Race and Media on Tumblr VI

This is turning into a regular feature on this blog. Its not that I’m not interested in the topic but there are some really deep, and intelligent discussions and critiques about how the media portrays racial matters on Tumbr, the kind of conversations I don’t see happening anywhere else, and which I don’t feel I’m eloquent enough to express.

*Say what you want about Tumblr users, their intersectional, media critiquing skills are on point.Starting with this scene from Star Wars :TFA. I love the character Finn and  would be overjoyed to find that the rest of the films play out this narrative that just about every single one of us missed in this movie, as I’ve heard this mentioned no where else in its reviews.

The narrative arc The Force Awakens create between Finn and Kylo Ren is an interesting one. Visually it begins in the very first scene they appear on screen together at the assault of Tuanul village after the execution of the villagers that FN-2187 refused to participate in. When Kylo Ren is returning to his shuttle, he stops and stares at Finn for, at the time, no discernible reason.

In doing this the movie draws a visual line between the two men, connecting them in the audience’s mind and in-universe. One is dressed in black, the other in white, both are helmeted and faceless, but already we have witnessed the distinction between them and the movie spends the rest of its time emphasizing it: Kylo Ren will murder on a whim, while FN-2187 refuses to kill unarmed civilians.

After this “meeting” Kylo Ren maintains a distinct interest in FN-2187. So much that he not only knows that it was the same trooper which aided Poe in escaping, but that when he learns that Finn has got away with BB-8 he throws one of his two destructive rampages.

The other he has when Rey escapes captivity.

After this their stories part for a time, but only to be rejoined on Starkiller Base after Kylo Ren murders Han Solo.

After Chewie shoots Kylo, blows up the oscillator and everyone including Finn and Rey starts shooting, we see Kylo Ren kneeling on the bridge looking up. .

The camera cuts to an angle behind Kylo Ren’s head so we now also have Finn and Rey in the shot, both standing on a balcony in the background

Another cut, closing up on our two leads. This shows them both standing, looking down on Kylo Ren. Both look shocked and Finn is stepping forward on the balcony, towards the audience and more importantly, towards Kylo.

Once again the movie cuts and again it zooms in so that now Finn is in focus. His face merges from the shock and fear he has so far displayed, into grief, anger and determination. And throughout the shot he steps further and further forward while the camera zooms in on him, visually emphasizing him stepping into the conflict with Kylo Ren.

Rey is barely in the frame here and by the end of the shot she’s entirely gone, leaving her literally out of the picture.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. Kylo’s face merges from surprise into unmitigated fury and hatred at the sight of FN-2187, the Stormtrooper who defected, who is everything he is not.

The whole sequence mirrors their first encounter with the two men staring at each other, though they’re now unmasked and we can see the mutual enmity clear on their faces. Finn is no longer running away, he’s stepping forward and the camera zooms in on Kylo’s face drawing him into conflict with Finn as well.

The movie sets up this conflict not just for the coming battle in the forest, but also for the next two Episodes as the battle between the two men is a draw. Finn is defeated by Kylo, but the Dark Sider does not obtain the lightsaber and is in turn defeated by Rey. Neither of them emerges a victor and the narrative conflict between them remains unresolved.

So whatever Episode VIII and IX brings, it is clear that Finn and Kylo will cross paths again and Kylo had better beware. To borrow John’s words: “Finn ain’t playing no more”, that much is clear from the scene in the oscillator.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. 

This part is so important and yet flew over like 90% of the fandom’s heads in favor of focusing on Rey (gee I wonder why).

The shift in Finn’s expression from shocked grief to quiet rage reminds me of Luke’s reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle’s burnt corpses in ANH. Obviously Rey and Kylo will be squaring off again in VIII but TFA also made it clear that there’s some serious bad blood between Finn and Kylo that’s entirely separate from wanting to protect or recruit Rey. Which is why I roll my eyes when I see people claim that Finn is going to be shunted off to a B-plot opposite Hux (a character he never interacted with in TFA) and Phasma (who he literally threw in the trash).

Also, it’s worth noting that for the first time, Rey has to take Finn by the arm and pull him away.

Kylo was stumbling up towards them and I’m not convinced that Finn wouldn’t have tried to take him down right then and there.

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*Okay, this is a very long one and its a  firm,  well backed up, critique of popular television media. I’m not saying you can’t like these shows, and some of these I feel are a bit of a reach. Some of these shows I’ve either actively disliked, or stopped watching,  but that there is almost nothing a person can watch on TV, no matter how hard the creators might be trying, that isn’t problematic in some way.
 I see this as an argument for greater representation behind the camera. We keep expecting middle-class, cis-het, able-bodied, white men to get intersectionality correct, when its simply not possible. I’m a black, cis-het, disabled woman, who is socially aware, and even I missed half the things cited in this essay. So I certainly don’t expect men who experience no vectors of  marginalization to be able to get these things right and if we had more representation behind the scenes, we wouldn’t have to  beg the people in the industry for more representation, or for them to try to get us.

