CHARLIE BROOKER: The thing about technology generally, and this has been the case with any huge leap of progress that we’ve made, is that we suddenly develop a powerful tool, and then we’re really excited about it and it’s fun, but we’re kind of clumsy at the same time. Something like social media say, it’s a bit like we’ve grown an extra limb. It’s like we’ve grown a third arm and we go, this is great. Well, actually, maybe if we had like, a monkey’s tail that could coil around and pick things up while I could do this new stuff with it, I can wait. Whoops a daisy. And before you know it, I was knocked over a vase. Or I’ve started a fire and. I’m like, it can cause chaos until we learn how to use it.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Welcome to We Disrupt This broadcast, where we interview the disruptive minds behind the television that captivates us and unpack some of the issues they explore in their work. I’m your host, Gabe González, and today we’re talking to someone who’s created a nightmarish televisual world that is not all that different from our own. Charlie Brooker’s dystopian sci fi series Black Mirror explores the various ways technology can amplify our very human flaws, daring to ask what can we learn about ourselves through our relationship with technology? Speaking for myself, it’s clear technology and I are staying together because I’m too codependent. But he’s obsessed with looking at my Instagram stories and my private DMs and my banking data, and what I brought my mom for her birthday? Tech is, like, literally everywhere. I can’t get rid of him. Anyway. After the break, the Peabody’s executive director, Jeffrey Jones, sits down with a man who’s distilled the chaos of a world more reliant on technology than ever into a provocative series that dares to interrogate and sometimes mock these systems of power. When we come back, our conversation with Charlie Brooker, then we’ll chat with Carole Cadwalladr, an investigative journalist known for her role in exposing the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Welcome back. Today we’re joined by We Disrupt This Broadcast. Executive producer and executive director of the Peabody Jeffrey Jones in conversation with Charlie Brooker. They discuss the importance of disrupting the tech-as-savior narrative, the way both satire and sci-fi imagine our potential and potentially disastrous futures, as well as the thin line between the technological and the supernatural.

JEFFREY JONES: Charlie Brooker, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

CHARLIE BROOKER: Thank you for having me.

JEFFREY JONES: Charlie, I want to take you back to the comedic roots early in your career, when you were parodying news and public affairs shows through satirical programs like Brass Eye, The 11:00 show, Newswipe and others. Can you tell us about the early days of your career and how that shaped your writing?

CHARLIE BROOKER: I’ve had a weird old career. So I started out as a cartoonist when I was a teenager, and then I was working for video games magazines in the ‘90s, and I was kind of becoming a tech journalist. And I was very frustrated because what I wanted to be doing was working in comedy, specifically in TV comedy. And then through a roundabout way of doing a website that was a little bit like The Onion, but for spoof TV listings, that opened the door to me getting work. But I started working as a sort of TV critic at The Guardian, and also just before that, I started getting work on topical TV comedy shows here in the U.K. And so this was around 1999, 2000, 2001. Around the same time I met Chris Morris, who in UK comedy is a kind of legendary figure because he was involved in what I would call a seminal comedy show called The Day to Day, which was in the mid to late 90s. It was Armando Iannucci of Veep, fame, etc. And it felt like a new sort of style of comedy. It really spoke to me. It was very anarchic, acerbic. I was doing a show which I eventually hosted, which was Newswipe, which was a weekly satirical, somewhat Daily Show-esque, but weekly.

JEFFREY JONES: I wanted to bring this up because I see a strong relationship, and I don’t know if you do, too,  between satire and dystopic narratives. And I fear that our listeners might think, now here’s a chap who used to do fun, light, laughter, and now he’s doing this dark brooding, which is very simplistic of both forms. But I really was interested in your seeing similarities between satire and the Black Mirror narratives. And do you see that relationship in the evolution of your work?

CHARLIE BROOKER: Oh, 100%. I think they’re very, very closely related. I mean, they’re both expressions of disappointment and or fear. They say if you scratch a satirist, you find a disappointed optimist. And a lot of Black Mirror, to my mind, is satirical. And certainly our first ever episode is a pretty outrageous satire, which was our first episode where the Prime Minister is blackmailed into doing something appalling. Lands quite differently for viewers who don’t know my background in comedy. I’m quite often struck when I’m thinking of ideas for the show. We do all sorts of different styles of episode, even if it’s an episode that ultimately will end up being what you might call straight drama, very bleak and sincere, quite often it’s come out of an idea that I think is funny, or is satirical in some way. The thing that’s excited me to start with there’s a comedic or satirical nubbin like acorn that it’s all sprung from.

