Why Netflix’s ‘Good Times’ Reboot Is So Controversial (And How The Creators Have Responded)

The series has picked up a lot of flack but with the show now on Netflix - how will it perform?

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Good Times Netflix Reboot Controversy Netflix

Good Times. Marsai Martin as Grey in Good Times. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2024

Netflix’s brand new animated sitcom is out now globally, and it’s fair to say there’s been some backlash at not only the execution of the new show based on the 1970s classic but also the idea of rebooting it in the first place. What’s the controversy about it, and how have the people behind the show reacted?  

It must be said when the show was first announced, it didn’t attract too much heat from fans of the original and entertainment junkies at large. However, people had thoughts when the first looks dropped in late March 2024 ahead of its April 12th premiere. Those were amplified further when the official trailer for the show dropped on March 27th, 2024.

At the time of publishing, that trailer has over 50,000 dislikes to the 5.8k likes. As the kids would say, it’s been ratioed.

So, what is the crux of people’s problems with the show? It boils down to several factors. First, it’s worth looking at the originals and themes it covers.

Airing between 1974 and 1979, the original had potent social commentary in addition to its signature humor. At the center of the show was poverty, with the show focusing on a lower-income family living in a housing project—one of the first to do this in the mainstream. The show also tackled racial issues, crime, education, family, and unemployment.

When the first pictures were released, the comment section of our preview had some people with cautious optimism but many questioned why Hollywood was trying to reboot a classic. One of the more optimistic people in our comments was Sapphie Trojan who posted:

“That will be awesome if it keeps the same premise as the original by tackling issues with comedic grace. I still watch re runs the appeal an sad fact that we have the same problems now as they had then. One of which is black history not being taught as well as standardized testing. Excited to see what they have come up with.”

Then the trailer dropped.

Following that, an eruption of controversy broke out across the internet.

The commentary community, particularly on YouTube, has been very forthright in sharing its opinions on the animated series. Tiffany Byrd Harrison has one of the most-watched videos about the subject titled “Netflix keeps playing in our face with this TRASH.”

Finding the trailer disrespectful and uninspired, the YouTuber states that what’s shown thus far is full of offensive stereotypes and features a complete lack of progressive themes. Other sticking points were having Steph Curry and Seth MacFarland’s involvement plus the very concept of having a drug-dealing baby.

There’s plenty more reading up on the controversy to do but that video summarizes the biggest issues most have with it. For further reading, we’d suggest checking out Philip Lewis’s Tweet, which has amassed over 29.9M views and has plenty of reactions.

Ahead of the launch, the series drew criticism from the head of the NAACP and while the sitcom’s original cast ultimately were holding off for the full series to release, they weren’t optimistic.

How have the creators responded to the backlash to Good Times?

Carl Jones, who was involved with the project from the early days, has been vocal about distancing himself from the project despite still being labeled as a co-creator. In a Tweet on March 28th, the famed producer behind the likes of The Boondocks and Black Dynamite said:

“For the record I was involved with the Good Times animated series in the very VERY beginning but due to creative differences, I had to walk away. So I haven’t even seen one episode or script of this version of the show…”

Alyson Fouse, who wrote on the show, said that she hopes people will check out the final product, saying:

“I wrote for this project, so I know it’s a different generation of the Evans family living in the same circumstances. Only with animation you get to leave the apartment. I hope it does well and that people will at least stop making assumptions before they watch it. Or don’t.”

Star of the show Yvette Nicole Brown responded to a fan asking why she attached herself to such a project in a Tweet:

How well will Good Times perform on Netflix? We’ll have to see in the coming weeks and months. Still, after Netflix has had a string of failures in the adult animated space in the comedy space especially (Blue Eye Samurai is one of the recent successes), it’ll be interesting to see if this one nets a season 2 renewal (or whether it’s been given an upfront order for more).

What’s your opinion on Netflix’s new Good Times reboot? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.