I'll admit to being the biggest Fire Joe Morgan fan on the internet. The now-defunct site ran back in the mid-to-late 2000s and was an incisive and often hilarious look at sportswriting, with an emphasis on baseball. I am also a big fan of his TV works, most notably The Office and Parks and Recreation. Despite his genuinely grating persona on Twitter, I continue to follow him because I've read and watched his work for over a decade now.
Over the past year, Schur has become much more vocal about his disdain for the GOP. Frankly, I cannot blame him in the slightest. Donald Trump is ignorant filth who is below the office he holds both morally and intellectually. Democrats of all stripes have had an understandably difficult year. I'll give him a pass on Trump criticism.
Much of his criticism, however, is also aimed at GOP legislators like Paul Ryan or Ben Sasse. The general criticism is that they "don't do enough" to stop Trump. What he would like them to do is anyone's guess. Run into the nearest intersection holding up a cardboard sign reading "IMPEACH TRUMP"? Would he like them to, like, tweet more? Become Democrats and call for the repeal of the 2nd amendment? I'm not sure, but the gist of much of this criticism is that Trump is a cancer, and GOP leaders are enablers.
The New York Times report detailing comedian Louis C.K.'s history of predatory sexual behavior is the latest in a long line of scandals to come out of Hollywood. Combined with the Roy Moore allegations of child sexual abuse, there was plenty to discuss.
The juxtaposition of these two ugly stories created something of a hurricane for Schur, who did not hold back in his criticism of the GOP as an institution...
There is no one on Earth -- not a pedophile, not a neo-Nazi, *no one* -- whom the current GOP will not endorse in order to get a tax cut for rich people.— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
He had words for Paul Ryan specifically...
"I'm not sure, because I haven't even read the report." - Paul Ryan, later today, and every day for the rest of his life, when asked about literally anything— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
He assumed the GOP would support Moore, incorrectly...
Watch these craven lunatics run away from reporters when asked about Moore, just like they did when asked about Trump.— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
Which he admirably backtracked...
Can't believe how wrong I was about this. My sincerest apologies to the craven lunatics in Congress. https://t.co/dQ4zPcVctP— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
And he topped it off with a weirdly bigoted comment about people in the South...
So with this in context, I was curious to see how he would respond when the Louis C.K. news dropped a short time later. C.K. had a recurring role on Parks and Rec back when Schur was showrunner.Holy bajoley. Imagine how deeply terrible this guy must be to have this many *Southern* senators turn on him so fast. https://t.co/Q9IUk2uOfG— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
Misogyny is a cancer. Harassment and abuse are that cancer metastasizing and going untreated. Stories like this being reported and printed are the first steps toward a cure. https://t.co/KgZXuzTNmB— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
I would qualify this as a disappointment. Schur, partisan crusader for all that is good and right, admits to enabling the career of a man he knew to be a sexual predator. Actions speak louder than tweets, and when he had the opportunity to shun a man accused of the kind of filth Schur rails against so often, he cowered. C.K. was at the height of his popularity when he guest-starred on Parks and Rec in 2009 and then again in 2012. C.K. was a big name and he helped lift the show's profile in its second season. Schur admits to being aware of C.K.'s past transgressions, but he was too afraid to ostracize the high-profile C.K., or (more likely) simply didn't care because C.K. was a big name and he'd help with the show's ratings.I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry.— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
Much has been written about the hypocrisy of Hollywood as an institution in light of the Weinstein revelations. If you follow any notable comedic writers on Twitter, it becomes obvious that every writers' room in LA contains more sexual predators or enablers than it does people who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. You don't need to look any further than Weinstein's own statement from the day the accusations were made public, in which he took swipes at Trump and the NRA. When the entertainment industry is made to look in the mirror, the strategy has always been to deflect that gaze to the political right as quickly as possible. Schur's two-tweet response amid the dozens of tweets about Moore illustrate this phenomenon.
Perhaps Schur's feckless words made after allegations were made public are a far more flagrant transgression than any boilerplate response Paul Ryan gives to whatever nonsense Donald Trump said.
The best thing for a powerful man like Schur to do in this situation is not to spend time on Twitter, lobbing criticism at a political party in a state in which he does not reside. The best thing for him to do is to change the very sick culture that he is very much a part of. That means doing the right thing even when it might hurt your pocketbook, or your show's ratings. It means doing the right thing before the social media mob aims its focus at you. Schur admits to having the opportunity to do the right thing regarding C.K., and he failed, and he should not get a pass.
The way forward for Hollywood is not for men like Schur to "be better". It's for them to leave. Schur is a pious coward, a hypocrite, and an enabler. If the commanding heights of culture are to change, willful ignorance cannot be accepted from men in Schur's position. If he really wants to make a positive change, perhaps he should start in his own backyard. At the very least, he should get off his high horse.