JEFFREY JONES: You bring up the very first episode in Black Mirror called “National Anthem,” which aired in 2011, about a prime minister who’s blackmailed in a very sensational way. It’s a very strong commentary on politics and the trend towards spectacle that’s even present today. Can you talk more about your inspiration behind that episode?

CHARLIE BROOKER: I never used to follow the news too closely. I think it’s because I’m a natural worrier and found the news too stressful. But around 2009, I started with a topical news show, and the idea was that I was going to watch the news and talk about it as though it was a reality show or a soap, to see if I could understand what was going on. And what I learned is, when you watch hours and hours of news footage from all sorts of sources, you spot patterns or sensationalist ways the media would work itself into a tizzy over something that didn’t necessarily matter, while ignoring lots of things that do matter. So when it came to the “National Anthem,” which I don’t know what I’m allowed to say on this show.

JEFFREY JONES: There’s no limitations.

CHARLIE BROOKER: Oh, there’s no limitations. Okay, so it starts off and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is woken up and told that one of our princess’s, fictional one, has been kidnaped, and the ransom demand is that the prime minister must go on television that afternoon and have sex with a pig.

CHARLIE BROOKER: There’s several things going on there. One. I’d conceived that as a parody of the show 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, that I had a love-hate relationship with, mainly love. And there was something that just amused me about playing that situation and that scenario straight. It’s so not the sort of thing that in a more extreme universe, Jack Bauer might have to do, because he was always facing terrible dilemmas and a ticking clock. So that was one level. And the other level was, I’d been watching 24 hour rolling news coverage of, there’d been an election campaign in the U.K. And at the time, our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had been caught on a microphone again, actually very prescient, that he’d been going around up north, the north of England. And a woman that he sort of, senior woman that he’d met had said to him, “What are you going to do about all these immigrants flocking over here?” or something like that. And I was watching all of this and it was ridiculous. And you kind of thought, who’s in charge here? It felt like no one was in charge. And everyone, weirdly, was trying to desperately chase the tail of this story, including the rolling networks themselves. And so that sort of sense of a story that spirals out of control was something I was trying to comment on with this absurd spectacle that in that first episode, unfolds throughout the media until he sort of ends up where he ends up.

JEFFREY JONES: Well, let’s shift from politics to technology, which is central to the narratives of Black Mirror as well. Tech companies often build very powerful narratives for themselves, and that their technology is improving our lives and making us happier and making the world a better place. So how do you see your own stories as challenging and disrupting these narratives from such powerful corporations?

CHARLIE BROOKER: Probably more positive than people might suspect given the show. I often think that people who aren’t aware of my comic background, or indeed that I used to be a video games journalist, could probably think I’m like the Unabomber, and I’m sitting in a shack somewhere, off-grid, paranoid about my neighbor’s Ring doorbell camera. And I’m really not. You know, day to day on the show is almost product design, sometimes working out how things would look. And you’ve got to sort of love that side of things. Technology. It’s always in our show. It’s got to look seductive, and it’s got to feel like something you could believe you might actually want to introduce willingly into your life.

And I had always been a fan of The Twilight Zone. And I thought what was missing in television at that time was one-off dramas, one-off stories which were unpredictable, bizarre, hopefully memorable. The sort of thing you’d run into the workplace the next day and go, Holy cow, did you see last night! That thing with the Prime Minister after having sex with a pig? I’d been reading a book about Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone. And when he started doing The Twilight Zone, he did that because he was facing pushback and censorship on some of the one-off plays he wanted to write. So he realized if he wrote in sci-fi metaphors, he could actually address topics like McCarthyism and psychology and paranoia and inequality and racism. He could address those things head on. And actually, in many ways, make it not feel like a sort of eat your greens, exercise, watch this and it’ll make you a better person. But also, there’s a campfire Tales from the Crypt sort of element to it. So I was thinking, what would you do now if you were Rod Serling? Well, technology felt like the big one.

The iPhone was only a couple of years old, and I remember being slightly weirded out by how serene and happy people in adverts for things like the iPhone and technology in general looked. The tone of those adverts reminded me of Soylent Green, where an old director is being euthanized and just before he dies, they show him beautiful imagery of flowing waterfalls and fawns skipping through. And it’s really sinister because he’s about to be killed by a machine and turned into food. And these iPhone, etc. adverts of the day reminded me of that. It felt like things can’t possibly be that good. And as a natural worrier, it felt like there wasn’t much stuff that was dealing with that. I’ve been a huge fan of satirical mainstream sci fi films of the 80s and things like RoboCop, which to me is a brilliant black comedy and exciting sci-fi action thriller. And I thought, oh, it feels like there’s a space here and you could do stories which are Twilight Zone-style Magical MacGuffin stories, but instead of magic or aliens, we’re getting closer to the point where technology is this magical.

