Portland loves to hate Portlandia. And as Portlandia hits its final season, the national media has been taking stock of this with a series of articles asking: What does it all mean?
Most notably, 60 Minutes aired a piece asking whether Portland was really Portlandia anymore. The short answer they offered is, of course, no. It's expensive now, and there are Nazis. There's no way the Decemberists could rent a warehouse for $180 anymore.
Our mayor, of course, disagreed, saying Portlandia may as well have been a documentary: "People in Portland, they either love it, or they hate it," Wheeler told 60 Minutes. "And the people who love it, love it because it's funny because it's true. And the people who hate it, hate it because it's true."
New York magazine cut a little closer to home, however. In an interview posted this afternoon, Carrie Brownstein was asked to respond to Portland's backlash against Portlandia—specifically about the reaction by feminist bookstore and community center In Other Words, long a shooting location for Portlandia's popular Toni and Candace sketches at fictional bookstore Women and Women First.
In 2016, as WW first reported, the bookstore posted a sign on their window reading: "Fuck Portlandia! Transmisogyny – Racism – Gentrification – Queer Antagonism – Devaluation of Feminist Discourse."
In Other Words later posted an explanation for the sign, saying the show was disrespectful and had not remunerated them sufficiently for their use of the store, and that the sign was, in part, a "direct response to a show which is in every way diametrically opposed to our politics and the vision of society we're organizing to realize. A show which has had a net negative effect on our neighborhood and the city of Portland as a whole."
Apparently, Brownstein took it a bit personally—but says she then gave the nonprofit bookstore a "couple hundred dollars" in presumed solidarity or reparations.
"On a personal level, it was hurtful because I think of myself as an ally and a feminist. But I'm also a creative person that's always been in conversation with my community and I don't expect anyone to not talk back. I disagreed with their assessment of what the show was and what it represented, but also I didn't want to say anything because then my statement is automatically louder than theirs because I just have a bigger platform. All I did in response was contribute — like I just went online and donated a couple hundred dollars. I was just like: You know, that's fine. That's just how the world works."
We've reached out to In Other Words to confirm the donation.