Singer/songwriter Chandler Juliet had no interest in injecting politics into her musical career.
The industry had other ideas.
“Becoming an artist in music meant becoming an activist,” says Juliet of what she calls “unwritten rules” singers are told to follow.
“I couldn’t thrive in the music scene. Everyone was so liberal, and they’re expecting me to follow,” Juliet says. “It sorta feels like a cult.”
That, plus the pandemic lockdowns, found her hitting the pause button on her singing career.
Music’s loss turned out to be comedy’s gain.
Juliet began posting comedy sketches to Instagram and YouTube. At first, her goal wasn’t career oriented.
“I was making myself laugh during a challenging time,” she explains. A mutual friend introduced her to The Babylon Bee, the right-leaning Christian satire site expanding into video production. Juliet began appearing in Bee sketches and, eventually, the site asked her to join the company full-time.
“It’s such a huge blessing,” she says.
Performing comes naturally for Juliet, born into a family steeped in the entertainment arts.
“Everyone is a performer,” she says.
She spent most of her early adult years as a singer/songwriter, generating millions of streams on Spotify in the process. She slipped in improv appearances, unaware she was prepping for the next stage in her career.
Now, she’s the airhead liberal from the “Californians Move to Texas” series as well as the Twitter employee shrieking over Elon Musk’s takeover.
“It’s a dream of mine to be on a show like ‘MADtv,’” she says. Now, she’s part of the Bee ensemble skewering woke mania and more.
“It’s such a blast to come into the office every day,” she says of her Bee chores, though the nature of their work requires a unique pressure for the team. They have to move, and fast, to make sure the sketch du jour isn’t stale before the news cycle breaks.
Juliet says she holds conservative values similar to the site’s point of view, but she loathes labels for herself and others.
“I don’t have a very dogmatic collection of beliefs,” she says. “I think that our society is so guilty of participating in identity politics, finding out what you are right away and putting you into a box.”
“I’ve seen my parents be discriminated against in the industry,” she adds.
She’s gotten a taste of that treatment after joining Team Bee. She’s been labeled a “fascist” just for creating comedy bits for the right-leaning platform.
The Babylon Bee’s videos, and its array of faux news headlines, attack topics that most mainstream platforms won’t touch. That’s opened the door for not just the Bee but indie comics who leverage their platforms to tell the jokes others refuse to go near.
“The barrier to entry is really simple. Are you willing to face backlash from the crazies on the Left?” Juliet asks.
That wasn’t easy for her at first.
“The gays came for me,” she says with a chuckle, and more critics followed. The flood of angry missives eventually gave her a sense of relief.
“All right, this is what I was afraid of. Now, it’s happening, and I don’t have to be afraid anymore,” she says.
Lately, though, the negative comments have faded. In their place are consumers cheering her work and the subjects Bee videos tackle.
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Juliet still creates comedy videos on her own, and she’s keenly aware of Big Tech censors eager to erase jokes that don’t fit their narratives.
“I know what I’m up against. I‘ve seen so many people lose their accounts. I wanna reach the most people. I haven’t gotten too spicy yet. Some people might say otherwise,” she says.
Her right-leaning, woke-free comedy plays a small, but intriguing role in the raging culture wars. And it’s no laughing matter for Juliet.
“Comedy has the magic sauce that can break through people’s point of view through laughter,” she says. “Your brain is creating a neural pathway to think differently about something that made you laugh.”