Donald Trump, Black Mirror, and America’s Waldo Moment

donald trump black mirror waldo moment charlie brooker comparison netflix

The Waldo Moment is an episode from Black Mirror’s second season; it’s about an abrasive cartoon personality, controlled via motion capture by a struggling comedian, who runs for office as part of a publicity stunt. Unexpectedly, though, Waldo begins to resonate with a disenfranchised and disillusioned voter base, who don’t feel represented by the career politicians who are running against Waldo, resulting in him going on to receive a significant proportion of the vote.

Already a stark resemblance is beginning to form; Trump began as a reality TV personality, in essence, and much of his support base comes from a group who don’t feel represented by those they view as “the establishment”. It’s at this point that another parallel between Waldo and Trump becomes painfully clear, though; towards the end of The Waldo Moment, the struggling comedian is bullied out of his role, and replaced by the media mogul who owns his copyright. Behind the abrasive personality and penis jokes, it’s just another rich old white man, looking to further his own needs, and his own wants, with no consideration for anyone else. And that is the clearest link between Trump and Waldo.

Here’s an article about everyone’s least favourite demagogue, and his clearest TV analogue outside of Hitler documentaries.

(I suspect this one has aged somewhat poorly.)

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