This week, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia hilariously mocked Hollywood wokeness as the gang tried to make an “anti-racist” movie that can be “enjoyed by audiences of today’s moral and ethical standards.”
In the episode, “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 7,” on Wednesday, December 1, the crazy characters decide to make a Lethal Weapon 7 that will not get cancelled after their previous self-made sequels were pulled from the local library because Mac (Rob McElhenney) wore blackface (those Sunny episodes were pulled from Hulu and FX as well.)
When Mac “magnanimously” bows out of playing the character again he expects applause:
Mac: I’m doing something anti-racist, and I think I deserve praise for that, do I not?
Dee: You don’t get praise for telling people you’re not racist.
Mac: Then why am I doing it?
The gang tries to find a “diverse” cast, but do not know any black people. So they hire a black prostitute, a black pimp named Pepper Jack and bring in a “woman of color” as an assistant director who ends up being Persian.
Then they add in the only villain who is still socially-acceptable in 2021, a white “Karen”-type woman.
Dennis: Okay. Here comes our new villain, guys. Fingers crossed it works.
Pepper Jack: (Phone ringing) Hold that thought, son. My shit be blowing up. Talk to me.
Karen: Excuse me? What are you doing in this park in my neighborhood?
Pepper Jack: Who is this, bitch?
Karen: It’s Karen. Karen White. And I live in this neighborhood, and I am sure that you do not. And if you don’t leave right now, I will call the police, and I will tell them you attacked me.
Mac: I just don’t understand how this is a villain.
Dennis: Well, one of the last socially acceptable groups to villainize are entitled white women.
Charlie: MM. It’s just, like, making me uncomfortable. You know what I mean?
Dennis: It’s not fun, is it?
Charlie: It’s no fun.
Mac: No. She’s a cunt. She’s a cunt.
Dennis: You want our movie to be fun.
Persian woman: She’s a little bit cunty. It’s just too real.
Dennis: Damn it, guys. I really wanted this to work. I really did, but maybe putting up any group of people as villains these days is potentially problematic. I don’t know.
Persian woman: Maybe-maybe villains shouldn’t be people at all, huh?
Charlie: Wait, you’re totally right. Right? Like wh– Like what if we make the villain, like, a big dog or something, right? Or a bunch of raccoons stacked up in a trench coat? You know? (Gasps) Or a trench coat full of bees flying around? Like, that would scare me. Imagine seeing that.
Mac: Bees! Bees are cool.
Charlie: Bees are scary.
Mac: What about, like, a plague? An act of God. All the best villains in the Bible were acts of God.
Frank: A tsunami. (Overlapping agreements)
Dennis: Ooh, but, you know what? Let’s call it a tidal wave. That feels less racially charged. — I don’t want to say that all waves are Asian.
Charlie: Yeah, you want to make sure that waves are, you know…
Dennis: Just neutral.
(Overlapping chatter, agreement) -Yeah. Not-not culturally…That’s good, that’s good.
With the new tidal wave villain and woke inoffensive mission, the actors have lines like:
Don Cheadle actor: Oh, no! Tidal wave! Where’d that come from?
Pepper Jack: Well, no country specifically. Just an act of God, I guess.
Don Cheadle actor: No God specifically, just the universe or whatever.
The gang realizes that their woke film is awful. Dennis suggests the tidal wave moves to a field that’s been decimated by climate change. Finally, Dennis explains why he thinks they should still try to make a stupid woke movie — he wants to have sex with a younger generation of women. He had tried to score with 20-something women on both the left and right but had no luck. Finally, he had decided to “listen.”
A hilarious flashback ensues where he is listening to a woke twenty-something woman and realizes he just has to repeat whatever she says because she has no idea what she is talking about anyway.
Dennis: This generation is more socially active on both sides of the aisle, so… This time, I engaged.
Anna: I mean, don’t you agree?
Dennis: Yes. We need to allow others a chance to speak for once.
Anna: Well, yes, but even by saying, “Allow,” you’re implying that you have all the power.
Dennis: Uh, but I thought you were saying I did have the power?
Anna: Are you twisting my words?
Dennis: No. I’m just, uh… (Chuckles) I’m just trying to understand what the hell you’re talking about. I-I can’t follow.
Anna:(Scoffs) See? This is exactly what old people always do.
Dennis: Old people?
Dennis: I’m 26… But my rational thinking and my desire for an open dialogue were a dead giveaway. It was all starting to make sense. See, this generation doesn’t even understand half the shit that they’re saying. They aren’t more ethical than us. They just want to be perceived as such. And who could blame them? I mean, they’ve spent their entire adult lives only 280 characters away from being tweeted into oblivion. Either way, I took a new tack…
Anna: We need to use our privilege as much as we possibly can to protect people. How can you not see that?
Dennis: We need to use our privilege to protect people as much as we can. How can I not see that?
Anna: Because if we don’t, who will?
Dennis: Because if we don’t, who will?
Anna: Exactly. What we need is a revolution.
Dennis: Exactly. What we need is a revolution… Simply regurgitating back to them exactly what they’re saying to each other in their ridiculous echo chambers is all they want. And then, we can get what we want.
The gang ends up creating a mess of film. The actor who had played Don Cheadle makes a successful documentary exposé about working with the clueless gang on “an inferno of quasi-wokeness and, uh, good old-fashioned racism. Out of the, uh, smoldering ashes, however, I pieced together a cautionary tale. An exploration, not of what is gained by learning, but of what is lost by staying ignorant.”
The whole episode was hilarious because it was unafraid to mock a plethora of the left’s sacred cows. With most comedies afraid to take risks nowadays, this episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was a breath of fresh air.
In another episode of Sunny that premiered on Thursday, December 1, “2020: A Year in Review,” the show mined the controversial 2020 election for jokes. The gang’s high jinks involve inadvertently being responsible for vote count delays in the presidential election in Philadelphia, providing the hair dye that infamously dripped down Rudy Giuliani’s face during a press conference, and creating the costume the QAnon Shaman wore for the Capitol riots.
During the episode, the gang describes the candidate they wanted to win.
Charlie: I mean, people have been dragging our guy’s name through the mud, saying he wasn’t fit for office.
Dee: Yeah, calling him a narcissist, saying he was mentally ill, and that all the people who showed up for his events were idiots.
Charlie: Yeah, but that’s ’cause they’ve never seen the guy onstage. I mean, he’s electrifying onstage.
It turns out the candidate they are talking about is Kanye West.
The episode works because it is using politics to genuinely generate laughs, not score ideological points. That is a rarity in Hollywood nowadays.