“Can I just start talking about why I’m sad?”
“We the Internet TV,” a comedy news channel that cuts against the left-leaning tendency of modern mainstream and late night comedy, billing itself as an “equal opportunity offender,” released a video Friday satirizing the so-called social justice warrior mentality in a skit.
In a comedic sketch shared to YouTube, a therapist (played by Shelly Shenoy) prods her patient, Lou (played by the head writer at “We the Internet”, Lou Perez), to acknowledge his white privilege ― the fact that Lou is nearly suicidal after the recent death of his father be damned.
“But … you’re white?” a befuddled Shenoy replies when Lou rambles on about his aching loneliness and depression. Not being able to fathom how a “straight, white, cis-male” could possibly be unhappy, she rattles off a list of questions intended to eliminate the possibility that Lou might belong to a more politically correct but less readily apparent identity group.
When Shenoy awakens to the fact that Lou is just a plain old white guy, she becomes indignant (“Do you realize the problems that people who aren’t straight, white, cis-males have?”) and patronizing (“Of course you don’t”).
Eventually, a confounded Lou questions the methods of the mental health professional who he came to for help. “Is this how it works?” he says. “Can I just start talking about why I’m sad?”
At one point, Lou is stunned when Shenoy responds to the revelation that he’s thought of hanging himself with rope by expressing dismay at his lack of wokeness. “I can’t believe you’d be so insensitive,” she says. “Hello? Lynchings in the south? You’re a white man appropriating black pain.”
The “We the Internet” segment is a humorous dig at the rhetorical wars raging over whether social justice mentality and political correctness culture have run amok and how we grapple with the power dynamics between dominant and minority groups.
The skit taps into the tension surrounding such conversations — especially between feminists and traditionalists. Jordan Peterson aficionados will recognize a moment in the sketch that hearkens back to Peterson’s now-infamous debate with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman (“So you’re saying fathers are more capable than mothers?”). Public reactions to the Channel 4 presenter versus the Canadian clinical psychologist and masculinity revivalist portray the ideological schism that’s riven society.