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A Critique of Red Letter Media’s Bigoted Content (See Staff Post)

RedVejigante

Member
Aug 18, 2018
1,229
I’ll keep watching them, alongside Bill Maher. Then again, I’m an adult that can listen to people who occasionally say things I don’t agree with and find offensive, examining the context in which it’s said and listen to responses to that in equal measure while making up my own mind. They’ve rarely crossed that line in thousands of hours of videos, and I also believe they are for diversity, just cynical about the ‘woke corporation’ aspect of it, which I agree with. Anytime a corporation sees where they can make a buck in sync with the current cultural zeitgeist, they’ll definitely take it.

Bill Maher is trash for example, but his panel discussions are great.
C'mon, implying that those who choose not to consume RLM's material because of some of their comments and content aren't "adults" is unfair. Furthermore, your comparison with Maher's program is off the mark since RLM's material is not about bringing on guests with specifically opposing viewpoints to hash out issues. You watch their content to hear them and their opinions. If their opinions are toxic, why continue to support them? As far as the "woke corporation" aspect goes, this has been gone over before. ANYTHING a corporation does is with its bottom line in mind, that doesn't mean that greater representation in entertainment is something to be lambasted just because it might not come from a place of 100% sincerity from some suit in an office somewhere. Perfect should not be the enemy of good and all that.
 

BrutalInsane

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,957
C'mon, implying that those who choose not to consume RLM's material because of some of their comments and content aren't "adults" is unfair. Furthermore, your comparison with Maher's program is off the mark since RLM's material is not about bringing on guests with specifically opposing viewpoints to hash out issues. You watch their content to hear them and their opinions. If their opinions are toxic, why continue to support them? As far as the "woke corporation" aspect goes, this has been gone over before. ANYTHING a corporation does is with its bottom line in mind, that doesn't mean that greater representation in entertainment is something to be lambasted just because it might not come from a place of 100% sincerity from some suit in an office somewhere. Perfect should not be the enemy of good and all that.
Sorry, I didn’t mean ‘adult’ as an insult, just a state of being.

I don’t think their opinions are toxic. Maybe .01% of the time, and that doesn’t hit my ‘cancel’ threshold. And there’s many different contributors to the show, some I gravitate to more than others, like Jay and Jack. I look at it the same as watching Maher . . . Should I not watch because he has Ann Coulter on the show?
 

Ageli

Banned
Nov 24, 2018
8
Across the body of their work, I'm not convinced at all by the notion their opinions are 'toxic'. There have been occasions where you could have deemed that as such - but I feel like...that's probably par for the course for, most human beings. We all have flaws, we all drop the ball sometimes, we all feel like we know something when the reality is we really don't know as much as we think about it. You can say something once or twice in your life that toes the line without being an inherently racist or sexist individual. Can people genuinely stand up in this thread and tell me that Mike and Jay are racist and sexist?
 

astro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,771
Across the body of their work, I'm not convinced at all by the notion their opinions are 'toxic'. There have been occasions where you could have deemed that as such - but I feel like...that's probably par for the course for, most human beings. We all have flaws, we all drop the ball sometimes, we all feel like we know something when the reality is we really don't know as much as we think about it. You can say something once or twice in your life that toes the line without being an inherently racist or sexist individual. Can people genuinely stand up in this thread and tell me that Mike and Jay are racist and sexist?
Their shitty dismissive attitudes help perpetuate these things.

This is not hard.
 
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RedVejigante

Member
Aug 18, 2018
1,229
Sorry, I didn’t mean ‘adult’ as an insult, just a state of being.

I don’t think their opinions are toxic. Maybe .01% of the time, and that doesn’t hit my ‘cancel’ threshold. And there’s many different contributors to the show, some I gravitate to more than others, like Jay and Jack. I look at it the same as watching Maher . . . Should I not watch because he has Ann Coulter on the show?
Well, you could certainly make the case that Maher helps signal boosts people like Coulter and her abhorrent views by giving them a platform. Like the time he buddied-up with Milo. Now whether these kinds of actions are enough for you personally to continue supporting his program or not is going to be entirely up to you, much like with RLM. I'm certainly not trying to tell you what to do. I guess I'm just asking for understanding that there has been displayed a pattern of regressive behavior when it comes to political/social issues in RLM's content that it gives people a more than justifiable reason to be wary of them, if not eschew their content completely. And it least in Maher's case, the idea is, at least in theory, to have opposing viewpoint present their case. When Mike uses a Godzilla review to perpetuate harmful, tiresome gender identity jokes, no one is there to challenge him. Mike does his schtick, Jay giggles, and the idea that gender identity issues are something to be mocked and derided is perpetuated.
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,801
Can people genuinely stand up in this thread and tell me that Mike and Jay are racist and sexist?
I don't know, but they're a pair of white guys in their late 30s who appear to be surrounded entirely by echo chamber voices that don't challenge their privilege and frequently expose their ignorance about basic social topics. They have been rapidly becoming more grotesque over the last 2-3 years and are approaching a point where they can't step back without losing their audience that is now primed to expect this kind of content.

