Eric Andre is front and center in Netflix’s upcoming comedy special “Legalize Everything,” launching June 23, but the comedian had to push back against Netflix to keep at least one joke in the special’s final cut. “Legalize Everything” begins with a sketch of Andre posing as a police officer in New Orleans and handing out drugs to strangers on the street. The bit should surprise no one who loves the shock comedy of Andre’s eponymous Adult Swim series, but Andre tells The Daily Beast that some “middle-aged white people” at Netflix urged him to remove the joke given the nationwide climate after the death of George Floyd. The comedian refused.
“I’m like, no, guys!” Andre said. “This is the best time to do these jokes. This is what we need! We need to point out the absurdity of the police department and what a fucking hypocrisy and a disgrace it is. We need to point out police brutality. I am blessed that my stand-up special is coming out in this time.”
The teaser trailer for Andre’s “Legalize Everything” special is an extended look at another set piece from the comedy show in which Andre criticizes the long-running series “Cops” for using reggae music while showcasing footage of police officers beating up black people and other minorities. Paramount Network decided to cancel “Cops” in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, which has put a renewed interest on the way television shows portray law enforcement.
In his interview with The Daily Beast, Andre said he’s always been “disgusted” by how “‘Cops’ portrays cops as the good guys and poor people and Black people and marginalized people as the bad guys…[the officers] turn it up a notch for the camera.”
“People have been shot unnecessarily and they’ve used excessive force to make good television,” Andre continued when asked about “Cops” signing off the air. “So I think the show ‘Cops’ is pretty corrupt. They had a 32-season run. I think we’re fine. I think it’s time to fucking hang up the jersey.”
“Legalize Everything” is one of two projects Andre has lined up for Netflix. The other is his “Jackass”-inspired prank comedy movie “Bad Trip,” which was originally going to open in theaters courtesy of Orion Pictures. Netflix has not yet announced a release date for “Bad Trip.” IndieWire has reached out to the streaming giant for further comment on cutting the police joke.