With wokeness and cancel culture becoming a common occurrence in the United States, and across the globe, one entertainment consultant is claiming that Glee sparked the movement, and gave said movement the terminology it frequently uses nowadays.
"[The Glee fandom is] not history, its blood. i still see it all over this website. the vague posts. the deactivated urls. where do u think the word problematic became popular. where do u think the representational anger started. glee was the hungry gaping void that consumed us all. it said watch us and find yourself. there is someone for everyone. santana is a lesbian and kurt is gay and brittany is bisexual and quinn, god knows what quinn is, she's straight but we have her say things like 'you were singing to finn and only finn, right?' and artie is disabled. mercedes is black and our outlet for body positivity. we are all oppressed by something and we are different and we are outcasts and we are you."
Erin claims that the term"problematic" was coined by Glee fans, or the Glee fandom as its referred to on Tumblr. She also claims that representational anger, most likely a precursor to common language used by social justice groups today, formed within the fandom.
"[I]t was almost like the word 'problematic' became the bible of Glee. It was like this is your way to instantly prove somebody else wrong. Then people were instantly shut down, it was the be-all, end-all of an argument. I'm sure the most times anybody's ever used that word in history were probably during the days of Glee. It's sort of infiltrated Tumblr vocabulary. When everybody left Glee and they went to their new fandoms, we all took that with us," she told Slate.
twelveclara, later revealed in a Slate interview to be named Erin, continued on to say, "and we fell for it. we watched glee and we related to its characters and we fought its wars until it was too late. until it was nothing but a distorted picture of a parody of reality, a cracked mirror in which our souls were sucked and encased in glass."
"Character vs character, ship vs ship, blogger against blogger. we fucking hated each other. there was no glee fandom. there were character fandoms and ship fandoms and that is it and our mottos were all f*ck glee," the post added.
"we were consumers of the hell we created and we just kept producing more in a fucked up dystopian fandom chain of supply and demand," it continued.
Erin noted that Tumblr as a website "is a reflection of the hole glee left when it finished taking all it could from us, when the void could not consume anything more, and the posts on it now, the social justice “discourse” that is just giant piles of steaming, unsifted, unrefined shit is from those who refused to learn from us. the history is here and it followed us and we can never ever escape it."
"New Directions," the group the show focuses on, "are a Diversity and Equity Inclusion Committee’s dream," wrote Human Events writer Bill Hurrell.
"You have multiple Asian students, one black girl (who compounds her marginalization by being fat), a lesbian couple (one of whom is Latina), a gay kid, a Jewish girl with gay parents, a disabled boy, a Jewish football player, and the lone straight white guy Finn, who just happens to also be the character who consistently makes the most mistakes. In other words, from a critical theory perspective, everyone except Finn in this show is 'oppressed' or 'marginalized,' and even Finn has to face some marginalization when dealing with his one-time girlfriend's pregnancy (Quinn, who manages to earn her stripes as a marginalized person by being a teen mother)," he wrote.
He goes on to say that Glee was "propagandizing wokeness before anyone knew what wokeness was."
"Glee gave us all language to talk about the problems we were seeing in media that we may not have seen before. I would say the sweet spot in age for Glee at that time was probably like 14 or 15 to early 20s. For a lot of people, this is the first time they were coming to contact with identity politics, and this was the first time we were coming into contact with each other and these other identities. That really is a staple now of Tumblr in a way I didn’t see as much before Glee," Erin, who now serves as an entertainment consultant, told Slate.