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Passionfruit newsletter: Internet vengeance, Schadenfreude, and bad bosses

We all take some glee in watching terrible creators suffer.


Grace Stanley


Posted on Aug 8, 2023


Issue #157 | August 8, 2023

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some really scummy, abusive bosses: I’ve had a producer scream with specks of spit flying at my face, slamming a door so loud it could be heard down the office block. I’ve been harassed on the job by men reeking of liquor. I’ve been called arrogant by a filmmaker for asking to be paid $15 an hour, rather than groveling for a paycheck even smaller than Texas’s measly $7.25/hour minimum.

It’s maddening to be taken advantage of, abused, and belittled by horrible people—but especially by horrible bosses. And so this week, the news that members of Lizzo’s dance squad are speaking up about allegations of fat shaming and sexual misconduct, and that millionaire tycoon/alleged bad boss MrBeast is being countersued for $100 million by a business partner over the collapse of his dining empire, I’m feeling a desire for bittersweet retribution.

Those videos of violent racists in the Alabama riverboat brawl video getting slammed over the head with glorious folding chairs just feel right. God bless the creator of this TikTok filter. And it is righteous, a sliver of justice served in a storm of unheard and unavenged injustices. Unfortunately, this country’s judicial system is deeply corrupted, and real justice—let alone reparations—is miles and miles away. But at least for now, thanks to TikTok, we can relish in a little sweet, sweet poetic justice. Someone get that white folding chair into the Smithsonian. Cue this iconic remix of “Try That In A Small Town.” 

It feels really, really good to get this little bit of justice served online, but it seems on the flip side, some ruthless capitalists have tapped into humanity’s thirst for Schadenfreude and turned it into profit. …

Grace Stanley, Newsletter Editor

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Why Do We Love to Watch MrBeast Suffer?
  • Kai Cenat Overtook Union Square, But It’s Just an Average New York Day
  • Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 Writers’ and Actors’ Strike

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*First Published: Aug 8, 2023, 7:14 pm CDT