Cartoons made for adults are getting more and more progressive in that they now tackle social issues. Their approach, however, is different as they always use a dark comedic touch to make it somehow more digestible despite the topic at hand.
One series that has always done this is BoJack Horseman, wherein they portrayed abortion and sexual assault. In the latest season, they showed another side of sexual harassment by focusing more on cover-ups.
There were two in particular that felt all too familiar. When they were thinking of casting an actor for the new show, they came across one who was in hiding. Why was he no longer in the public eye? Because he committed too many indecent acts that were caught on camera and he couldn’t come back from it. Or at least he thought he couldn’t. Years had passed so it almost seemed like people forgot about how he sexually harassed many women. Of course, he and his team tried to save face by apologizing profusely and claiming he was now a feminist, but let’s be real, he wasn’t. And, this is something we can see in our society today, most especially in Hollywood. This reminded me of all the Casey Aflecks and Kobe Bryants of the real world. Maybe if people saw how ridiculous it looks in cartoons, they will start to realize that it shouldn’t fly in real situations.
Another scenario related to cover-ups that came up involved BoJack himself. In the middle of the series he gets hooked on painkillers he was initially prescribed for back pain. But, knowing his personality, he used it recreationally to the point where he couldn’t tell what was real and what was part of the show he was filming. It got so bad that he lost control of his actions. While filming a scene where he was supposed to strangle a female co-star, he actually did and he couldn’t snap out of it. People on set caught it on cam and videos circulated the Internet. The next morning, he couldn’t even recall what happened. And what did his team do? They covered it up with a positive interview. He and his co-star went on TV to clarify that they were just acting and just like that, the issue went away.
Sure, these stories are fiction but they were inspired by real-life events. Issues and scandals that are rampant and need to stop. A lot of us turn a blind eye to these when we see them on the news but maybe now that TV shows are incorporating to them storylines, we’ll actually take it more seriously.
Art by Marian Hukom
Photos courtesy of Netflix
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