every time i make or reblog a post about a show’s racism, a lot of people reblog it with comments along the tines of “oh, i didn’t notice” or “damn, i didn’t know, i love this show”.

i’m talking abut shows that

  • are overwhelmingly white (orphan black, person of interest, in the flesh, agent carter, shameless, jessica jones),
  • kill off brown characters at alarming rates (daredevil, the 100, breaking bad, arrow, teen wolf),
  • rely heavily on stereotypes (about all the shows i just mentioned; sense8, glee),
  • sideline, erase and under-write their characters of color (again, all the shows mentioned above),
  • have a few men of color but not women of color (most of the above mentioned; broad city, supergirl, izombie)

and another long list of obvious, glaring forms of racism. things that you cannot miss when you see the show. things that you have to be trying to ignore, because otherwise, there shouldn’t be a way to not see them.

and yet bloggers who regularly talk about media’s misogyny, queerphobia and ableism; claim that they have never before noticed any kind of racism in shows they’ve been watching and blogging about for ages. of course, most of the time, if i go check their blog i’ll find out that they are white, that is a given.

i don’t know what to think about these people. does their capacity for critical analysis suddenly vanish when faced with the absence or mistreatment of characters of color? are they willfully obtuse, do they truly not care, or does unexamined whiteness really cause that level of ignorance?

Yet in arrow you have diggle aka spartan since episode 1 not to mention that Sara and ras daughter were in love.
Jessica jones is in love with Luke cage, a major black super hero since the 70s.
Carter took place in a time when people of color were highly segregated so yeah not likely to see people of color.

I can’t believe that, in the year of our lord 2k16, I have to explain to your bitch racist racist that a black sidekick does not make a racist production any less racist, but… here we are, and you better learn everything in this reply before I track down your location and beat your ass with a history book.

Let’s go from the bottom up: “there were no black people in the fifties, Agent Carter is not racist!”

AGENT CARTER IS RACIST

White people in fandom have been trying to excuse AC’s racism with “but!!! racial segregation!!!” since day one, and yet, it’s still a fake as fuck argument. /Here/, the wonderful @kissingcullens took down this myth with some examples:

First of all, this is a fictional show set in a Fantasy Alternate Universe in which there are super-soldiers, spies, and magical energy cubes left on earth by alien vikings, so….
But even if that weren’t the case…. Are we all forgetting just basic American History 101?

125,000 African Americans served overseas in World War II, including the famous Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion.
African American Women served in the second World War as nurses, WACs, WAVES, and WAACs, both at home and overseas.

Heard of Jazz?  Harlem?  The Cotton Club?
Lena Horne?
Cabin in the Sky??
Louis Armstrong!  Cab Calloway!  Eartha Kitt!
James Baldwin!  Ethel Waters!

Joe Louis (World Heavyweight Champion 1937-1949)
Hattie MacDaniel
(1940 Winner of the Academy Award)
Jackie Robinson
(a veteran of WWII btw, though he never went overseas) was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947-
How about Samuel J Battle, New York City’s first African-American police sergeant (1926), lieutenant (1935), and the first African-American parole commissioner (1941)
Madame CJ Walker
is known as America’s first self-made female Millionaire, based on her successful line of hair products for Black women.
This woman’s parents were slaves and she ended her life a MILLIONAIRE with a thriving business.

Or you can look at /this/ post, where people shared soldiers, pilots, spies and politicans of color under the tag “Diversify Agent Carter”. The OP has pictures, but…

The “Women Guerrillas” corps trains in Manila, Philippines in 1941. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/7zia1Rr2vW

My grandfather was an Air Force instructor to Tuskeegee Airmen before & during WWII. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/3QoURyx2pf

#DiversifyAgentCarter MT @womenshistory: Maggie Gee, 1 of only 2 Chinese-Am women to serve in the WASP during WWII. pic.twitter.com/1kMwd0SQKG

1928 pilot license photo of Ms. Pancho Barnes, who broke Amelia Earhart’s air speed record. http://t.co/ov1rzvi9b3 pic.twitter.com/WYUewz0fuo

1940s superspy Senorita Rio, the first Latina lead character in US comics. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/xsQQX5lb1G

#DiversifyAgentCarter because Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was the first Asian Am woman to get a pilots license in 1932! pic.twitter.com/PnMRJCwe3I

My Arab great-grandma, a detective & civil defense director in 1950s NYC. These women existed. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/YGVcadaadT

#DiversifyAgentCarter because of this book on my Amazon wish list about the history of gay men and women during WWII. http://t.co/UFD1DIdvsd

Historical accuracy is still a fucking fallacy if you quote segregation, because… let’s read what @karnythia explained /here/:

The first Black FBI special agent was James Wormley Jones who was appointed in 1919. Basic American history, federal jobs were integrated (not that they were ever really completely segregated) by Roosevelt with Executive Order  8802 in June 1941. In fact after WWII Truman continued to support desegregation of the armed forces and all other agencies, going so far in 1948 to appoint the first Black Federal judge among other high ranking positions, and issuing Executive Order 9981 which stated that  “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in  the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.“ By the end of the Korean War almost every unit in the military was integrated.

