|Click here to see the full-size comic strip!
support: patreon.thepete.com buy: Inkstreme Ballpoint Adventures
Now, it's not like canceling The Nightly Show was like canceling any other underperforming (ratings-wise) comedy show. You're taking away a good chunk of underrepresented voices from the American media landscape. This is a serious tragedy that I don't think anyone fully grasps. The Nightly Show was providing the service of, not only, reporting on race and gender issues in a funny way, but also in helping teach white viewers that People of Color and women could be smart, funny and have something important to say.
The idea that Comedy Central had expectations of audience size less than 2 years into The Nightly Show's run seems pretty absurd to me. I mean, how many shows helmed by black hosts are there? Isn't it zero now? How do you measure the success of a show run largely by PoC? You can't compare it to other shows because there are no other shows like TNS.
It's like putting a can of Coke in front of a caveman and getting angry at the Coca-Cola Company because the caveman doesn't chug the whole can immediately. It took a couple decades and a really cheap price to cement Coca-Cola as America's Sugar Water of Choice. You can't expect modern America to gloop down a healthy drink made by people with faces that, frankly, scare an all too sizable portion of them.
Speaking of which, White America is still learning. We've come along way, but a lot of us are still dragging their heels. The media is where adults get their education (another fact, I don't think most people grasp) and taking a metaphorical megaphone away from even a few People of Color, even by canceling just one show, holds America back as a people.
Like Barbie said above--shutting down one show run by so many People of Color is removing a disturbingly large number of People of Color from the American media landscape. Do I need to hang a lampshade on this and suggest that it smacks of systemic racism? I'm not saying that someone at Comedy Central was like "Aw, that's a black show! Screw those guys! #CANCELED!"
I'm saying that because CC seemed to only consider ratings when determining whether TNS should stay on the air, they're falling into the same racist trap the rest of our culture has fallen into decades. Howard Zinn once said "You can't be neutral on a moving train." Well, CC can't just say "Sorry, you're ratings just weren't good enough." and then replace TNS with another white-helmed show and not be labeled racist. Though, maybe I'm the only one with a labeling gun. Well, fine:
I suppose they're probably sexist, too, since there were a ton of talented women on that show, also. Maybe CC thinks they'll all get hired over at Full Frontal?
Oh, and hey, if you like what I do with this comic or anything else online, help me pay my rent this month! If you could support me on Patreon or if you can buy my long-form comic, INKSTREME BALLPOINT ADVENTURES, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks! You can also just buy me a coffee! Every bit helps!