Netflix’s latest teen drama has come under fire from none other than Taylor Swift this week after the singer spotted a sexist joke made about her in the TV series. Tweeting her disapproval, Taylor shared a screenshot of the line ‘What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift’, calling it ‘lazy, deeply sexist’ and ‘degrading’.
With over 600,000 likes, it’s clear many of her fans and viewers of the show agree – because not only is the joke damaging to women, it’s not even remotely funny. ‘Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back,’ Taylor tweeted. ‘How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this horse shit as FuNnY. Also, Netflix after Miss Americana this outfit doesn’t look cute on you. Happy Women’s History Month I guess.’
It’s one of a few controversies following Ginny & Georgia – a show dubbed the new Gilmore Girls that follows a mother-daughter duo moving to a new town - with a clip from the show going viral as soon as it aired on Netflix that shows two non-white actors accusing one another of being more white than they ‘should’ be.
‘I’ve never seen you pound back jerk chicken,’ one character says. ‘Last time I checked Brody twerks better than you and I liked your poem but your bars could use a little more work homie so really how black are you then?’
The clip, posted with the caption ‘I’m done with Netflix’ has been viewed more than 6.1million times, with over 25,000 quote tweets of people reacting to the scene. ‘I used to complain about the erasure of dark skin Black women on Netflix but maybe we’re not missing out,’ one follower replied to 25,000 likes.
It may be what’s causing many people to Google ‘Ginny & Georgia writers’, with the show being praised for featuring a more diverse cast prior to its release. With Ginny being biracial, the show is centered on her experience of the world – with Ginny experiencing biased behaviour accidentally and purposefully throughout the show. To provide a more authentic experience of what a biracial teen in Ginny’s position might go through then, you would also expect a diverse writing room.
In fact, the first season used a variation of writers including Sarah Lampert, Debra J. Fisher, David Monahan, Danielle Hoover, Tawnya Bhattacharya, Ali Laventhol, Mike Gauyo and Briana Belser - all of whom are white except for Mike and Briana.
Despite the viral clip with so-called ‘embarrassing’ dialogue, critics have generally been favourable to Ginny + Georgia. The Rolling Stone described it as ‘the new Gilmore Girls, dialled up to 11’ and Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-, with Metacritic indicating a 63% score of ‘generally favourable reviews’.
However, critics over at Teen Vogue said the show was ‘packed full to the brim with racist microaggressions — and that wouldn’t be a bad thing if the show actually engaged with most of them.’ Netflix Life’s Sabrina Reed noted ‘Ginny and Georgia is a reminder that the inclusion of diversity doesn’t mean quality when it comes to the handling of characters of colour in a predominately white show.’
And over on independent entertainment site Pajiba, critic Kaleena Rivera said ‘A lot of the problems stem from portraying racism from the white gaze. It’s not surprising that Ginny, as a biracial girl in a predominately white town, would be subjected to a slew of microaggressions (with some not being the least bit “micro”). But without any sort of examination or significance to the story, it seems to only exist to cause harm for the Black character, rendering their psychological suffering as little more than collateral damage for the sake of saying “racism is bad, m’kay?”’
So, with so much controversy already surrounding the show, it’s no surprise people are rushing to Google everything to know about it. From Googling both ‘Ginny’ and ‘Georgia from Ginny and Georgia’, people want to know more about the cast, but more importantly whether the show will continue. ‘Is there going to be a season 2 of Ginny and Georgia’ is currently a breakout search term.
So, will there be a season two of Ginny and Georgia? The dramatic ending would suggest so – but Netflix hasn’t announced one just yet. With so much talk meaning views for the show either way, it’s unlikely Netflix would pass up the opportunity to revisit their new favourite mother-daughter duo. But we’ll keep you informed when we know more.