Am I the only one who finds David Mandel a teensy weensy bit creepy?
There are things in Mandel’s writing of which I’m not fond – I think I’ve been pretty frank about that – but I haven’t read enough of his interviews to have much of an opinion on the man himself.
As a general rule, I’m pretty wary of trying to psychoanalysise writers through their work – even with an openly autobiographical writer it’s a dodgy business, and I think that goes doubly or triply so for satirists.
That said, Mandel’s writing had, overall, had a kind of flippancy about sexual assault that I think should definitely be reconsidered. I already didn’t like the way Amy’s sexual desire or lack thereof was consistently used to denigrate her (like, the show kind of implies that she’s the “bad guy” in the sex scene between her and Buddy, but his behaviour is pretty terrible. Pressuring Amy into sexual behaviours that were unfamiliar and uncomfortable to her, while showing no concern for her pleasure, is hardly gentlemanly behaviour, let alone using Amy’s inevitable failure to satisfy under that pressure as an excuse to expose himself to a police officer).
And I even more didn’t like that they had Selina seriously consider pressuring Amy into sex with Leon West. I mean, I HATED it at the time (and still consider it massively out of character), but it reads particularly badly in light of MeToo. It’s basically sexual harassment by proxy, and I don’t think Selina being a woman makes it any less appalling that she’d attempt to coerce a member of her staff into a sexual relationship (and especially one of the few people who has actually shown genuine loyalty. Amy’s trust in Selina makes it even more an abuse of power).
My only thought is…there may well be consequences to that action in season 7. There certainly were for some of the more infuriating things in season 5, so I want to give the show a fair chance to fix it and not rush to judgement.
But yeah, treating that kind of behaviour as straightforwardly FUNNY is creepy at best.