Brett Gelman Thinks Liberal White Men Should Stop 'Patting Themselves On the Back'

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

On Sunday, actor Brett Gelman tweeted he would no longer be working with Adult Swim, citing their terrible track record for hiring women in creative roles and white nationalist-friendly program Million Dollar Extreme.


In an interview with Paste Magazine, Gelman discussed the backlash to his decision, and it seems like there was almost none. He says, “I don’t get a ton of activity on my Twitter page, and I do engage politically on it, and I haven’t gotten much response. I didn’t think it would get the response it did, but I’m overjoyed that it did. I’ve gotten a lot of beautiful tweets and it means a lot that a lot of women and people of color have felt acted for, not spoken for, but acted for.”

Well, good for him! It is a clear example to white men in positions of power that you still retain power after doing a decent thing. Gelman appears aware that doing the decent thing shouldn’t be the story here:

I think that liberal straight white men really need to stop patting themselves on the back for what they think they think and actually take a look at their actions. And even though their actions mean no harm, we have to admit that we are conditioned to be comfortable, and that is what guides our actions. We have to consciously make an effort to build up the muscle for comfort to not be the main motivating factor in our hiring practices, and the types of material that we create.

Every white liberal straight man needs to take action and work at unifying all peoples of our sides, and stop making women, and people of color and the LGBT community fight it out themselves and just pat them on the back. We have to take active roles in supporting them, defending them and hiring them.

Everybody should write down the phrase “write what you know” and then tear it the fuck up and replace that with, “expand your consciousness, because you’re supposed to have a fucking imagination and empathy.”

Gelman hasn’t heard from Adult Swim since his story took off, but he says, “I’m sure they’re real bummed.”

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



Is anyone in Pantsuits Nation? It has been partially co-opted by white liberal men wanting back pats for treating people nicely. To be fair, many women are doing it as well.