No matter who wins this fall, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are prepared to make Portlandia great again.
On Thursday, IFC released the first sketch from Season 7 of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s show, which returns on January 5. At first, it seems the video might focus on Women & Women First, the feminist bookstore that has been a staple of the series since its inception. But instead, we have two white men riding their bikes past the store and complaining that everyone’s focused on feminism, Black Lives Matter, and transgender activism.
“None of these movements are about us,” Armisen’s character says. “Where’s our movement?” As he explains, “The only place I feel safe expressing myself is on social media, you know? Under a pseudonym.” Like the alt-right movement that has risen up to support Donald Trump this year, their “safe space” is on Reddit.
“In some ways, it kind of feels like we’re a minority all of a sudden,” Brownstein’s male character replies.
This leads to an epic, hard rock ballad titled “What About Men?” in which the two stars and a chorus of other white men warn the world not to “forget about” them or they’ll “regret” it. Throughout the video, they also lament the new trend of Hollywood remakes featuring female casts and fret that young boys born today might never what it’s like to have a white male president.
By the end of the sketch, Armisen and Brownstein are decked out in Revolutionary garb, waving American flags and deciding to draft a new Constitution, this time “one that really favors men.”
This desire to go back in time to a less politically correct era when white men were on top perfectly mirrors the gripes that Trump, and by extension his angriest followers have been making over the course of his divisive campaign. Men’s rights activists praised Trump for retweeting an unattractive photo of Ted Cruz’s wife juxtaposed with a model shot of Melania. Trump himself accused journalists of reverse racism after he suggested a Mexican-American judge could not be fair to him. In their world, it’s the white man who is the true victim of oppression.
It’s safe to say there isn’t much overlap between Trump’s alt-right fans and Portlandia viewers, but if any of them find their way to this sketch, they might be surprised at how much it reflects their reality. Whether or not they can appreciate the irony is another question altogether.