A sign of good satire is when whoever or whatever you’re making fun of gets offended. That’s why it’s so hard to mock hipsters — no one self identifies as a hipster, therefore, the joke is toothless. You have to get more specific. Over the course of six seasons, Portlandia, IFC’s sketch series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, has built an entire universe of weirdos who fall under the hipster umbrella, but there’s a preciseness to their hipsterdom. The same is true of Candance and Toni, the owners of Women and Women First — they’re exaggerated second-wave feminists, but they’re very loosely based on an experience Armisen had at the real-life In Other Words bookstore in Portland. That’s where Portlandia films the segments, or at least it did.
In Other Words has reportedly cut ties with Portlandia, going so far as to put up a “F*ck Portlandia” sign in the window. (It actually reads, “F*ck Portlandia! Transmisogyny – Racism – Gentrification – Queer Antagonism – Devaluation of Feminist Discourse,” but you can’t hashtag that.) When the alt-weekly Willamette Week reached out to the bookstore, they were told to f*ck themselves because “[y]our paper has absolutely zero journalistic professionalism and you are scummy rape apologists. Thanks for the opportunity tho! Have a great night.” In Other Words later posted an explanation on their website.
Several months ago the In Other Words community agreed to discontinue our relationship with Portlandia. This was a direct response to a particular egregious filming of the show in our space which saw our store left a mess, our staff mistreated, our neighbors forced to close and lose business for a day without warning, and our repeated attempts to obtain accountability or resolution dismissed.
It was also a direct response to a show which is in every way diametrically opposed to our politics and the vision of society we’re organizing to realize. A show which has had a net negative effect on our neighborhood and the city of Portland as a whole. Shortly after this decision was made, a volunteer placed the F*ck Portlandia sign in our window. (Via)
The blog post lists three more reasons for the split: “Being on Portlandia Doesn’t Make Us Money,” “Gentrification Isn’t a Joke,” and, well, “The Show Sucks.” (“Oh and also: the last time the show filmed in our space, the production crew asked to us to remove the Black Lives Matter sign on our window. We refused.”) IFC has yet to comment on the situation, but when they do, it should be Danzig doing the talking. “I got something to say…”