In 2019, in the modern sociopolitical environment, there is no functional difference between a bigot and a non-bigot who actively courts a bigoted audience.
 

EdibleKnife

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,658
Used to watch them for a long time but dropped them not long after they had Max Landis hang out and around the same time as the all-female Ghostbusters where it was becoming clearer and clearer that they were just pricks.

Across the body of their work, I'm not convinced at all by the notion their opinions are 'toxic'. There have been occasions where you could have deemed that as such - but I feel like...that's probably par for the course for, most human beings. We all have flaws, we all drop the ball sometimes, we all feel like we know something when the reality is we really don't know as much as we think about it. You can say something once or twice in your life that toes the line without being an inherently racist or sexist individual. Can people genuinely stand up in this thread and tell me that Mike and Jay are racist and sexist?
Yes I'll say it: They're bigots. You and them can pretend otherwise but that's how it is. Like astro said, they perpetuate bigoted toxicity through their brand of "comedy". That would be bad on its own but like Steven Crowder, or PDP, or JonTron, or Dave Rubin, there is no doubt that they've been told as much directly and indirectly and refuse to change. That's the most important part of this. I get it that no one wants to be called out as a bigot or racist but at the end of the day, you can level with yourself and grow if you internalize that the damage you do by your behavior is the reason why those supposedly harsh words are used. Yeah, people drop the ball but the important part is to put in the work to not drop it again. Someone with empathy, the ability to self-reflect and self-critique and the interest in putting in the actual effort to excise their toxic behavior can leave those labels behind. In this case though we have a pattern of this shit from RLM. If they don't make the effort to learn or change, then they deserve to be called bigots. You're right that we don't know their minds, but people reveal what is in their minds by the actions they take. Beliefs, mindsets and ideals are reflected in how people behave. That is literally human nature in itself. If people repeat mistakes it shows that they have no interest in bettering themselves.
 
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BrutalInsane

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,957
Well, you could certainly make the case that Maher helps signal boosts people like Coulter and her abhorrent views by giving them a platform. Like the time he buddied-up with Milo. Now whether these kinds of actions are enough for you personally to continue supporting his program or not is going to be entirely up to you, much like with RLM. I'm certainly not trying to tell you what to do. I guess I'm just asking for understanding that there has been displayed a pattern of regressive behavior when it comes to political/social issues in RLM's content that it gives people a more than justifiable reason to be wary of them, if not eschew their content completely. And it least in Maher's case, the idea is, at least in theory, to have opposing viewpoint present their case. When Mike uses a Godzilla review to perpetuate harmful, tiresome gender identity jokes, no one is there to challenge him. Mike does his schtick, Jay giggles, and the idea that gender identity issues are something to be mocked and derided is perpetuated.
Understood, thank you for your input, seriously. I totally see what you’re saying, while I may not agree with it 100%, it still gives me some insight.
 

Xpike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,327
I don't know, but they're a pair of white guys in their late 30s who appear to be surrounded entirely by echo chamber voices that don't challenge their privilege and frequently expose their ignorance about basic social topics. They have been rapidly becoming more grotesque over the last 2-3 years and are approaching a point where they can't step back without losing their audience that is now primed to expect this kind of content.

In 2019, in the modern sociopolitical environment, there is no functional difference between a bigot and a non-bigot who actively courts a bigoted audience.
do you know them personally to be able to make these statements?
 

Xpike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,327
I don't think you understood what "non-bigot who actively courts a bigoted audience" meant here
They actively make fun of their audience and have never made any calls to action for racism/xenophobia/homophobia, in fact they've acknowledged that it's good that films are more diverse a couple of times, and called the Star Wars prequels on the weird mysogynist themes it has.
But guess I just am not woke enough
 

EdibleKnife

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,658
They actively make fun of their audience and have never made any calls to action for racism/xenophobia/homophobia, in fact they've acknowledged that it's good that films are more diverse a couple of times, and called the Star Wars prequels on the weird mysogynist themes it has.
But guess I just am not woke enough
The OP actually has examples of their toxic behavior. If you can't even do that much to refute that pattern, I'm not sure why you're on edge.
 

