Beavis and Butt-Head used to be a controversial duo, but in today’s age of shock comedy, it’s hard to remember a time when parents were so outraged by their behavior. Now that Beavis and Butt-Head have returned with an all new film, it’s fitting to see them tackle the controversial topics of today. There are just so many to choose from and the new film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe, cover a lot of them. But one subject which takes up an entire scene is white privilege. Although the pair do a fine job mocking the concept, the subject matter is actually handled very well and communicated to the audience in a very subtle way.
Of course, Beavis and Butt-Head spend the bulk of the movie trying to get laid. Their journey brings them into a college classroom, where the teacher and students are quick to point out their white privilege. Ignorant of this fact, the pair were thrilled to learn that they were privileged just because they were white. They then went on to walk about the college campus doing whatever they wanted, assuming it was okay because of the color of their skin.
On the surface, this entire scene plays out as a satire and critique of white privilege. It looks to be poking fun of those that take the social phenomenon too literally and apply it to every single circumstance. But those who might criticize Beavis and Butt-Head because of this might be missing the bigger picture — the entire movie is one big commentary on white privilege. Beavis and Butt-Head are constantly getting into trouble, causing damage, and committing crimes. And yet, they are constantly able to skirt around any sort of punishment and are never held accountable for their actions. It’s hard to imagine someone of a different race getting away with the same. That alone is white privilege in action. So although this might be an absurd comedy filled with sex jokes, the fact that it is able to both criticize and stand as an example of a very poignant social issue means there’s more to the movie than meets the eye.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe is streaming now on Paramount+