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Vulture writes that Netflix’s BoJack Horseman “has always been about one man’s — fine, technically one horseman’s — journey through depression, fallen stardom, addiction, and half-hearted attempts at redemption.”
The show is now on its fifth season and is tackling tough topics like #MeToo and the silencing of women.
Showrunner Raphael Bob-Waksberg talked how the show resonates, even though it is animated, with Vulture’s E. Alex Jung.
Certainly that’s one of the things I love about the show being animated: People project themselves onto him more easily because he is not a person, he is a horse somehow. If you see Will Arnett in a show, you think, “Well, that’s Will Arnett, that’s not me.” But seeing a horse somehow feels more universal, or it feels more like, “That could be me.” But we write him as a fully nuanced person.
Bob-Waksberg is also candid about what he calls his show’s “original sin:” casting white actress Alison Brie as a Vietnamese-American character.
For a long time, because we cast a white actress to play Diane, I was afraid of this conversation happening. And because of that, we really downplayed her race and her cultural heritage. We’ve treated her basically like a white woman because I didn’t want to have a white woman playing an overtly Asian character, because that felt somehow more wrong to me.
And now I feel the opposite. We did a complete disservice to the character by making her so white. Obviously what white-coded means is subjective, and there are Asian women who relate to Diane and I don’t want to discount their experiences. But I do think we have avoided stories that could have been more interesting because of my own fear and guilt about the casting.
And [that fear] has had an additionally problematic effect: Because I wasn’t thinking of Diane as an Asian character first, I didn’t feel the need to hire Asian writers, and that is a responsibility that I should have felt much earlier. So that is something I regret as well.
Who is BoJack Horseman? How have the characters changed over five seasons? And how does Bob-Waksberg make a show that garners belly-laughs, sobs and everything in between — in the same episode?
Produced by Paige Osburn. Text by Gabrielle Healy.
- Raphael Bob-Waksberg Creator and showrunner, "BoJack Horseman" on Netflix
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