Sponge and Donkey Lips from 'Salute Your Shorts' Have Something to Say about the Matthew Klickstein Backlash
As you’ve read by now, Matthew Klickstein, the author of SLIMED! An Oral History on Nickelodeon’s Golden Age, gave an insane racist and misogynist interview to Flavorwire (it should be noted a woman of color was the one interviewing him, which, like, wow). If you haven’t read it, please read it. It’s bonkers. A personal favorite (and just a portion of what the interview included):
I think it’s worse when they shove it in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity. Which is fine — do what you’re gotta do, and Dora [the Explorer] was certainly something of a success, but there’s no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They’re all white. It’s all the white people from Bob’s Burgers and Will and Chris.
To just shove it in there because, “Uh-oh, we need diversity,” is silly and a little disgusting. It needs to be the best people working on the best shows. They happen to be white, that’s a shame. They happen to be all guys, that’s a shame. No one says this about sports — they do sometimes, the owners — but sorry, that most basketball, football players happen to be black. That’s just the way that it is. Publishing, too! You might not like this or care, but it’s very hard to be a man in the publishing world. No one talks about that. My agent: woman. My editor: woman. My publicist: woman. The most successful genre is young adult novels — 85% of which are written by women. That discussion doesn’t really come up when it’s the other way around. It is 2014 now. It’s not 1995. Political correctness needs to change.
There are worlds where white guys get shit, too. I’m starting to do stand-up comedy now and it’s hard to go up there and talk about how hard it is to be a guy. People don’t wanna hear it! A girl can go up there and talk all she wants about how hard it is to be a girl, and she gets applauded.
Understandably, this has lead to several book-event cancellations.
Trevor Eyster, who played the bespectacled Sponge on Salute Your Shorts, had a lot to say on his Facebook page. Like, a lot. 779 words to be exact. I’ve included some pertinent bits.
Here is what I know: Matt Klickstein did an interview that went live a couple days ago. When finally assembled and published to the web, it took a tone, that in retrospect I would imagine he regrets. That final tone, is largely curated by the interviewer. While Matt can certainly control what he says — anyone who’s ever been really pissed off by a text message, knows there is a huge loss of translation that can occur when words become nothing but 2-dimensional text.
The decision to cancel the event was made by Comic-Con International. While they haven’t released a statement, it would sure seem like this is a case of a corporate entity not wanting to be attached to the opinions of another that would seem controversial, or unclarified.
But instead of being upset at the big boys at Comic-Con for their selfish interests in making it more important to unnecessarily protect their name and image — we’re demonizing (and viciously attacking) a good man.
Now, while I wish Matt’s announcement of the cancellation would have included an apology for the huge inconvenience and at least a skeleton explanation - I’ve read and continue to read the comment threads, and I am SICK of seeing my friend absolutely attacked and vilified by Nick fans.
Matt, is frankly, one of the victims here. He is a victim of corporate interest and censorship.
While I may not always share his views - I applaud Matt for being brave enough to push envelopes and start conversations - by being authentic and speaking his truths. (Have his views actually even been fairly represented in the article? It’s a rhetorical question, I just don’t know the answer. I’m hoping Matt will soon clarify his views.)
Yeah, Comic Con! You’re the dicks! The racist misogynist is the victim! WILL NO ONE THINK OF HIS WHITE FEELINGS.
Donkey Lips (real name: Michael Ray Bower) was more concerned with travel arrangements than the corporate enemy of big business:
Umm Dear NY comic con and nickelodeon event did you really have me promote for months and buy clothing and invite friends to hang in NY only to as of now on day of travel while I was at airport cancel the nickelodeon event I was gonna appear in. But they will honor my flight and everything if I still travel. But I said nope since cancelled I’m heading back home toget my health better then travling and wasting money for a now non event. Wow. Insane timing.
That would be really annoying. But the blame again falls more to
innocent white male victim who was just speaking his truth the idiot whose idiot interview caused this whole thing.
From Mathew Klickstein comes a new classic of erotic horror: Oliver Maxwell is demented, depraved, and disturbed. He’s also one of the most caring young men you could ever hope to meet. In his own words, he both loves and hates women with equal intensity, confessing, “Some I hate so much, I have to see them naked.” If you think Oliver Maxwell is complicated, just wait until you read about his sex life…
When this conflicted milquetoast discovers a stranger sprawled out and unconscious in an alleyway one night, he decides to take her home with him to “nurture her back to health and consciousness.”
Oliver soon realizes that in order to take care of his mysteriously cataleptic housemate - the sudsy bubble baths, the muscle massages, the incessant combing of her silken blonde hair - he will need to indulge in extracurricular sexual diversions to keep from inflicting himself on her tender, vulnerable body.
There begins a litany of progressively perverted episodes for a man whose fantasies might be others’ nightmares… and vice versa. For Oliver Maxwell (and the various paramours he comes upon during his nocturnal meanderings), experimentation is only the beginning. He craves the fear as much as the fantasy, and knows he’s not the only one. Along the way, Oliver finds his lost angel in a coma might not be as innocent as he presupposed…
So, if you wondered if this man’s words had been twisted and taken out of context, I don’t think you need to worry about that being the case. Excuse me, I need six showers.