She's back, and this time she's online. Michelle Wolf's new weekly Netflix series, The Break with Michelle Wolf, is out. And in a preview of its upcoming episode, she wasted no time in diving into one of the hot-button topics of the moment ― namely, Wolf defended Samantha Bee from those Roseanne Barr and Bill Maher comparisons, taking a look at the three comedic performers who've gotten a whole lot of attention this week.
Wolf is no stranger to the kind of large-scale media kerfuffles Bee recently faced, having recently generated days and days worth of takes with her performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Much as Wolf drew fire from conservative critics for her pointed jokes about various Trump administration figures, particularly Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Bee became the subject of intense scrutiny after calling White House adviser Ivanka Trump a "feckless c*nt" on a recent episode of her TBS show, Full Frontal.
The kind of incident that ultimately got Roseanne Barr's hit ABC show cancelled, however ― in which she made a racist remark on Twitter, likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape ― is altogether different, and that's a point Wolf stressed in the preview clip she tweeted out on Friday.
Wolf's take on Barr, and the cancellation of Roseanne, came in the form of a segment called "Internet Goofs," in which she was forced to respond to a series of not exactly fun or lighthearted internet-based stories. Invariably, they all ended up circling back to Barr's firing, and Wolf ― who again, knows a thing or two about media outrage campaigns ― capably explained how her situation is different from Bee's.
"People keep saying that Roseanne got held to a double-standard, because she got fired for her tweet, when despicable people like Bill Maher, and Sam Bee, and me get away with making 'offensive jokes' all the time," Wolf said. "And you're right, it is a double-standard, so let's even the playing field."
"How about we enslave all white people for a couple hundred years, then even after they're not slaves anymore still hold them down in society, devalue their existence by comparing them to animals, never apologize, never really make it right, and then after that there will be no more double-standards, and everyone will get fired for everything they say," Wolf continued, bringing forth laughter and applause from her studio audience.
"But until then ― and I can't believe I have to say this in the middle of goofs ― don't compare black people to apes! And also, don't compare Trump to an ape, because that's rude to apes."
Wolf is not the first person to compellingly argue that Barr's racist joke (which was not even the first time she compared a black woman to an ape) and Bee's off-color comments can't be viewed in the same context. Sometimes, however, it helps simplify things to have a comedian make arguments, in a blunt way that can cut through the noise and clutter, and that's precisely what she did.
Bee, for her part, apologized for the crude joke directed at Ivanka this week, as did TBS. But during an awards show appearance, she also defended the substance of the surrounding segment, pointing out that people were ignoring what it was about ― the Trump administration's policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the border ― in favor of focusing on "one bad word."
Thus far, despite fervent calls for her to be fired from many conservative commentators and social media users ― and attacks from President Donald Trump himself ― there's no indication that Bee's show is at risk of cancellation, although she has reportedly lost some advertisers.