If You Hate PC Culture, You Will Love This Lesbian-Focused Website’s Reason For Pulling A ‘Sausage Party’ Review

by 3 years ago

Sausage Party via Contact Music

I personally have no problem with our society’s shift to being much more politically correct. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with people wanting to be identified and spoken to on their own terms, and any of your personal inabilities to accept that aren’t really the hill you should be dying on. You may not believe it, but it is making the world a better place in the long run.

That said, I do understand why people think it has gone past the point of reasonable and delved into an absurdity that borders on self parody.

And if you don’t think that, well, reading further will make you believe it. Because this is a world onto itself.

Our story is from a site called AutoStraddle.com, which describes itself as “a progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends).”

Word. Cool. Great to have a spot on the web where you can surround yourself with like-minded individuals. This place is no different.

And like this site, they reviewed Sausage Party. (Although we may not have. We are profoundly lazy.)

They, though, after some uproar, took the review down. Why? We’ll let them explain. From a post titled “We Messed Up.”

Yesterday we published a review of Seth Rogen’s new animated film, Sausage Party. After we received feedback about it from our Trans Editor Mey Rude, the members of the QTPOC Speakeasy and Facebook commenters, we decided to un-publish the piece.

What follows is a review of all the failures that led to the article’s publication that is so comprehensive it makes the 9/11 Commission’s post-mortem look like a first grader’s book report on Hop on Pop

I’m only gonna include some snippets, but you should read the whole fucking thing.

On Saturday we received a pitch from a freelancer who enjoyed Salma Hayek’s portrayal of the animated queer taco in Sausage Party; she found it to be surprisingly nuanced.

A discussion about the piece followed.

heather: Salma Hayek Is a Surprisingly Endearing Lesbian Taco in “Sausage Party”
how’s that [headline]?
i can’t see how a latina woman voicing a lesbian taco in a seth rogen movie could ever be a good thing, but this review says it is nuanced and sweet
riese: is the reviewer white
heather: i don’t know
a lot of reviewers are talking about how this is a really nuanced allegory about theology and faith? that feels so impossible.
will someone else read the sausage party post? i have made the few edits it needed for readability, but i feel uneasy because i haven’t seen it and it is a latina lesbian taco falling in love with a hot dog bun
Yvonne: lol i can read it
heather: thank you
Yvonne: i think it’s fine heather! i think i wouldn’t watch the movie because it’s in the category of movies i hate and i hope our readers can make that distinction for themselves. and it’s not like we’re endorsing this movie, just pointing out there’s a lesbian taco
heather: i hope it’s not transmisogynistic. i went through ten pages of google results and tumblr and didn’t see anything about transphobia or transmisogyny

I’m … not sure what transmisogony is.

Anyways, they went ahead and published the review. Their readers were fucking DISPLEASED that Salma Hayek Was a Surprisingly Endearing Lesbian Taco in “Sausage Party”

After we published the review, we heard from Latinx readers who believe the portrayal of Salma Hayek’s taco was racist and that it reinforced harmful stereotypes. We heard from readers who were upset that we labeled the taco a lesbian when it seems more likely that she was bisexual. We heard from readers who questioned the consent of the sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun. We heard from readers who found the taco to be a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman.

There are several reasons I should have listened to the alarm bells of unease I felt about the Sausage Party review. First and most damning: we allowed a non-Latina writer to cover a story about a caricature of a Latina, and while the review didn’t specifically mention the film’s stereotyping, by praising the film as a positive portrayal of a queer Latina, we allowed a white writerto, in effect, condone that stereotyping. Second, when I was looking for reviews, I trusted the opinion of mainstream newspapers and websites and didn’t specifically seek out reviews written by women of color, generally; or Latina women, specifically.

But don’t worry. Just like George W. Bush looked at John Ashcroft on September 12th and said “Never again,” Autostraddle is taking unprecedented measures to prevent a catastrophe like this from ever happening again.

Several weeks ago, Riese combed through our archives and our payroll and created a document called Diversity Initiative, in which she laid out the ways we are succeeding and failing in making sure Autostraddle is a constant source of voices of people of color. The senior editors studied her report and spent several hours on the phone the following day to brainstorm and make an action plan — both as individual editors and as a company — to hire, promote, pay, and publish more writers of color, and to make sure the writers of color who are on our staff have the editorial support they need to create the content they’re passionate about publishing.

We understand that (like most online media for LGBTQ folks) the majority of our senior staff is white, and that because of that, we make decisions based on our conditioning by white supremacy. Yesterday’s Sausage Party review is a very hurtful example of what happens when our lack of access and that blindness and our weaknesses as editors due to our privilege and systemic racism collide. I take full responsibility for the pain and anger the review caused.

We’re not there yet. In fact, we will never get there because the work will never be done. And we’re going to keep fucking up along our way. But we are constantly working to get better. I will redouble my own efforts to unpack my role in the systemic oppression of people of color and to check the ways in which I benefit from that system. I love you very much, and I want to work with you to make the world better.

Makes the fucking TSA look like a little kid holding a sheriff’s badge.

[Via everyone, but @ByronTau first]

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