and then someone declares a backlash (usually claiming to have predicted it all along) and calls for an end to it. It’s the Circle of Life, and the latest one, spurred on by Fey’s recent SNL appearance promoting Date Night and concerning, among other things, Fey’s lack of overt feminism and offensive attractiveness, has been predicted, declared, and ended, this time by Salon’s Rebecca Traister in a very long essay with this as its point:
“We can’t lay the blame for the often ruthless nature of equal-opportunity mockery at the feet of a woman who never promised to do anything but entertain us.”
To this we would add: Do you want to be a famous Hollywood celebrity actress for a living? If not, Tina Fey is not your ideal mentor or role model, because that’s what her job is. Remember, she spends hours each day in a makeup chair. And while a certain amount of discourse about moral messages in popular culture is always necessary, the latest Über-trend of expecting from grown-up television and movies the kind of tidy parables and perfect characters we enforce on children’s entertainment needs to stop. We’re all adults here, and nobody wants to watch Gallant without Goofus.
The Tina Fey Backlash [Salon]