That’s before we get into how Jim Crow actually worked. Black & white people didn’t necessarily socialize in all places (though that list was mostly schools and church), but they worked in the same places, went to the same movie theaters, white people frequented clubs in Black neighborhoods like Harlem, Black people worked and performed in clubs with white audiences etc. Black and white people ate in the same restaurants, just at two different counters or sides of the same building. Their communities were side by side, they used the same transit systems, the idea was separate but equal even if the execution missed the mark. So the MCU was integrated as a reflection of the reality of the 1940′s. Some hotels didn’t allow Black people, but many did, especially at the lower end of the economic scale like the boarding house where Peggy lives. There’s literally no canonical or historical reason to erase the diversity of New YorK City in Agent Carter.

Damn, even fucking /Playboy/ addressed AC’s racism:

The overwhelming whiteness of Agent Carter is constructed. It is artificial. It is not normal or realistic. It did not happen in a magical creative vacuum any more than deliberately cultivating more diversity would.

First of all, if you think that New York of 1946 was as white as it looks in Agent Carter, then you are just super, super wrong. I’m not sure how else to go into that one, because it’s just a straight-up question of factual accuracy. Even in the 1940s, even under a lot of de facto segregation (which it’s worth noting largely persists 70-plus years later), New York was an incredibly racially diverse city, far more so than the version we’ve seen on Agent Carter. Hell, I live in the whitest major city in the America — Portland, OR — and it’s not as white as the New York of Agent Carter.

Nor were the intelligence and military communities. In 1941, an executive order had desegregated the defense industry, and in 1946, when Agent Carter takes place, A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington Movement was campaigning vocally for the desegregation of the armed forces, which would occur by executive order in 1948.

The FBI had hired its first black agent — James Wormley Jones — in 1919; others followed. Understand that you are looking at the tip of the iceberg here: click over to #DiversifyAgentCarter for an ongoing lesson on the history you did not learn in schools for much the same reason that you don’t see it reflected on TV. Google the names Pancho Barnes, Maggie Gee, Katherine Sui Fun Cheung.

Certainly, Jones, and Barnes and Gee were minorities in their fields, exceptions in a system aggressively biased against them: but then, so is Peggy Carter. That’s the whole point.Agent Carter is a show about an exceptional individual fighting a system in which she is a second-class citizen, a system that fails to recognize her value or support her work. It tells that story exquisitely well, and it is already telling it along multiple vectors: in the case of season one, gender and disability. There is no reason that race should not be part of that narrative — and plenty of reasons that it not only should but must.

Not to mention that /616 canon Peggy Carter/ marries Gabe Jones, a dark skinned black man who was part of the Howling Commandos, and yet they haven’t een mentioned him in the show so far and his leading love interest has been a white man for two seasons.

Not that Agent Carter mentioned Jim Morita either, despite the fact that he’s also one of the most iconic Howling Commandos and he’s already appeared in the MCU.

As far as characters of color that appeared in the comics as people from Peggy Carter’s generation, we also could have (as mentioned by@fandomshatepeopleofcolor, /here/):

  • Jimmy Woo, former FBI agent who was one of the earliest members of SHIELD, heir to the shady ATLAS foundation, and hyper-competent agent. If he’s on the show they could do really smart commentary on US-China relations during the Cold Wwar, like they kinda did in the comics.
  • Nia Marie Jones, a CIA agent in the comics who met White Nick Fury while on a mission. They had a kid together, Marcus Johnson (aka Nick Fury Jr, the 616 counterpart to the MCU’s Fury).
  • Isaiah Bradley. After the success of the Super Soldier program, American/German eugenicists tried to replicate it using African-American test subjects as guinea pigs, with only a few survivors, one of them being Isaiah.

Now that we got your stupid-ass argument out of the way, let me remind you that, not only is Agent Carter whitewashed as fuck, but they also treated its few characters of color like shit:

  • Season 1:
    • A black man in the first episode who is 1) a misogynistic and 2) a villain, and is murdered by a white man in that same episode.
    • An Asian man (SHIELD Agent, IIRC) who also died in episode 1.
    • A Black police officer who also died (rather violently, I recall) in EP1.
    • A black man (with no lines) who showed up for a few seconds in EP1.
    • A bunch of black musicians at the villain’s party.
    • There was an Asian lady who appeared on-screen for three seconds just to say that she slept with Tony Stark.
    • An, I think another nameless Asian SHIELD Agent who Peggy beat up a couple times in S1. I don’t remember him having lines.
  • Season 2:
    • Jason Wilkes, the scientist and love interest from S2, who is there to receive racist comments from Everyone But Peggy. He spends most of his arc being invisible and/or untouchable, makes a deal with the villains (and betrays Peggy), is experiemented on against by a bunch of white people and almost dies about five times in the season.
    • The black extras in the Black Club™ where Wilkes took Peggy???

