Tituss Burgess calls critics of his ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ character ‘Idiots’

07.28.15 4 years ago

Netflix's “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is an unequivocal critical darling. The Tina Fey-produced comedy earned seven Emmy nominations for its freshman season. However, as is so often the case, it is not free of controversy.

Some viewers took umbrage with Tituss Burgess' portrayal of delightfully over-the-top Titus Andromedon, a gay African American man whose vocal stylings include the (now) fan favorite “Peeno Noir.”

At a certain point on the series, the struggling actor gets a job as a werewolf in a theme restaurant and discovers that it's easier to thrive in New York as a Lycian than it is as a black man. Some felt that the series had gone a step to far with that particular plot twist. The actor addressed detractors during today's TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour.

“Whenever I would hear that, I would just think, ‘You idiot, did you watch Episodes 1 through 13?'” Burgess said in response to the uproar. “Because every story has a gorgeous arc, everything is finished with a period or a question mark or an exclamation mark.”

“Comedy is born out of the most unfortunate of circumstances,” the actor continued. “There is so much going on in our world right now and you need a place to escape. But what better way to call attention to the conscious of this country — as it relates to racial stereotypes and racial, political discussions — than to do it through the way of comedy. I was not personally offended when I read anything, particularly the episode about the werewolf.”

“They hit the nail on the end,” Burgess declared. “It was a funny angle and look at what it means to be ‘other” in this society.”

What do you think? Is there warranted criticism of the show? Or is it much ado about nothing?

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