Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 74

coach or general manager who risks black players’ safety to win at all costs, or profit at all costs. This subtle critique reflects the recent #metoo movement, which has been criticized because its recent public attention to sexual violence has disproportionately benefited white victims whose voices are privileged racially. Darrius’s black body is as commodified as any black body in popular culture. Aisha Harris wrote, “That even surface-level ‘admiration’ for black culture on the part of white people can give way to insidious interactions that are, at best, a persistent annoyance black people must learn to laugh off, and, at worst, the kind of fetishization that only conceals deadlier preconceptions.” Darrius is fetishized as thoroughly as his contestants are when they are dressed in skimpy outfits playing a football game, a move which places the cheerleading eye-candy from the margins of the game to its center. Darrius is secretly filmed having sex with Ruby, all for gaze of the voyeuristic audience. And during the run of the show, Darrius, like so many black Americans, has to distinguish between the comments of well-meaning, ignorant white people, the more nefarious racist intentions of others, and the ways the former can devolve into the latter. Well-meaning ignorance, such as Beth Ann’s belief that wearing the Confederate flag will earn Darrius’s admiration of her bravery and the fetishizing of Darrius’s dark body can and do devolve into quite deadly preconceptions on Everlasting. Women Embracing Dominance Theory Quinn and Rachel grapple with their quest for power in a show that operates along patriarchal lines, and they know it. Quinn rants: “If I was a man, they wouldn’t be doing this to me. I’d be wearing sweatpants, scratching my nuts, and boning 22-year- olds.” Later referring to Jeremy, Quinn snipes, “When I see him I’m going to rip off his balls, deep-fry them, and force him to eat them.” But both Rachel and Quinn choose to occupy the male space in an entertainment world governed by patriarchy. Rachel repeatedly forgoes her feminism in order to do so, and Quinn is a different beast altogether. As Bastién, writes, “Quinn isn’t a feminist. She isn’t trying to dismantle or change the sexist system. She only wants to benefit from it. She wants to gain power, then control the men that have misused their own.” For example, Quinn performs masculinity when she grabs her crotch and says, “I’m so hard right now.” She uses gendered discourse to dominate Coleman when she asks, “Have your balls even dropped yet, or do we still have that to look forward to?” Rachel occupies the male space when she is tempted to fire Jeremy, her ex-boyfriend, after he describes one of the contestants as “Hot Rachel.” He says to her: “She’s the one who kind of looks 74