@ubeempress’ “Agent Carter and The Lack Of Diversity” (1, 2) bring up most of the same points I brought up before, but they are also a good read on why you are an ignorant, racist fuck.


So, we can move on to AKA Jessica Jones now, right? This is gonna be another long, fun read on why, exactly, you are an ignorant and racist idiot, so I hope you are paying attention.

JESSICA JONES IS RACIST

The good news is that I myself have already made posts about why JJ is racist, so we can start there. From /here/ and /here/:

  • out of 7 recurrent characters (jessica, patricia, malcolm, jeri, kilgrave, luke, simpson) you got 5 white, 2 black (men).
  • minor but mildly developed characters add a bunch of white faces (hope, pam, robyn and ruben, wendy, patricia’s mom, kilgrave’s parents) and only 3 non-white characters (reva and clements, both dead; and claire, who was only there for one episode).
  • the support group has one black woman and one black man, i think (not counting malcolm)? out of about six characters we see there regularly? still bad numbers.
  • jessica’s has one case with two characters of color who don’t end up dead (antoine and serena, both black); and another with two white characters who don’t end up dead (attempted murder lady and the not-actually-cheating husband), so at least that’s even.
  • there is a latinx gang (puerto rican, i think), a couple black and latinx bodyguards/cops. at least the asian-fusion restaurant is owned by actual east-asian people?
  • some asian/black/latinx extras in almost every crowd scene. there are no all-white crowds, which is an improvement from agent carter at least.
  • the only asian man with more than five seconds of screentime spends all of his ten minutes of fame brainwashed and ends up dead.

so, to sum it up, out of 18 recurrent/more-or-less-developed characters (names, stories, affect the plot somehow, appear in at least two episodes) we have:

  • two women of color. a dead black woman (only shows up in flashbacks) and a latina (who only shows up in the last ten minutes of the 12th ep and during the 13th)
  • three men of color, all black. two are major characters (the leading romantic interest and the hero’s sidekick). the third one is a secondary character and dies a violent dead.
  • no prominent asian characters. in new york city. only latinxs besides claire are gang members. no black women who get to be alive and exist as more than plot devices.

so, 5/18 of the main cast (or 27%) are poc and Hell’s Kitchen is only 48% non-latinx white. atleast half of those 18 characters should be poc and/or latinxs.

And, since you brought up the fact that Sara and Nyssa are wlw in a post about racism (???), we can talk about why Jessica Jones was also a lesbophobic mess, as discussed by @autisticlynch and @becketted /here/:

It was blatant hatred. Not only did they make it a love triangle and managed to demonize all three women involved, that final scene was just violent for me to watch. No representation is better than bad representation and if you’ll only have lesbians in your show to have them torture and kill each other in a graphic, awfully long gorey scene then I’d advise you to keep your disgusting hands away from wlw characters forever. The thing is, the femslash shippers jumped on the Jess/Trish baiting so I guess they focused on that ? But yikes, we’re talking of a fandom that takes pride on the anti-rape message of the show while still somehow, shipping Jess and Luke so they’re not above looking the other way when their shitty show fucks up again, I’m afraid.

It’s particularly awful because this was the first time we saw a same-gender couple in a Marvel show (Joey Gutierrez came before, and as much as I love seeing lgbtqa+ Latino representation he doesn’t have an onscreen relationship like the women in Jessica Jonesdid) and it has to be such a negative thing. It reminded me how that Mandarin short made Justin Hammer into a “only gay in jail” joke, it was in the same hatred vibe. You decide to have a Marvel character in a relationship with another men but it’s a villain and it’s a fucking punchline? Ugly.

There’s also the fact that they invented that “Jessica kills Reva” storyline only to… what? Ruin the perfect, loving friends-to-lovers relationship Luke and Jess have in 616, brutalize a black woman on-screen and add some shitty white angst? As pointed by @trans-janet-jackson /here/:

This whole thing with Reva Connors DID NOT happen in Alias, one of Luke Cage’s EARLY villains was responsible. Why was there a need to make her a part of Jessica’s story? Like this adaptation wasn’t bad enough with you taking the extra step of making Kilgrave rape Jessica when that didn’t happen in the comics (And was a very important point in that story) you had to throw some extra misogynoir in there too.

I’m gonna get on how Jessica killing Reva and lying to Luke about it makes her relationship with him a manipulative, abusive, toxic mess that is completely weighed by anti-blackness and is particularly disgusting in a show that is supposed to be about survivors working through their trauma after being abused, but, first, let’s talk about the show’s general racism. Another great post by @autisticlynch, /here/:

Not only did they kill Clemmons in a very graphic way, they also made Malcolm an addict because of course they did. But not even that gross, racist storyline was his. Kilgrave made him so, to get at Jessica and she, in turn, used him. She put him in danger, she mocked his sufferings and made his addiction about herself. Frankly, it was. We were never shown him actually fighting, resisting to it. He was an addict and then, he was fine. Eventually, he became the support system of Ruben’s sister, another white girl willing to step on him if needs be. From beginning to end, Malcolm was a pawn and a liability, his efforts to insert himself on the narrative dismissed with a patronizing pat on the back.

