Republican Senators call on Netflix to cancel upcoming adaptation of "The Three Body Problem" over author's awful Muslim comments

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/30/republican-senators-call-on-netflix-to-cancel-upcoming-adaptation-of-the-three-body-problem-over-authors-awful-muslim-comments.html

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Dear Republicans (in particular, but Democrats too),

Start with your own anti-muslim hate, torture, starvation, invasion, theft, and murder.

When you’re done there you’ll be in a position to criticise the brutal racist Chinese state.

Signed,

The Rest of the Fucking World

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“You can’t defend the Uighur genocide; that’s our job!” ~ Republicans

In all seriousness, the hypocrites probably got wind that President Obama liked the book.

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11th-doc-this|nullxnull

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are sure that word i bolded shouldn’t be hypocritically instead?

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Wait wait wait…I don’t get it, isn’t this exactly the dreaded cancel culture and political correctness we’re supposed to fight against?

These Senators should expect a strongly worded letter from Dennis Praeger and Adam Carolla any time now.

(that said, Liu’s views on this are fucking repugnant–there’s no great guys to root for in this story)

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To be fair, the majority of refugees in the world are Muslim, and while I think the US and particularly the Republican faction are kind of world leading in how many they create, lots of other countries from Burma to Thailand to France to Sweden act with official hatred to Muslims.

As does any county that doesn’t take refugees and asylum seekers. So plenty of guilt to go around. And we can fix our own countries.

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The comments are awful (assuming he’s not just aping the CP line for his own safety), but I have empathy for why he made them.

He’s spent his life being filled with CP propaganda, in some aspects he made be able to see through that propaganda, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to think he should be able to see through it in it’s entirety. If you’re going to disavow every Chinese citizen who’s internalized a distasteful bit of rhetoric you’re going to disavow most Chinese citizens.

I think you can respect Mr. Lui, and his work, while acknowledging that due to his life experience he has some views that are quite distasteful.

At the same time you can advocate for the Uighurs, and empathize with their very dire and tragic situation and the abuse they’re suffering at the hands of the CP.

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Absolutely. Islamophobia isn’t solely an American problem. I would say also that the US has been leading in shaping views about Muslims. Our war on terror (despite Bush saying otherwise) was very much a war on Muslims, and everyone knew it and has acted accordingly. There is very much this idea that we have to treat the terrorism problem like the Cold War, and Islam like an ideology. It’s the only way to really keep our economy afloat, given that many working class people turn to the military for work and how much we sell weapons to others now.

Indeed. It’s beyond time to do that. But it’s far easier to armchair quarterback other countries.

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Even if they are calling out anti-Uyghur rhetoric for the wrong reasons and hypocritical in what they call out - the dude is still spewing anti-Uyghur rhetoric. Should we ignore that and hope the media is ok? Or is it tainted by association?

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I agree with you to a point about empathy re: the propaganda to which he may or may not have been subjected, and I think that in a lot of cases the art should be separated from the artist, BUT I think that has its limits. Are the truly awful things JK Rowling has said minimized by the defense that she’s “internalized a bit of distasteful rhetoric?”

How about Lovecraft? When we (rightly) bring up his horrible views, should we also take pains to excuse them to some degree because he was merely parroting the views held by those in power?

ETA: To be clear, I’m not pretending that there are easy answers to these questions–I’m just extremely leery of any rationalizing the arguments being used in what appears to be a 21st century genocide (and to be even more clear, I don’t think you’re doing that last part, but Liu definitely is)

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There is a lot of difference between invading Muslim countries and sending drone strikes like USA and its allies, oppressing a Muslim minority in the country like China or India or not accepting as many refugees as you thnk everyone should. Why did you specifically mention Sweden?

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Yeah, because promoting the torture of Muslims is a sure way to end your career with Republicans…

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I look forward to their letter to Trump in support of Congressperson Omar.

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Let’s not pretend that most people living in China aren’t in an abusive relationship. China’s gaslighting puts Trump to shame.

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No.

But JK Rowling has given millions to charities, supported gay rights (incl. marriage), campaigned against Brexit, supports civil rights, etc, etc.

By all accounts she seems to be a genuinely kind and good person.

The one area where she has disagreeable views is on transgender people. I don’t know if that’s due to her religious background, trauma in her past, or just a blind spot based on her lack of experience. I definitely think she’s wrong and that fact shouldn’t be obscured, but I don’t think she should be boycotted over it.

It’s not about rationalizing the arguments, it’s about understanding why those circumstances would make them the way they are. I’ve talked to a lot of students and people from other countries over the years. They’re generally really good people. And if you hit the wrong topic they’re also racist, sexist, or have some other kind of really disagreeable view. They’re still good people but you need to have empathy that their life experiences might have taught them some bad lessons.

When it comes to art a useful litmus test is how that disagreeable quality relates to the art. If it’s central to the art, if Rowlings’ Potter books were about them fighting trans-gendered wizards, then for all means toss them. Just like statues raised to enforce white supremacy should be torn down. But if it’s tangential we can allow them to stand.

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The thing about Lovecraft is that he wasn’t just doing that, his racism was deeply personal, and rooted in his general xenophobia. I love the man’s stories, but he was racist even for his time, and in some rather weird ways too.

Of course, the other thing about Lovecraft that he’s been dead for eighty years, and is neither benefiting from his racist works, or actively hurting people by spouting fresh new bigotry. Which can’t be said of J.K. Rowling for example.

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Not just this. The second and especially the third book are mind-bogglingly sexist.

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Is being kind a utilitarian thing, where if you help enough people it makes up for who you step on, or is it a deontological thing, where deliberately going out of your way to hurt someone means you’re not actually that good?

Because my inclination is to the second. An genuinely good person does not have those sorts of reservations on who they will be good towards. For instance, a white supremacist can be kind toward whites, but they can’t be kind.

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We should be on the same page on this–the question of whether to boycott or tear down statues is not what I was really getting at. I’m talking about the direct criticism of his statement, and what I consider to be some perhaps overly generous treatment due at least in part because the Senators involved in this story are as hypocritical and disingenuous as they come. I thought the Three Body Problem was very interesting, if a case of diminishing returns by the end of the story, but I don’t have strong opinions one way or the other on whether Netflix should be in business with Liu. (the only other work of his I’ve read is the Supernova Era, which I didn’t think was good at all and made Heinlen’s understanding of how humans actually behave in the real world look positively realistic by comparison)

I’m not sure I agree that the fact that there are lots of bigoted people around the world is much of a mitigating factor when it comes to Liu’s views on Uighur Muslims.

And @LurksNoMore, I agree re: Lovecraft–which is why I think we should be very leery about excusing away the things people say. Sometimes people show us who they are, and we should believe them. This isn’t as much about whether we are willing or should discard other aspects of these artists work, it’s about criticism of the specific idea they are putting out there.

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