- Jose Cadena
WEDNESDAY SNAPS SUCCESS AMID BACKLASH
On Wednesdays, we wear black. Apparently, so do millions of viewers who watched the latest delve into Addams Family lore: Wednesday. According to Netflix’s data, the series surpassed Stranger Things to set the record for the most hours viewed in a week for an English language series on their platform. One week later, the show broke that record with over 400 million hours viewed in a single week. Following that impressive feat, the series garnered multiple Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Television Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series.
Jenna Ortega’s (Scream, X) pigtails are riding her wave of surging stardom. Tik Tok gave her character’s dancing scene viral attention after pairing Ortega’s polarizing moves that pay tribute to goth culture with Lady Gaga’s (American Horror Story: Hotel) own song, Bloody Mary. Other elements that contributed to the show’s success include Executive Producer Tim Burton’s (Beetlejuice) involvement, the story’s “aging up” of Wednesday as a teenager, and the reimagining of the Addams Family as Latinx characters.
Despite its undeniable success, not everyone is giving Nevermore Academy a passing grade. Many have voiced criticism about the show’s ambiguous racial dynamics. None of the Black characters in the ensemble exist without starting off as an adversary to Wednesday. In one scene, a Black DJ announces the time as “eleven o’clockity.”
Another widely discussed moment occurs when Catherine Zeta-Jones’ (The Haunting) Morticia tells the fictional town’s Black mayor that men like him “will never know what it’s like to not be believed.”
Add in Burton’s own track record with diversity and it’s easy to understand the implied narrative that Wednesday failed its Black characters. When The New York Post reached out to Burton’s representative for comment on the show’s handling of racial undertones, Mike Simpson of WME responded with a jarring comment of his own.
“I’m not forwarding a comment request this silly to Tim. However, apparently Daylight Savings Time (DYT) is racist. Wednesday was shot in Romania where DST is observed. Maybe that’s a better angle,” Simpson concluded. Only time will tell what Wednesday’s legacy ultimately looks like.