'Superstore' Illustrates Absurdity of Cultural Appropriation Sensitivity Over Halloween Costumes

October 25th, 2018 11:18 PM

On Thursday night, NBC’s comedy Superstore showed us just how far our politically correct society has gone with a Halloween costume contest.

The employees are enticed to participate in a Cloud 9 store costume contest with a paid vacation day as the prize. This has everyone excited, but especially Amy (America Ferrera) who is pregnant and wanting some TLC. When it doesn’t look like she is going to win, however, she and another employee, Mateo (Nico Santos), come up with a cunning tactic to “knock” top competitors out of the competition: complain their costumes are cultural appropriation.

Amy and Mateo go around the store to employees of different ethnicities to get them to complain about each other's costumes. It starts out with getting one Hawaiian employee to complain about another person's hula costume but quickly gets more and more absurd.



Amy: Hey, Sayid, I just wanted to check in and see how you're feeling about Chris' Aladdin costume. How Ya holding up with the racism?

Mateo: I mean, it just seems to me like her costume is a slap in the face to your Latino culture.

Amy: Sayid should know better. I'm sure as a person of German heritage this is very offensive.

Paul: Well, I'm not German. I'm French-Canadian.

Amy: Well, did you see Teddy is dressed as a hockey player?

Mateo: Can you believe that banjo he's carrying? As if all southerners are just toothless backwater rednecks.

Tyler: I think he's supposed to be Steve Martin.

Mateo: [Southern accent] "I think he's supposed to be Steve Martin." That's what you sound like.

Like many people in our society, everyone starts finding something to be offended about--including Amy’s “Italian” Mario costume. This leads to the near cancellation of the costume contest, to the horror of Amy and Mateo. 

Note how, like most liberals, they can’t even explain exactly what cultural appropriation is and why it's wrong.



Marcus: I don't understand why Amy's allowed to wear a mustache, but I can't wear my dreadlocks.

Cheyenne: And I can't wear a grass skirt and coconut boobs.

Isaac: Let her wear the coconut boobs, you monsters.

Amy: It's because those costumes objectify a whole culture. I am not dressed as an Italian. I am dressed as a character who happens to be Italian.

Marcus: So I'm not allowed to dress up as a Jamaican, but if I'm dressing up as Bob Marley, who happens to be Jamaican, [as Bob Marley] Then everything be Irie, Mon.

Amy: No.

Sandra: What's the difference?

Amy: It's just--it's different. Jonah, I feel like you can explain this better.

Jonah: Well, I know it's different, I'm just having trouble putting into words why, uh... Janet, could you explain it to them?

Janet: Why me?

Jonah: No reason, just, you know stuff.

Mateo: It's no different. If we let Amy wear that costume, then we might as well let Marcus wear blackface.

Marcus: Wait, hold on, wait. Why can't I paint my face to look like Bob Marley but Elias can paint his to look like a Smurf.

Jonah: You can't just--there's a whole history-- Janet?

Janet: Yeah?

Jonah: Nothing, I'm just checking in. How you doing? Are you good?

Dina: Okay, you know what? This is getting too complicated. Let's just cancel the contest.

All: What? - No!

Dina: It's not worth upsetting everybody over one day off work.

Amy: We can't just live our lives afraid to offend someone. I think that we, you know, as a society, we need to just lighten up a little bit.

Mateo: Yeah, I mean really, if I think about it Mario is a hardworking plumber that rescues princesses. If anything, that costume honors Italians.

Amy: Yes.

Cheyenne: So I can wear my hula outfit if I'm honoring Hawaiians.

Mateo: Yea--I mean I guess if you feel like it's about honoring the culture and not just to look sexy.

Cheyenne: Yup, I'm honoring the culture.

Marcus: And I can wear my Rasta hat if it's about honoring Jamaicans.

Amy: Well, I mean, I guess if we're saying that it's all or nothing, then I can't really think of a reason to say no.

Maybe the point here is that we really do need to stop being offended over everything or we won’t be able to enjoy anything--costume parties included.  

Fortunately, the employees come up with a solution that as long as they are honoring the culture they are dressed up as it’s fine. But apparently it’s still totally fine to rag on the “white oppressor.”



Marcus: But I'll tell you what isn't Irie. Nearly 700,000 Africans brought to Jamaica as slaves. The Rastafari movement isn't about ganja and bobsleds. It's about resisting the tyranny of white oppressors. Perhaps just like you.

Right, because that's what this whole cultural appropriation discussion is all about, white guilt and the shaming of oppressors just like you.