Luke Cage got off worse. This show was supposed to lead the way to his own show, premiering in  2016. Luke Cage, that historical hero, impervious to bullets, whose story matters so much as of now. We were introduced with is character through Jessica’s binoculars, as she stalked him.

He is shown having sex with a black woman. Said black woman, it turned out, was cheating on her husband with him, allowing us to understand a bit more about Luke as he declines her advances. A straight-up guy, he “doesn’t do drama”. Never once is that woman shamed for her choices, however. She’s confident and upfront and challenges Jessica, calling her out on her obsession with Luke. Nevertheless, she is soon forgotten, set aside to let Jessica and Luke’s story begin. She was the only black woman with a speaking role in the whole series and her potential was already conveniently abandoned before the end of the pilot.

From that moment onward, Luke is surrounded by white people. His colleague is a white guy and all his scenes are with Jessica. He has no world, no friends, no relations. He is utterly othered, rarely if ever sharing the camera with another POC and linked solely to Jessica.

Their relationship is physical, leading to many sexual scenes between the two. The spectator watches as a blooming fondness is born, a trust shared. Luke helps Jessica in many ways, his moral support giving her a drive and a new-found confidence in her abilities. That, in itself, is already symptomatic of a lack of balance in their interactions. Never once is Jessica here for him, to propel his story. So far, there is none to tell. He has no ties but her.

The truth comes out, eventually. Jessica killed his wife, a black woman once again set aside by the narrative to propel their romance. She killed her and never told him, even though she knew who he was. She tricked him, abused of his trust and only came clean because she had to. Luke doesn’t shy from stating how violated he feels, how betrayed. He is completely disgusted with the very though of having slept with his wife’s murderer, showing to the spectator how wrong Jessica’s actions were. Jessica raped him and there is nothing more painful to watch than his face as he realises what she’s done. Mike Colter plays it with such intensity and raw pain, it’s unbearable.

His plight doesn’t end here, however. Kilgrave finds him and learns about is relationship with Jessica. Because they could, the writers didn’t refrain from showing the former bewildered with the very idea of their  interracial entanglement, referring to it as a “pity shag”. He proceeds to take control of Luke, unbeknownst to the spectator. Throughout a whole episode, Luke is literally forced by the narrative to forgive Jessica, to stay near her and to offer his moral support, once more. He has no choice, no say in this. Yet, we are never showed that. His turmoil remains silent, the focus staying on Jessica and her relief at being once again the receptacle of Luke’s affection. His story and feelings are of little consequence. He is pushed back in the arms of his aggressor, by Kilgrave but also by the narrative. That state of helplessness, which is so often described as traumatizing and painful, holds only emotional weight when Jessica learns that him forgiving her wasn’t real. The consequences on his mental well-being aren’t worth dwelling into because, as per usual, only Jessica and their ship matter.

Knocked unconscious for the entirety of the finale (!!!!), Luke is powerless as Jessica holds him, kisses him and professes her love. Once again, he is but a silent witness, a barely consenting participant in that poor excuse for romance.

A short aside to talk about Detective Clemmons, from /this/ review:

Detective Oscar Clemmons is exactly the same character as Daredevil’s Ben Urich. He’s an older authority figure, who may be one of the only safe bets in his place of work. He’s sought out by one of our heroes to expose the main villain. He’s reluctant to help, but eventually joins their side. And he ends up dead.

It is frustrating to not only see this trope again, but to see it, beat for beat, in both Netflix/Marvel shows. It’s so obvious, it almost felt like it could be a double-bluff. But no. Clemmons dies in what would be a tragic fashion, if we weren’t so disgusted it was happening again.

Plus, Clemmons and Urich were both older black characters. You have to stop killing black characters for shock value. It’s just gross.

Digging deeper on Jessica and Kilgrave’s abuse of Luke and Malcolm, we’ve got /this/ post by @allerasphinx and @candyumbrella:

Jessica had the chance to come clean. “Kilgrave made me kill your wife” should’ve been one of the things she told him, and she chose not to until circumstances forced her to tell him.

It’s really frustrating because Luke’s meant to fall in love with Jessica. If the writers weren’t going to explore the issue in depth, they should have taken a different route with their relationship. At the very least, they could have made it so they didn’t sleep together. Like, looking back on it, I think it’s so disrespectful.

Men in general have to conform to hypermasculine stereotypes and there’s more pressure if you’re black, especially if you look like Luke. Black men are hypermasculinized and dehumanized. Luke is a tall, muscular, dark-skinned black man who is literally bulletproof. He’s essentially how white people see black men; they look at what’s on the surface and then fill in the blanks with stereotypes.

