Buzz’s Defend a Villain is…The Wicked Witch of the West
We’ve gotten response to a segment we did last week called, “Defend a Villain”. Most of it's very positive and we got a couple saying it’s the best new thing we’ve done recently. We each picked a fictional villain and came up with arguments trying to exonerate them. Also, we had attorney Justin Underwood come in and play the part of Judge. The results were equal parts whimsical and educational.
Here’s Buzz’s defense of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz (for our purposes today, we’re only using material from the 1930’s movie starring Judy Garland. So no Elpheba from Wicked arguments or any of Frank L. Baum’s sequels are allowed.
The so-called “Wicked” Witch of the West did not deserve to be villainized to the extent she has and she CERTAINLY didn’t deserve to be killed in cold blood, or cold water, as it turned out.
Consider the events of that fateful day in Munchkinland from the Wicked Witch of the West’s (henceforth, referred to as “WWW”) perspective. When she arrives on the scene she sees that her sister has been crushed by a house. In her distraught and confused state she assumes that the person who arrived in the house may have been…MAY have been…responsible for her sibling’s death. I think we can all understand how someone in such a state may look for someone to blame. In such an emotional state it would have been understandable if the WWW had tried to take revenge on the person she believed was responsible. But did she do this?
No. No she did not. In fact, all she wanted were her late sister’s shoes. It wasn’t until after she was denied the shoes by, from her perspective, the very person responsible for her sister’s death, that she began making verbal threats. But, all she really wanted was a keepsake from her late, beloved sister. And, by all known rights of inheritance, the WWW, as her sister’s closely surviving relative was ENTITLED to the property. But, not only is she denied her rightful property, she was threatened by the “Good” Witch of the North, aka “Glinda”. Glinda clearly threatened my client’s life when she said, “Begone! Before somebody drops a house on you”. So while it is true my client did make some hasty, idle threats it was only after her sister had been killed, her rightful property stolen AND her life threatened. How many of us could’ve remained as calm under such duress?
Then, Dorothy Gale, the person who my client believed responsible for her sister’s death, went out into the land of Oz and, from the WWW’s perspective, began recruiting a mercenary force of super-powered creatures: a frightening half-lion half-man; a mindless scarecrow; and a literal Iron Man! Was my client frightened? Of course she was. Did she take steps to protect herself? Yes, as any reasonable person would do.
The next thing we see is Dorothy and her muscle arriving at Emerald City. Emerald City has a very unique demographic. A demographic that may explain why the WWW was considered so “Wicked” in the first place. Of all the people we see in Emerald City, not one…NOT ONE…has green skin. As far as we can tell, there are NO people of color whatsoever in Oz. Could this be the reason for so much animus toward my client? Could it just be ugly, old-fashioned racism? It certainly seems that way to me.
Soon, Dorothy meets the leader of Oz the mysterious Wizard. Dorothy offers that she would be willing to do anything the Wizard asks just so long as she’s allowed to go home to Kansas. So what does the “Wonderful” Wizard as her to do? Nothing less than murder my client the WWW and bring him her broom as proof.
Shockingly, Dorothy Gale agrees to this! Then she and her band of henchmen hunt down and kill the WWW. I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jury, how does it make sense that my client is the “villain” of this story? Sister killed, property stolen, harassed and threatened in her own home and, ultimately killed. I ask each of you to look deep into your own heart and ask yourself “Would I have done so differently under the same circumstance”? I ask you to look and consider deeply and then return a verdict of “Not Guilty” for my late client. Thank you.