JEFFREY JONES: Obviously, you brilliantly deal with technologies and these warnings to us about them. But what I also see in these episodes is our humanity. That is to say, people still have agency, and there’s often a character in these stories who reminds us that we can indeed make the right choices, but maybe often don’t. Talk to me about this dance, if you will, between technology and our humanity.

CHARLIE BROOKER: There was an episode in season two called “Be Right Back.” This is the one where Hayley Atwell and Donal Gleason, and she plays a woman who her husband dies and she gets a fleshy robot avatar version of him, AI-generated, comes back and is kind of keeping her company, but he’s obviously also not really helping her grieve. And that came about because years earlier in the 90s, I had a mobile phone. Remember when phones could only store about 80 numbers? It seems crazy now. It was like, oh, your phone can only store 80 phone numbers, and then you’re going to have to start deleting them if you want to make room for new ones. And I need you to put a new number in my phone. And I was scrolling through it to look for numbers I could delete, and I stumbled across the phone number of a friend of mine who had died a couple of years earlier. And I knew it was a very strange and bittersweet, like just a strange moment. I knew logically, this was a phone number that I was never going to ring again, and the cold, practical part of my brain knew– Just delete that number, make room for the new number in your phone. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because it was somehow a memento, even though it was also very transient. There was something about that collision of an intense human emotion with the neutral world of technology is quite often a thing that we play with in Black Mirror.

CHARLIE BROOKER: The thing about technology generally, and this has been the case with any huge leap of progress that we’ve made, is that we suddenly develop a powerful tool, because as creatures we’re bloody amazing! You know, we create an incredible tool and then we’re really excited about it and it’s fun, but we’re kind of clumsy at the same time. Something like social media say, it’s a bit like we’ve grown an extra limb. It’s like we’ve grown a third arm and we go, this is great. Well, actually, maybe if we had like a monkey’s tail that it could coil around and pick things up. Wow, I can do all this new stuff with it, I can, wait. Whoops, whoops a daisy. And before you know it, I’ve knocked over a vase. Or I’ve started a fire and I’m, like. It can cause chaos until we learn how to use it, or we learn how to… like we should be looking at social media a bit like it’s near closing time in a pub and everyone’s quite drunk because you’re sort of pumped full of this stuff there, aren’t you? It’s like anything that anyone says on there, I think you should just take it like a somebody shooting their mouth off in a bar near closing time. It takes us a while to catch up to our own creations and ramifications of them. And in that time, there’s going to be all sorts of unforeseen consequences and we’re going to have all sorts of clumsy accidents. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that we are creating these incredible things. I don’t necessarily see technology in and of itself as threatening. Rarely in our show is technology the villain. And usually actually humans aren’t villains in it. Usually what they are, in most of our stories they’re clumsy to some degree. I mean emotionally clumsy or to some unforeseen thing, or they’re trapped in some awful situation, or it’s there some human weakness that has terrible ramifications because of these amazing tools.

JEFFREY JONES: So let’s talk about the word dystopia, the dystopian narratives as a label. I mean, I’m very attracted to them. And I again see a role with satire, but I worry that label pushes people away. They think, oh, I don’t like scary, I don’t like dark. And I worry that it’s pushing people away. Do you agree that sometimes that label does a disservice to the kind of way, again, if we’re thinking that humanity is at the center of this conversation and our choices and our agency, I want people to come to the narrative, not be pushed away by weird understandings of what dystopic narratives actually do.

CHARLIE BROOKER: Well, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because often dystopia is almost secondhand for a sense of hopelessness. Do you know what I mean, and finality and everything’s not good and there’s no coming back from it? I mean, The Simpsons is a dystopian show because it’s a sort of heightened satirical version of the world. I probably sometimes now, as I get older and less tough, probably about the state of the world, I don’t know that I particularly relish watching shows in which the whole of civilization collapses and everything falls apart, because I worry that that’s too close to happening. I do think that it’s an unhelpful label to put on things.