When Luke finds out about Jessica deceiving him:

He asks her if Kilgrave forced her to deceive him and sleep with him and makes her admit that no, she did it of her own volition
Tells her that her actions have explicitly harmed his recovery from his trauma over his wife’s death (”You made me think… I could get past it.”)
Emphasizes the extent of his disgust and horror at the physical and emotional violation (”You let me be inside you. You touched me with the same hands that killed my wife, while you knew.”)
Makes Jessica admit that she only confessed because Luke was closing in on the truth anyway (”If I never found out about Charles, would you have ever told me the truth?”)
Expresses his anger and condemnation of Jessica by telling her, “I was wrong… you are a piece of shit.”

Malcolm is an even more extreme case–I’ve seen almost no recognition of the disgustingly appropriative and parasitic nature of his relationship with Jessica, as embodied in the scene where Jessica tells Malcolm to stop being “this self-pitying piece of shit that [Kilgrave] turned you into, and save ME for once.” She makes Malcolm’s suffering about herself–”If you give up, I lose. Do you get that? He did this to you to get at ME. To isolate ME. To make ME feel like an infection,” blah blah blah. Like STFU, Jessica, it’s not fucking about you!

And to most people, Malcolm’s life is about Jessica by default because he’s black and she’s white (and with Jessica/Malcolm in particular, TBQH I think many parts of fandom take a fetishizing pleasure in the parasitic nature of the relationship–I can feel people enjoying that unbalanced power dynamic, and they can do it guilt-free because in the current fandom climate it’s easier to escape or derail criticism by wallowing in this kind of relationship through a white woman rather than a white man.)

For one last nail on the coffin, Kilgrave and Simmons aren’t just abusive, misogynistic douchebags, they are also racists! From /this/ excellent post by@mytwistedexperience:

Racism isn’t only when a white person says n*****,  say things like “i hate you because you’re black” or put on a white robe and burn crosses on a black person’s front lawn.

Why is Killgrave racist? Because one, this motherfucker, a white male went into an Asian restaurant, then proceeded to order Italian food and forced the Asian staff  to prepare it for him with ingredients they had to go out of their way to get. And he didn’t pay for his goddamn meal. The entire thing reaked of white entitlement.That was gross. That was disrespectful.

Two, He is racist because of the way he treated Malcolm. He plucked this happy young man filled with hope for the future and dreams. He then force fed him drugs, made him an addict, then forced him to become his spy. Killgrave didn’t care that this was a black man who usually faces harsher consequences rather than empathy for being a drug addict. He used Malcolm like a slave to spy on one of his rape victims. I can’t even imagine the sort of things Malcolm had to endure to do what Killgrave ordered him to do. He has probably put his life in danger getting it done. His health definitely took a downward spiral judging by how worse he continuously looked.

And then Jessica being racist herself decided to use racism as a weapon with Malcolm as a pawn without any regard for how badly it could have turned out for him at that hospital depending on the kind of people who were around. That was her lowest moment as a character for me. It was wholly unnecessary and actually insulting that they reduced a potentially self reflective moment of how “everyone is a little racist” everyone being the white people who are main characters to “lets use Malcolm as distraction by employing a racist stereotype. She could have literally gotten those drugs without using Malcolm like a disposable tool.

But this is not about Jessica and the writing of the show but you get the point about Malcolm suffering racism at the hands of two white characters. One a villain, and the other one a hero.

What other racist things does Killgrave do? The way he uses and discarded Reva Connors was disgusting. But she’s barely a character considering she essentially is a plot device.

Sticking to how he treated main characters of colour, lets talk about his reactions to Luke Cage. I’m not at the end of the series yet so this is based on their first interaction only. When Luke told him he and Jessica were lovers, his assumption was that it had to be a pity shag. Because goodness knows, the white woman he obsesses over couldn’t possible have real feelings for this black man. It couldn’t be mutual attraction because Luke Cage is somehow beneath her that sleeping with him can only be out of pity even though Luke Cage is a very attractive man. And then he makes him blow himself up simply to hurt Jessica. Luke Cage is an afterthought to him. A tool because he is jealous.

As for Simpson, this one makes my skin crawl in a different way than Killgrave because Simpson is supposed to be a good guy and a “decent human being” according to Trish. It most certainly turned my stomach even more because he is playing a cop.

Lets see, the way he reacts to the black men(who are the only POC he does share scenes with) he interacts with the first time he meets them is consistently very violent.

When he met Malcolm for the first time, he threatens him, slams him up against the wall and was so violent and harsh that i really thought he was going to kill him. And he really had no reason to have behaved that way. Malcolm was not a threat to him or Jessica. The dude was a small man, who was literally high and very weak judging by his physical condition but Will Simpson treated him like he was a mass murdering, gun wielding, 7fth tall, 400 pounds criminal.

When the one bodyguard of Killgrave they captured happened to be black, Simpson literally seemed like he was doing everything he could not to kill this guy who was innocent and simply doing his goddamn job like anybody else. He was very threatening, harsh and antagonistic towards the man who was helpless to defend himself. He didn’t seem to care that the man was innocent and knew nothing beyond doing his job. He was blaming the man for things that were not his fault. If Jessica hadn’t been there to tell him to leave the man alone, Simpson would have violently killed him.   There was no reason to display so much rage towards an innocent man who was just doing his job. He should have been very empathetic towards the man because they were both used by the same monster.

