Home early from Smoky-Drinky and relatively sober but I have just poured another one. Well, the snow is building and it's a bit dodgy moving around out there even when sober, and I have to work tomorrow, so a curtailed evening is probably the safest option. Anyway, it seems the madness has accelerated in the last few hours...
Disney have brought out a new cartoon, the old 'princess and frog' story but in this version, the princess is black. There has been much hoo-ha over this, as you'd expect in these Righteous times, and Disney must be wishing they hadn't bothered. The frog is still green, so they are still discriminating against rainforest tree frogs and I'm actually surprised nobody has pulled them up on that yet.
Let's get one thing clear in our minds. This princess is not really black, nor is she female. She is a drawing. She could equally well be green or blue, or have fifteen arms and three heads and scales and feathers and it wouldn't change the storyline at all. She. Is. A. Drawing. Not real.
Disney have not oppressed or taken advantage of her, they have not given her an inferior contract to the frog, they have not discarded her and left her to suffer, penniless, in a slum somewhere. They can't do any of that. She doesn't actually exist. All those people who have taken offence about it, have taken offence on behalf of a cartoon.
There are real people going through real problems out there, of all creeds and colours, and I am sure they will be delighted to see all the energy expended to save the imaginary hurt feelings of a bit of celluloid and paint. They won't mind waiting. A Disney drawing's happiness supercedes their own.
So, are we clear? It's a drawing. It's not real. It can't be hurt, and it can't hurt anyone. Okay? So we can drop it now, yes?
Enter Oona King:
"You never see disabled people," the former Labour MP complained to Mandrake at a screening at the Mayfair Hotel in London. "When are you going to see a Disney film with a disabled character in the lead role? Tell me that."
Oh for fu....
Look. We'll draw Robin Hood with one leg. How's that? IT'S A DRAWING, WOMAN. That's how come Peter Pan can fly, dogs and cats can talk and a wooden puppet can walk around and be friends with a cricket in a top hat. Clue: You don't often see any of that in real life, do you? Unless you have a stash of something really special somewhere.
She'd just watched a film in which one of the two main characters had been turned into a frog. You just can't get much more disabled than that, unless you set the story in a French restaurant.
King is clearly on a mission in her new role as Channel 4's head of diversity. "I think all of the media has a problem," she said.
If they didn't before, they do now.
King, who was defeated at the last general election by George Galloway, added: "Where we have made progress is having black people and other under-represented groups on the screen, but we still don't have black people making films. I can't think of the British Spike Lee."
If I'd been defeated in an election by George Galloway, I'd be keeping very quiet and saving up for plastic surgery and a name change. Reading her words, I'm not surprised she lost.
She is planning to demand that black people make films whether they want to or not - and if you're black and a filmmaker, practice gritting your teeth. The level of patronising smugness you are about to encounter in any dealings with Channel Four would try the patience of a saint. Just smile, take the cheque and run.
If you're any other colour and a filmmaker, don't bother with Channel Four. Their head of diversity has a focus and wants to see films in which all the characters are completely and permanently in a coma, made by a black director and containing representatives of every member of the animal kingdom, each with a bit missing. If you can do that you'll make a fortune - but use a pseudonym because you won't want it following you in your career.
I haven't heard such a load of rubbish spouted by mindless idiots since Fritz the Cat came out. That was a drawing too.
Offended on behalf of a drawing. Really, there is no point in making any attempt to please these people. It simply can't be done.