Xpike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,327
User Banned (1 week): dismissing bigotry and community whining over multiple posts
The OP actually has examples of their toxic behavior. If you can't even do that much to refute that pattern, I'm not sure why you're on edge.
I'm not the edge, I'm just disagreeing
But every single disagreement against this site's groupthink is active agreesion I guess
 
Feb 8, 2019
631
Everybody always turns a critique about something they like into
"OH WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!? I'M SUPPOSED TO STOP LIKING RED LETTER OR SOMETHING!?"
Do what you want, watch RLM, don't watch them. Not every conversation is about pushing some sort of moral dilemma on you.
 
More bigotry

Seesaw15

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,095
I'll have to watch it again, but in recalling the content that video, I don't think I can agree that the point was that "sexism is fake news," much less racism which they don't even mention. It's been awhile since I watched anything of theirs, but I would also be deeply surprised if they said "x group doesn't need representation," in fact I've heard them say diversity is a good thing, praise Daisy Ridley, mock man babies. Got a clip?

Clip starts at 10:38

Essentially at the very end of the video Rich brings up all the racist attacks Leslie Jones got after being cast in the film. They play a clip of Dan Aykroyd explaining why this happened/calling the 2016 election. Its not analyzed and is pretty much played as a joke that they are the victims.


Quote starts at 2:29.

Feminism ,stereotypes, political awareness, misandry ,misogyny, feminazi, proto feminism, mansplaining, Hetero- narrative, empowering feminists topicality. These are terms we can now associate with a fun superhero movie today. Thanks world.

Why it's Wonder Woman. Finally in this hopeless age of Trump little girls have someone thay can look up to. Forget their own mother's, physicist Marie Curie ,Mae Jemison, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Susan B Anthony, Hillary Clinton and even fucking Cleopatra. Finally little girls and grown women all over the world can look up to a fictional amazon princess with a magic whip who stars in a movie no one will remember in two weeks.
Honestly, if anyone wants to understand why people have a problem with RLM in 2019 all you have to do is watch their 2012 review for Redtails. The world has changed around them but their level of thinking/film criticism hasn't evolved past 2008 post-race Obama America. Racism/sexism is a problem society has dealt with a long time ago so stop trying to play the race/sex card to sell movie tickets! Sometimes they have good points but then just trip over themselves whenever they try and discussion social issues.

Starts at 18:17
 
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Cheebo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,245
Ann Arbor, MI
The Red Tails video is incredibly racist. They attack the filmmakers of Red Tails for "bringing race" into the discussion and took offense at the idea that there weren't already black heroes in film for black kids to look up to. And then they went on a random tangent mocking Spike Lee.
 

RedVejigante

Member
Aug 18, 2018
1,229
I mean, is anything more inane than the notion of a middle aged white dude proclaiming that young girls and minorities "don't care" about seeing themselves represented in media?
 

nando

Member
Oct 25, 2017
746
snake way
Pasty fat white male nerds being racist and misogynistic is a huge market on youtube

RLM definitely sucks. I remember way back loving the SW Plinkett reviews, but damn, these dudes are clearly bigots.

If they have no problem acting that way on camera, imagine behind the scenes
 
OP
OP
PhoncipleBone

PhoncipleBone

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,180
Kentucky, USA

Clip starts at 10:38

Essentially at the very end of the video Rich brings up all the racist attacks Leslie Jones got after being cast in the film. They play a clip of Dan Aykroyd explaining why this happened/calling the 2016 election. Its not analyzed and is pretty much played as a joke that they are the victims.


Quote starts at 2:29.



Honestly, if anyone wants to understand why people have a problem with RLM in 2019 all you have to do is watch their 2012 review for Redtails. The world has changed around them but their level of thinking/film criticism hasn't evolved past 2008 post-race Obama America. Racism/sexism is a problem society has a dealt with a long time ago so stop trying to play the race/sex card to sell movie tickets! Sometimes they have good points but then just trip over themselves whenever they try and discussion social issues.

Starts at 18:17
Thank you. Added to thread marks.
 

zashga

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,030
It’s gotten harder to defend them over the past few years, and I’ve been watching less of their content. Mike’s throwaway gender identity joke during a Godzilla review of all things may have been the last straw for me. There’s only so many jokes they can make about people who are different from their straight white male circle of friends before it becomes really, genuinely uncomfortable. Their complaints about inclusivity in media and Brie Larson (why is it always Brie Larson?) don’t even have the excuse of being jokes; those are just their defensive, reactionary views.