Then of course, he finally shared a scene with Detective Clemons. And just like the last two, he was instantly very violent. It wasn’t until he recognized him from his wonderful reputation did he tone down his rage. But of course, in the end, he decided to murder him after using him for information, then set his corpse on fire, just like what the KKK used to do to the black people they murdered. Hell, they still do it to the black people they murder. He might as well have lynched him because that was what that scene invoked. Clemons was treated as a disposable object by Simpson. His murder was truly disgusting.
And of course, Simpson has no remorse for his crimes. And he has the nerves to blame it on the drugs he was taking when he was already a violent and racist Nazi looking shithead well before he took those meds.

And why does his behaviors towards these black men stand out? Because he never reacts that extreme to the other white characters he interacts with. He acts like a white person who sees all black people as criminals, thugs, deserving of instant execution. It made me very uncomfortable watching and it almost made me hate Trish because she was banging this racist asshole, spouting nonsense about how he’s a decent human being, making excuses for him, giving him several undeserving chances to redeem himself, had shown himself to be violent, controlling and an awful human being. There is having a big heart and just being stupid. If she ever takes him back after he locked her up, attacked her and Jessica and murdered Clemons, then i’ll be done with her and the series in general.

The worst part about his character to be honest is how he blames his violent tendencies on the pills. For someone who says he’s sorry for his actions caused by the pills he took, he doesn’t act like it. Even if i bought into the bullshit that the pills make him violent, the fact that he knows that the pills does that to him, yet he keeps taking them anyways shows he has no regard for the people he hurts and the fact that he murdered a person. Basically, he doesn’t care that he is violent. If he did, he would have immediately stopped taking them, removed himself from the situation then turned himself in for Clemons murder. Since he is supposed to be a decent human being and all that.

So, Jessica Jones is covered. It’s racist. You are, again, wrong. Let’s move on.


Now, on to Arrow! How about we start by debunking this “hey, the black driver is great representation” with /this/ amazing article by @blacknerdproblems? Because, yeah, we love Dig, but…

ARROW IS RACIST

Diggle began as a promising character of color in the series, asserting himself as someone uninterested in “being anyone’s sidekick.” A 40-something year old ex-Special Forces with hero-diesel build? And he says he’s no one’s sidekick? Arrow had me going on that one. They had me going, that is, until it took under half a season for him to become just that. Not even a particularly useful one either – whenever Ollie excludes him on missions he sits back at headquarters and dreams of being appreciated. “Maybe I’ll get a code name soon,” he thinks to himself, looking up at the salmon ladder. “Or a mask. A mask would do.” It’s embarrassing. On the list of respectable sidekicks, John Diggle’s name falls somewhere under Kimmy Gibbler, Memphis Bleek, and Tails.

He’s strictly there for diversity purposes at this point – they couldn’t get rid of him so they turned him into Cole from Martin, where every time he talks about his job for a mission everyone yells “you ain’t got no job!” His presence onscreen solely to say things like “You’re not seeing straight on this one, Ollie” every 18 minutes. The frustrating part is his character had such promise at the start of the show, although let’s be clear – he was never written as Ollie’s equal even in season 1, and the way he was the punch line of Ollie’s daily shenanigans sneaking away in season 1 while Diggle facepalms and says “aw, shucks” was borderline offensive. Heaven forbid we break with the norm and have an interesting black character that helps Ollie out as an equal. He was always the goofy and hapless counterpart opposite Ollie’s hero-ness, but essential enough to each mission to keep us believing in his utility on the team.

I’m also gonna quote from /this/ post, which addresses two of your arguments. Arrow is racist and lesbophobic, all at once! Joy!

Sara (the oh, so progressive wlw!)

  • “dies” in the very beginning of the series as nothing more than a plot device to show the kind of guy Oliver is and the relationship he has with Laurel. That’s it. Early Sara was a plot device.
  • Sara later returns as the Canary, a bisexual woman who has clearly been through trauma and is struggling with that. She is then used as a tool for rival romances and we only get hints of friendships with other female characters. She is either loved or hated among fans due to her relationship with Oliver and/or Nyssa.
  • She is later killed and literally fridged. This was excused by “creating tension” and “plot reasons.” The only reason she is still alive is because of fan outcry. They buried their gays. And then brought her back when they realized that it might hurt ratings.
  • Note: killed by a male character to get to another male character. Or something like that. Did we ever figure out Malcolm’s motivations? Oh wait, why is that bastard still alive while all of these ladies got fridged?
  • Is turned into the White Canary, who was originally an Asian woman in the comics. This was very much a point of conflict for many fans because while many were celebrating the return of a canon bisexual character, it was done in a way that was terribly racist and whitewashed the original White Canary.

Nyssa (the other brownie point!)

