New Netflix comedy special Schulz Saves America has been slammed as ‘racist’ and ‘dangerous’ over its jokes blaming Asians for the coronavirus pandemic and referring to the virus as the ‘Wuhanic plague.’
The new series, which premiered on the streaming service on Thursday, is hosted by standup comedian and YouTuber Andrew Schulz, who recaps the chaotic events that occurred in 2020.
The comedy special only consists of four, 15-minute episodes, but has already ruffled a few feathers on social media.
New comedy special Schulz Saves America premiered on Netflix on Thursday
The short series is hosted by standup comedian and YouTuber Andrew Schulz, who recaps the chaotic events that occurred in 2020
Critics took issue with Schulz’s offensive humor and his irreverent commentary on the deadly virus, which he also refers to as the ‘Asian parasite’.
During the opening of the first episode, Schulz accuses China of ‘shoving’ the disease ‘down our throats’, while joking about Americans’ refusal to wear of masks.
‘Don’t tell America what to wear. Tell China not to infect,’ Schulz says.
‘I mean, let’s be honest, next to squatting to smoke a cigarette, slinging viruses is their favorite thing to do.
‘They make everything over there: bubonic plague, SARS, bird flu, corona, 15-second dance videos. I mean, Chinese viruses have killed almost as many people as Chinese dictators,’ he adds.
The episode was panned by Humorism writer Seth Simon, who called Schulz’s monologue ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’, saying it echoed ‘anti-Chinese rhetoric used by Donald Trump and other GOP leaders’ at the start of the pandemic.
Schultz, known for his appearances on MTV’s Guy Code, was accused of ‘anti-Asian’ rhetoric
Some viewers took issue with Schulz’s offensive humor and his irreverent commentary on the deadly virus, which he also refers to as the ‘Asian parasite’
Simon also criticized Schulz for offering ‘less colorful contempt for his own country’s response to the pandemic.’
‘He applauds early guidance that people wash their hands and wear masks, while criticizing Democratic leaders who didn’t follow their own rules and Republican officials who profited off early warnings about the virus.’
Simon later took his critiques to Twitter saying: ‘Congratulations to Netflix on releasing a comedy special that calls coronavirus “the Asian parasite” in the first minute and equates “lockdown loyalists” to lockdown protestors in the second.’
Fellow writer and feminist activist Jessica Valenti, echoed Simon’s response, calling the show ‘disgusting’ and ‘dangerous.’
‘It is baffling that this kind of racism – which we know leads to real life violence against Asian people – was approved by Netflix,’ she said in a tweet.
However, others praised the series for its ‘clever’ and ‘funny’ writing
Valenti was referring to the surge in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans earlier this year after the virus first emerged in China.
The comments sparked debate on Twitter, with some users questioning Netflix’s decision to produce such a show.
‘Wow, disgusted that Netflix would endorse this rhetoric. Not just dog whistles but full on foghorns of racism and xenophobia,’ one viewer said.
Another user also blasted Netflix after it tweeted a more innocuous trailer of the series after its release.
‘Why don’t you put up a teaser of the first episode where this dumba** dudebro calls the coronavirus “the Asian parasite” and the “Wuhanic Plague” you fcking cowards,’ she wrote.
One user also blasted Netflix for tweeting a more innocuous trailer of the series after its release
On the other hand, some users welcomed the unfiltered jokes and praised the series for testing the boundaries with its writing.
‘If late night talk shows had witty writers with some balls and eliminated all the sh**ty parts of their show you would have [Schulz Saves America],’ one viewer said.
‘Schulz Saves America is a master class in joke writing. Alliterations. Wordplay. Metaphors. Subtle jabs. Relatable. Call backs. Rhymes. Clever AND funny,’ another added.
‘All delivered effortlessly with great cadence, dope visuals and no audience! You disrupted the system again @AndrewSchulz.’
Netflix is yet to respond to the criticism.