“Cobra Kai” is a highly entertaining series which originally appeared on YouTube and can now be seen on Netflix. It picks up on the characters of the “Karate Kid” movie over thirty years later and, with its mix of serious drama and a bit of satire, has attracted a large audience. Unfortunately it has also attracted the bean counting woke crew which is now criticizing the show for being “too white.”
A January 8 Yahoo! News report reveals just how popular this series has become over its three seasons yet also how it now faces they almost inevitable scrutiny of the intrusive woke folks in “At Netflix, ‘Cobra Kai’ broke out. Now its whiteness is under a new spotlight.”
Likable characters, high-energy fights, suburban melodrama and ’80s dad-rock have fueled the three seasons of “Cobra Kai,” with a fourth already planned — and its semi-satirical approach to slinging nostalgia while expanding the “Karate Kid” mythology into a multigenerational saga has proved popular. On YouTube, the first episode has amassed more than 98 million views, and the third season swiftly unseated steamy Regency-era romance “Bridgerton” in Netflix’s ranking of its top 10 TV shows.
Many of the reasons why it is a hit because of its appeal to the general audience. Unfortunately, this was not good enough for the cancel culture types:
The key to the series remains its deft interweaving of past and present with the DNA of the original films. After bringing back “Karate Kid” villain John Kreese (Martin Kove), who promptly orchestrates a hostile takeover of Johnny’s students, “Cobra Kai” doubles down on the sadistic dojo founder’s Vietnam War backstory in its third season.
Kreese’s elevation, and the heightened scrutiny that comes with being embraced by one of the most powerful companies in Hollywood, also underscores the fact that there are now three white men at the center of “Cobra Kai,” a franchise rooted in and deeply indebted to Eastern tradition. Morita, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the first film and died in 2005, appears in flashbacks in the series, and both Yuji Okumoto and Tamlyn Tomita reprise their roles — as Daniel’s rival and ex-flame, respectively — from “Part II” in Season 3 guest arcs. Supporting characters of color also saw expanded roles in the new season. But after 30 episodes on two platforms, “Cobra Kai” has yet to cast an Asian lead.
Uh-oh! Stand by for precise, to the decimal point, SJW bean counting:
“Except for the Latino character of Miguel, all the other people of color are outside of that main cast, so it actually doesn’t show as a diverse show in a sense,” said Ana-Christina Ramón, coauthor of UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report, which designates leads as the top eight credited regular actors. (Across the industry, the report found that white characters made up 75.9% of the leads in digital scripted series like “Cobra Kai” in the 2018-2019 season, while 5.9% of leads were Latinx, 4.7% were Black and just 1.8% were Asian.)
Are you sure that the white characters don’t actually make up 75.7% or 75.8% of the leads? Oh, and what percent of Hispanic Americans would be more offended by the clueless term “Latinx” than over any precise quota they need to fill in roles?
…Maridueña, who credited the showrunners for thoughtfully integrating Ecuadorian heritage into Miguel’s story, acknowledged that the world of “Cobra Kai” doesn’t always reflect the diversity of its San Fernando Valley setting, which according to 2019 U.S. Census figures is 42% Hispanic. “If you live in the Valley, and really the greater Los Angeles area, you know there are so many different Latinos, Black people, people of Asian descent,” he said. “And while our show is catching up, I think a lot of shows, like everything in Hollywood, feel like they’re catching up slowly.”
Schlossberg cited casting limitations in Atlanta, where the show is filmed. “When it comes to background casting, we are limited [in] making a high school on our show look exactly like a high school would look in Reseda,” he said. (According to U.S. Census figures, Hispanics make up 5% of the population of Atlanta and 10% of the population of Georgia, while Asians make up 5% of the population in the city and 4% statewide. Atlanta is 48% Black, while Georgia as a whole is 32%.)
So do shows, such as “Cobra Kai,” now have to fit into a precise racial equation to meet the woke crowd approval?