It’s odd because I don’t necessarily see us, Black Mirror, as a dystopian show, even though I can understand why that’s a label that people could readily apply to it. The way I’m seeing it is I’m coming at it more from a satirical or darkly playful or slightly oh, I want to tell a campfire tale angle. Sometimes when people have tried to pitch ideas for the show to me, the mistake they fall into I think is by trying to pitch things that are too serious in a way. And I can understand why they might do that. But what I’m often trying to listen out for is what’s the pop call element? What’s the pitch? What’s the hook? What’s the catchy riff? If I could delete that word from the description of our show, I probably would, partly because it does imply hopelessness.

JEFFREY JONES: Let me ask you one last question. And that’s about the popular reception of Black Mirror. You know, as an artist, a writer, you have to be very judicious in both the assessment of the praise of your show and the criticisms of your show, but in particular the fan reaction or audience reaction to your work. What has stuck with you the most about how the show has resonated with people, that’s made you proud of your work, and feel like this is worth doing a season five, six, seven, etc..

CHARLIE BROOKER: The episodes themselves are all very different. And you know, we’ve got different directors, different DOPs. We treat them as individually as possible. And so there’s lots of different tones. And some people we have a saying over here, Marmite, which is a sandwich spread, that is you love it or hate it. And so in many ways a lot of our episodes are Marmite and you’ll see one person’s top ten and top worst episodes of Black Mirror list will be you could flip it around with somebody else. Somebody’s least favorite episode is somebody else’s favorite. So that said, you do get some of which has resonated with a lot of people and has, you know, spoken to a lot of people on a level that I probably didn’t appreciate when writing it. Sometimes you’ll hear feedback from somebody or you’ll be passed a message, or somebody will say, it really touched them and it really meant a lot to them. And obviously that is a gold star that I can put in my little mental ledger. But I also think, by the same token, some people go to the show just looking for almost a campfire horror story chill. And sometimes we deliver that. And I think that’s an equally valid, you know, I feel a sense of victory if somebody says, oh, I saw this episode, it disturbed the hell out of me and I had to switch it off and I was shaking. I’m delighted by that as well.

JEFFREY JONES: Well, Charlie Brooker, I really want to thank you so much for joining us. You know, for me, there is no more important show over the last 20 years than Black Mirror.


It is prescient and demands that we not just watch, but also, you know, really engage in conversations about these technologies that are radically reshaping our lives and also about why we as humans can only save ourselves. So thank you so much for being with us. It’s truly been a pleasure and best of luck to you.

CHARLIE BROOKER: Thank you. Thank you very much. A pleasure. Thank you.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: That was Jeffrey Jones with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker. And I do hope that after that interview, you scratch at least one satirist this week. I’ve got to say, I was pretty surprised by how concerned Brooker is with making sure audiences feel invited into the world of Black Mirror. But it makes sense, given the themes the series plays with. His hope that labels like dystopic or dark comedy don’t entirely alienate audiences who might want to avoid scary topics feels like it speaks to his journalistic background, his desire to connect with and motivate audiences. And I think he helped us unpack how satire is a very useful tool in making the real and scary things in the world around us feel less insurmountable. Satire is a genre of comedy that mocks and subverts expectations about what lurks in the dark by naming it, then embodying it and making fun of it. It seems Brooker hopes his satirical perspective can help viewers walk away from a Black Mirror episode with a little more bravery than fear.

Well, now that we’ve talked to a former journalist, it’s time to talk to a current one. After the break, we’re joined by Pulitzer nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr, to talk about her work, exposing how much of our data is actually out there, and why the storytelling on Black Mirror gives her hope for a better future.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Welcome back. You’re listening to We Disrupt this broadcast. I’m Gabe González. Today we’re joined by Carole Cadwalladr, a Pulitzer Prize nominated investigative journalist and writer whose work can be seen in The Observer, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, to name a few. In 2018, she helped expose the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data scandal. She’s a fellow Black Mirror fan and she joins us today from London. Carole, welcome and thanks so much for joining us.

CAROLE CADWALLADR: Thanks so much, Gabe.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: So just to kick us off, I’m curious, journalism is one way to inform and even warn citizens of the power of big tech in transforming politics, the economy and society. What do you think is the role of popular culture in that conversation, and what can a show like Black Mirror do that journalists might not be able to do?

CAROLE CADWALLADR: I mean, I think basically Black Mirror can do everything that journalism can’t do. And I think if there’s one lesson that we all need to take away from the last ten years really, is that journalism just doesn’t really work anymore. It’s, how do we hold power to account in an age of no accountability? And it turns out that we can’t. And, you know, I’ve thought a lot about this. I’ve thought a lot about what you actually do.