Hadn’t seen Rich Evans’s rant about the women’s march before. That’s a whole other level of grossness.
 

EdibleKnife

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,658
I'm not the edge, I'm just disagreeing
But every single disagreement against this site's groupthink is active agreesion I guess
You know how people can tell you're being disingenuous? You classify people agreeing on something as group think rather than you just being blind to the realities of what's being discussed. If you created a topic on gaming side about gambling mechanics you'd get a lot of people agreeing how they're scummy. You probably wouldn't call that group think because the consequences of those mechanics are clear. Same with bigoted rhetoric and comedy. You call it group think but it's just you remaining oblivious to the long tail of content creators being flippant about the activism and efforts of the marginalized. If you want to disagree, fine. But actually back it up like the OP did rather than vaguely citing the one or two times RLM strayed from their consistent pattern of toxic humor. Also you aren't woke enough. The reason that is is because in the society we're currently imprisoned in, there is more to being an ally than just doing a nice thing a few times. Disenfranchised people aren't interested in tolerating people who just decide not to be gross a few times while contributing to bigotry every other time. And we're aggressive because this isn't a damn game and the consequences of RLM's repeated behavior stretch beyond just their videos and their audience.
 
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Surfinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,206
USA
Lmao.

I love how the defense has shifted to scapegoating Rich, as if the other two guys aren't involved in any of the many receipts in the OP and throughout this thread.

Come on. All of these guys suck and are involved in bigoted commentary and bits. One defending Trump and trashing protesters doesn't suddenly make Mike and Jay any better.

Why is this such a hard thing for so many to accept?

I bet soon someone is going to post a percentage breakdown of their bigoted commentary vs their normal film commentary to prove just how not not racist and sexist they are
 
OP
OP
PhoncipleBone

PhoncipleBone

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,180
Kentucky, USA
We have a fucking RLM OT that's got like 6K+ posts in it but there's an Era hivemind against these fuckos. Sure.
Which says admin/mods don’t want to upset members even if the content the OT about is extremely questionable. It is the reason many bad faith and questionable members continue to thrive on here because they have fans and admin doesn’t want to put their foot down and upset people by weeding the place out.
 

Violet

Member
Feb 7, 2019
2,783
dc
Obnoxious politics aside, RLM has never been a worthwhile source for film criticism at all. They are basically just redditors who saw Terminator 2 and The Thing and assumed that they were the new authorities on popular movies.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,964
a sunken pirate ship
Which says admin/mods don’t want to upset members even if the content the OT about is extremely questionable. It is the reason many bad faith and questionable members continue to thrive on here because they have fans and admin doesn’t want to put their foot down and upset people by weeding the place out.
It's funny how on the last page or so of the OT you see folks complaining about the Era hivemind there too, and it's like,
bro what
what hivemind
 

Surfinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,206
USA
Which says admin/mods don’t want to upset members even if the content the OT about is extremely questionable. It is the reason many bad faith and questionable members continue to thrive on here because they have fans and admin doesn’t want to put their foot down and upset people by weeding the place out.
The OT is a protected area where members can freely bash ERA and openly dismiss RLM's bigotry. It's disgusting.
 

Icemonk191

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,486
Which says admin/mods don’t want to upset members even if the content the OT about is extremely questionable. It is the reason many bad faith and questionable members continue to thrive on here because they have fans and admin doesn’t want to put their foot down and upset people by weeding the place out.
Yeah the admins have really drop the ball on this. They didn't even give a reason as to why they won't ban them. What makes RLM so special?
 

beelulzebub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
943
Which says admin/mods don’t want to upset members even if the content the OT about is extremely questionable. It is the reason many bad faith and questionable members continue to thrive on here because they have fans and admin doesn’t want to put their foot down and upset people by weeding the place out.
I consume problematic media. I mean we all do. It’s all a matter of what we’re able to look past and overlook and why. However, I’m never going to turn down a discussion about why what I like is problematic. Anything Kojima and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are two examples that come to mind that I watch and enjoy and am always happy to talk about. I know what’s worth defending in those works and what’s not, and if discussion on either of those become banned I wouldn’t be bothered by it.

What’s remarkable about the RLM OT and a good number of RLM fans in this thread is how disinterested they are in that discussion. THAT alone speaks volumes. Not everything we watch is going to be morally perfect. Really nothing is. But if you’re actually interested in bettering the world around you, you can’t get defensive and shut down that discussion before it begins. That indicates to me a toxic fan base.
 
