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By now, you’ve read the headlines about protestors attempting to shame Netflix for not obeying progressive commands concerning Dave Chappelle’s recent stand-up special. But what you probably haven’t heard is the backstory behind the activist leading the charge.
Ashlee Marie Preston, who organized a walkout with Netflix employees last week, found Chappelle’s The Closer offensive, transphobic, and even racist.
Chappelle supporters could counter her claims by saying that Preston doesn’t understand comedy. Or, Chappelle’s fans could also point out that Preston has her own troubled history. Stunningly, Preston has been using Chappelle to ease her guilt.
As documented at the Post Millennial, Preston’s Twitter history includes derogatory insults aimed at Hispanics and Asians. One could call her tweets racist or something.
Here are a few of Preston’s feelings:
— “Asian hoes act like they wont get karate chopped in they muthaf**n throat. What is this hoe staring at? Mind ya beeswax #B**ch.”
— “Latino and Asian businesses need 2 stop bein ride & f*kn disrespectful, & I kno its A LOT to ask in CA but speak f*kn English 2* #yahisaidit.”
— “Just cussed that Asian b***h clean the f**k out…u mess up my order & THEN blame me?? #englishismyfirstlanguage b***h. Never ordern again.”
That’s the woman who demands that Netflix apologize and cancel Chappelle.
When the Post Millennial released its finding, Preston played victim once again:
“It’ll take more than tweets from nearly a decade ago, that y’all already weaponized against me 2 years ago, to stop me from doing the work that’ll free us ALL, today. This is so old and I’ve already taken accountability for it. There’s no scandal here.”
I see. So when has the fact that comments are a decade old mattered? It certainly didn’t factor into ESPN’s decision to fire Kelly Stewart, into Jon Gruden’s demise, or into companies punishing countless employees for tweets they sent in their teen years. Digging up old tweets has been an effective tool — for one side. Luckily, Preston is on the right side.
So often the faces behind mass outrage have a conscience of shame. Ask yourself: what would make these people try to damage a stranger so aggressively? Have they really turned over their emotional state to someone else’s words, or are they covering for their own past? The latter is too frequently the answer.
Ashlee Marie Preston mirrors the Teen Vogue staffer who called for Vogue to fire Alexi McCammond because of McCammond’s old racist tweets. Of course, that outraged staffer, Christine Davitt, had routinely tweeted out the n-word.
I recently wrote a column on this phenomenon. Because employees and activists greatly fear cancel culture will come for them, they see just one way out: apply for a get-out-of-jail-free card. Thus, they proactively participate in a movement to build a résumé of evidence to show they are on the right team. So Preston thinks that if she paints Chappelle as transphobic, her newfound teammates will excuse her past tweets. Good luck to her.
As I often say, those who are quietly most ashamed of their past are often found at the forefront of the cancel culture movement, a self-serving quest to ruin careers and lives. Ashlee Marie Preston is just the latest to find herself on the frontlines of the charge.