And I think in my own reporting, you know, there was tons and tons of impact in terms of that consequence of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal. There were these massive multi-billion dollar fines. I mean, the FTC levied their biggest ever fine against Facebook, $5 billion, as a result of the scandal and the SEC $100 million and the British information Commissioner $500,000, etc. And yet nobody was actually held to account and nothing actually changed. So I think about this all of the time. And really, I think the only thing we have is storytelling. That’s where I’m really reside, my only sort of hope for the future.

And one of the most powerful things, I think, is exactly the thing that Charlie does, which is that we can’t understand the future, we can’t understand these terrible warnings, we can’t foresee these consequences. It’s only by having this, like amazing works of imagination that can render this for us and make it visible that we do sit up and think, oh, okay, actually, maybe there’s a downside. So I think you can’t overestimate the contribution that Charlie and his whole entire team have made to our understanding of technology, and particularly some of the aspects of it which we really ought to be attending to now.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: So I’d like to pivot to a moment to, I’m not going to ask about killer robots, but a different type of technology that does seem a little more insidious in a sneakier way. So I want to talk about the last season of Black Mirror, which opened with a very sensational take on AI and our rights. So it was an episode called “Joan is Awful.” Selma Hayek made a great appearance on there. It’s got a really lovely cast, but essentially the premise of the episode is that the protagonist’s life and agency is completely co-opted by AI. Right. They sign up for a streaming service. They don’t realize they’ve signed away their life rights in the terms and conditions, and then an AI likeness of them using their name is now a character in a show that they are watching in their own living room.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: How do you see us interacting with AI now and in the future? And how do you think this episode might kind of help folks start unpacking that, or prompting them to look more into that?

CAROLE CADWALLADR: We are all surveilled by the tech companies. They are collecting every single bit of data on us in order to predict us better, in order to sell us more things. And, you know, we are already living in that reality. And that’s why a lot of the conversation about AI feels disjointed in that it’s like what’s coming. The AI future, rather than the AI present that we’re living in. And, you know, to return to that and to particularly to some of the issues we’ve known about, the issues which I’m particularly interested in, which is issues around disinformation and what we see on social media, and how that particularly that impacts our politics and elections. You know, we’re sitting here talking in 2024, just months ahead of a presidential election. We have been, journalists and academics and the FBI and law enforcement and the FTC, everybody’s been studying and understands this so much more than we did. In 2016 we knew nothing. This all happened in darkness. And it was this painstaking work done afterwards to unpick actually, what had happened. But absolutely nothing has happened to protect us from the technology which existed then, in 2016, eight years on. That looks like the dark ages in comparison to what’s coming down the pipe now. And, you know, this confluence of politics and technology, which I think is one of the things that Charlie is so smart about, is the thing which makes it particularly terrifying. I think about this present moment. And what I feel is just the form of authoritarianism we are seeing with Donald Trump and with these other leaders around the world is techno authoritarianism. And it is a new hybrid phenomenon, which I don’t think we’re equipped to understand, especially actually as mainstream media or to know how to deal with.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: I’m curious, are we entering an era now where consent is secondary, right, that it’s become so normalized and so much a part of our culture that we are being surveilled, our data is being mined, our images are being used without consent, despite the appearance that we might be alright with it, or the idea that we have some autonomy over ourselves?

CAROLE CADWALLADR: I mean, there is no meaningful consent whatsoever. And, you know, I’m sitting here in London where we have some data protection laws. This present government is trying to rip them up. Europe has considerably more. The USA has none. Where our law comes from anyway, is that this is a right and it’s a human right. And thinking about it in those terms, I think is really important, because we know that the way that this technology can be used against people is a fundamental abuse of their human rights. And I think America is looking down the barrel of a very authoritarian form of government inflected by religiosity and who knows what else. And anybody who is “other” to that ideology is going to be identified and at risk. And I think that’s when the issue of your data is going to become very alive to a lot of people, in a way in which we’ve already seen with the rolling back of abortion rights. And women began to understand that almost immediately in terms of the use of period tracking apps and so on.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Absolutely. And we’ve even seen private messages on apps like Facebook, for example, used to charge a mother and daughter in Nebraska with a supposedly illegal abortion. That was back in 2022 before Roe v. Wade was even overturned. And even thinking more broadly, part of this optimistic narrative surrounding tech, whether it’s social media that connects us or AI that helps us write a better paper, is that it’s presented with this veneer of unbiased objectivity. Right? It is technology. It is crunching numbers. It is objective in a way people can’t be. What’s your response to this characterization of the way we use AI?