May 9, 2019
90
Australia
Obnoxious politics aside, RLM has never been a worthwhile source for film criticism at all. They are basically just redditors who saw Terminator 2 and The Thing and assumed that they were the new authorities on popular movies.
Obnoxious politics aside, their Prequel videos were really good at capturing peoples problems with those movies and pinning down exactly why they sucked. Their criticism and influence on how people talk about Star Wars online shouldn't really be dismissed as basic reddit tier comments.
 

Icemonk191

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,486
Or many members of other communities who troll and harass.
Like I get that they don't want to be like what neogaf was, where you could get ban just for looking at someone funny, but it seems like they sung the pendulum too far in the other direction and now they're hesitant to do any action when it comes to situations like this.
 

House_Of_Lightning

Self-requested ban
Banned
Oct 29, 2017
5,048
User banned (2 weeks): Inflammatory false equivalence, dismissing concerns around bigotry
I've never watched RLM or know who they are, but after kinda browsing over this thread...

I don't know, but they're a pair of white guys in their late 30s who appear to be surrounded entirely by echo chamber voices that don't challenge their privilege and frequently expose their ignorance about basic social topics.
All internet communities are largely insular and self aggrandizing, be it some shitty YouTube show or even places like ERA.

In 2019, in the modern sociopolitical environment, there is no functional difference between a bigot and a non-bigot who actively courts a bigoted audience.
Not actively saying "Fuck Right Wingers!" at the beginning of every sentence does not make someone just as bad. It is this type of sentiment that encourages your prior complaint. No one wants to sit around having someone constantly "check their privilege" every time they make a joke about how an actress is ugly or a cynical joke.

But more importantly, some of the complaints in the OP just seem to be angry that RLM trash talked opportunistic corporations, not seeing the benefit of marching for unspecific reasons instead of specific grievances, and insulted a celebrity. Demanding that RLM and anyone who watches them be banned on this forum is some pretty weak e-warrior shit. OP spent a bunch of their time cataloging what is ultimately a long list of small grievances when probably doing almost literally anything would have been a more socially beneficial way of spending their time.

It's weird to me that a group of people would be so averse to criticial discussion of a group who are, ostensibly, critics themselves
I don't think it's weird to see the list of complaints in OP and not really giving much of a fuck.

There's an inherent unseriousness about the statement "we need to have a critical discussion on a video game forum about a couple of YouTube chuckle fucks".
 

Aexact

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,553
Obnoxious politics aside, their Prequel videos were really good at capturing peoples problems with those movies and pinning down exactly why they sucked. Their criticism and influence on how people talk about Star Wars online shouldn't really be dismissed as basic reddit tier comments.
I think they were pioneers of the video essay and were viewed with a less critical eye at the time. While they had some great points like “describe the character without mentioning their clothes or job”, there’s a large amount of nit picky “did they read the script” CinemaSins moments too.
 

Gentlemen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,186
Hey they can't help it if rich randomly spouts racist trash at will. They can't predict what he'll say (again), and they're certalinly not in conscious control of the script, editing, post-production or distribution of any of the footage they capture of Rich being a racist and them laughing at it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,998
Why stop at RLM when we could be going after Disney or whatever other major studio for a history of bigoted content?
 

EdibleKnife

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,658
Because OP's position is ridiculous and the some of the responses in this thread are hilariously exaggerated.
If you literally know nothing about RLM then you're on the back foot and need your own burden of proof to counter the OP. You're literally coming from a position of ignorance and expecting people to buy your stance that the OP is being ridiculous. You say the OP compiled a long list of small grievances but that is simply your own attitude. To the people on the other end of that sort of bigoted comedy there's nothing insignificant about it and it's brought up because it breeds the very toxic bigoted society and people we're burdened with today.

Why stop at RLM when we could be going after Disney or whatever other major studio for a history of bigoted content?
Because people have done so and continue to do so already. No one is interested in giving bigotry from other sources a past. This topic exists because this bigotry needs to be addressed as much as Disney's particularly considering that these days YT personalities can draw more eyes and fans than some films.
 
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Fudgepuppy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,775
In hindsight, they really dropped the ball with the Red Tails review. It felt like their standpoint wasn't that diversity is bad, but that the problem was with George Lucas acting as some sort of authority on what black audiences "need and want". Ironically, they did the same in the review by implying Red Tails as a concept was pointless because there have been 10+ movies about black people in history.

I remember the moment when I went "Okay, that's it. Unsubscribing", and it was in the Godzilla KOM review when they went with the "assume gender joke", which coincidentally seems to be the only joke right-wing people can make.