  • Potentially falls under the “preying lesbian who corrupts another female” trope.
  • Is an Asian woman who is continually forced to obey the men in her life, even though it’s clear that she’s stronger than all of them.
  • Literally forced into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love and is given a corrective rape plotline.
  • Her forced marriage/rape is only ever joked about with the writers and a majority of fans don’t seem to care that she was literally threatened with corrective rape.

Shado

  • Another Asian (Chinese) woman who often seems to fall into the obedient and mysterious Asian girl trope.
  • Killed in a ridiculous Sophie’s Choice type of trial that is more about dick measuring between two male characters.
  • Only given screen time to build up the male character’s story and then pain.
  • Killed by a male character to torment another male character.

McKenna

  • written off the show when her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was served.
  • Shot because again, her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was over.

Tatsu

  • Mysterious and cold Asian woman trope.
  • Literally her entire purpose was to help Oliver.
  • Dealt with the death of her son and was forced to kill her husband.
  • She’s not allowed to deal with this because she has to help Oliver.

Since I’m too lazy to dedicate too much emotional or intellectual energy to a shitshow like Arrow –which I happily dropped two seasons ago– I’m gonna make a quick break-down of the rest of its problems (well, the ones I remember):

They white-washed Ra’s Al Ghul, a character of Chinese and Arab roots.

They white-washed the White Canary, a Chinese character.

They white-washed Sin, another Asian character.

They cast Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen’s Afro-Asian son, with a non-Asian black actor, and made him Dig’s son.

They white-washed Vandal Savage, a brown-skinned character of Middle Eastern origins.

They white-washed Brick, a black-coded character.

They cast a light-skinned, young, thin actress to play Amanda “The Wall” Waller, a dark-skinned, fat 50 y/o woman… and then killed her off.

But yeah, Arrow is so progressive! Sure, Dig’s existence excuses all of its racism! Go fuck yourself.


Anyways, dear @havan69, though I seriously doubt you actually bothered reading any of that, because I can feel in my soul that you are an ignorant fuckwad and probably plan to remain the same, I still hope this was enlightening to someone.

TL;DR: all of your faves are racist as fuck, go fuck yourself.

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*More crap comes out about the behind the scenes shenanigans at Sleepy Hollow, and people’s reactions:
tvline.com
Fox Boss on Nicole Beharie’s Sleepy Hollow Departure: ‘It Was a Decision That Needed to Be Made’
By Michael Ausiello

Of course it’s all about Mison. Always has been. I hope this show burns in hell.

Fox’s top entertainment executive is suggesting that the network was left with little choice but to part ways with Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie, whose character, Abbie, was killed off in the show’s Season 3 finale.

“There were a variety of factors that led to the end of the season,” CEO Dana Walden told reporters during a Monday-morning conference call to tout Fox’s fall schedule. “It was not a decision that we wanted to make initially. We ended up being put in a situation where that was a decision that needed to be made.”

Regarding the controversial decision to move on with a fourth season sans Beharie, Walden said, “What we know is that Tom Mison is a big star. And the Ichabod Crane character has been so central to the series and the storytelling and he feels like an original, big Fox character.

“We don’t feel like it has to be the end of the life of the show,” she added. “And while there was backlash [to the Season 4 renewal], there was also a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from fans about the show coming back and about Tom having the ability to be the center of the series and discovering new dynamics and new relationships. It’s a very original premise and we felt like it had greater life in it and that there was no reason to end it.”

Walden also denied that Season 4 would serve as the show’s swan song. “We’re not announcing that it’s the final season,” she maintained. “We’re not sure if it’s the final season.”

It’s so funny because I had been saying for the longest time that SH was racist af and didn’t like being a “black show” or a “POC show” but so many people augured that it was everything else, that FOX didn’t know how to deal with a fandom, that Fox doesn’t know how to deal with sci-fi/ fantasy shows, but here they are in so many words coming out and saying it. Crane should be the focus because he’s white. They’ve always wanted a white audience for SH. It’s OK for a show like Empire to have a mostly black audience, but not Sleepy Hollow, oh no that’s a white people show.

And they shall have what they want. I really do hope they finally get what they’ve done; they’re trying desperately to have the creators (especially Orci) revive it. He’s asking fans for feedback, and up to now, I’ve said what the issues are I have with the show, but no more… even thought I WON’T watch with Nicole. I’m not helping them to resurrect this when they’ve not EARNED it.

Tom Mison is a big star since the fuck when?! I am British and I have never even heard of the guy before Shitty Hollow. He is not original he is every other white British know it all motherfucker, he is Sherlock Holmes, he is doctor who, he is that show Forever. He is my high school maths teacher that I am sure lived in the school. Nothing original about this sack of crap.

I knew who Nicole Beharie was since American Violet, before joining the show she was hot off the movie Shame that had wild critical acclaim she is the big star not him.

What enthusiasm what type of fantasy world are they living in, is this real fucking life? I swear they will hurt themselves to stick to the status quo but that shot won’t work how many fucking retcons can one show go through? Everyone who was a part of team witness was in relation to Abbie like I said before Ichabod has made 0 friends on his own.

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