CAROLE CADWALLADR: I mean, AI’s feeding off the internet and the internet is full of shit. And the internet is full of racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, you name it. It’s biased against minorities. And that is what these AI’s, these machine learning algorithms are feasting on. And this is the reality that they’re reflecting back to us. And I mean, I find that terrifying because it means that, if you want me to kind of go on an AI dystopia view is that we’re going to have AIs rewriting history. So there’s sort of the fact based reality and the journalistic based, you know, referenced in evidence reality, which we are trying as journalists, as the news media, you know, as Maria Ressa, the Filipino journalist says, it’s about trying to hold the line on that. And it’s increasingly difficult to hold the line on that. You know, the point about Silicon Valley is that it’s technology made by the sort of people in the room and the people who own the companies, and they’re rich white men. They’re rich white North American men. And it reflects their reality. And the reality of, you know, everybody else in the world is, I fear, being written out of history.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: That is a very valid and very terrifying fear. We’ve been talking a lot about the threats that we face from technology and tech companies, particularly those run by these rich, white North American men that are not held accountable, that hoard wealth, and even after their fines, can continue to buy up more apps and run their companies as if it were business as usual. Is there anything, maybe a glimmer of light that gives you hope for the future?

CAROLE CADWALLADR: I mean, the only place where I find hope is in the sort of rising generation of Gen Z-ers who, they’re captive. They really fee,l a lot of them feel quite captive. There’s a 21 year old student who I’ve worked with now for three years called Zamaan Qureshi. Look him up. He’s a kind of wonderkid. And he. I spoke to him when he was 18 and he just started getting interested in the subject. And I was like, why do you care so much, Zamaan? Where’s this coming from? One of his lines to me is he said, the thing is, Carole, you’re quite old, so there’s a lot of information about you on the internet, but there’s not as much as there is about me. They’ve had me from birth. The thing is about Gen Z’s and Alpha the younger, they are living this technology. It viscerally impacts every aspect of their lives. They understand, like how it’s impacting them. But the kids give me a little tiny, teeny tiny glimmer of hope.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: I love that the kids are alright. And maybe we will. Yeah.

CAROLE CADWALLADR: The kids are alright. Exactly.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it. And I love seeing you find humor and a bit of hope, despite how overwhelmingly bleak and dreary the future can look. So I really appreciate it. Thank you.

CAROLE CADWALLADR: Thanks so much,  Gabe.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Well, hearing Charlie and Carole talk about Black Mirror doesn’t feel nearly as bleak as I imagined. If anything, the series feels like a warning, a pretty urgent one, according to Carole, to make sure the world we live in doesn’t look like what Charlie’s imagined, at least not entirely. A world where the potentially negative impacts of our technology aren’t ignored or minimized for the sake of profit. And Carole’s real life experience covering the companies who do profit from this tech and our data was sobering, to say the least.

The Peabody Awards are decided unanimously. So to close out our episode on a lighter note, I bring you we disrupt this broadcast unanimous decision, a segment where we unanimously pick the most disruptive line of the day:

CHARLIE BROOKER: The Simpsons is a dystopian show.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: Next time on, We Disrupt This Broadcast, Better Things creator Pamela Adlon joins our correspondent and executive director for the Center for Media and Social Impact, Caty Borum to talk menopause, motherhood and divorce cakes.

PAMELA ADLON: If you’re going to get a red velvet cake for your daughter because she got her period, you’ve got to have a celebration cake for a woman who has a successful divorce.

GABE GONZÁLEZ: We Disrupt This Broadcast is a Peabody and Center for Media and Social Impact production, hosted by me, Gabe González, with on air contributions from Caty Borum, Jeffrey Jones, and Joyelle Nicole Johnson. This show is brought to you by executive producers, Caty Borum, Jeffrey Jones, and Bethany Hall. Producer, Jordana Jason. Writers, Sasha Stewart, Jordana Jason, Bethany Hall, Jennifer Keishin-Armstrong, and myself, Gabe González. Consulting producer: Jennifer Keishin-Armstrong. Associate producer: Bella Green. Graphic designer: Olivia Klaus. Operations producer: Varsha Ramani. The marketing and communications team: Christine Drayer and Tunisia Singleton. From PRX, the team is: Terrence Bernardo, Jennie Cataldo, Morgan Church, Edwin Ochoa, and Amber Walker. The executive producer of PRX Productions is Jocelyn Gonzales.