Tumblr Discussions: On Black Characters

 

I have been wondering how White fans are going to approach those narratives where White people aren’t prominently displayed. Shows like Luke Cage and movies like Black Panther are not going to be a  showcase for  White people or their narratives. Will  they just ignore them as they do so much of the Indie stuff that prominently features Black people? Insert their White favorites, as is usually done?

I single out Black people because Fandom doesn’t seem to have as many problems writing and shipping Asian characters. They don’t do it very often, and aren’t much good at it, but it does get done. As shown in some of the stats below, they will completely ignore Black characters, or characters who cannot pass for white, even when those are primary characters in the narrative. The Force Awakens is a perfect example, where fandom would seem to prefer to ship Rey with the villain who tortured her in the story, than ship her with Finn, one of the narrative’s heroes.

I was also shocked at how far down Korasami was on the list. I was under the apprehension that fans were clamoring for strong female representation, and I thought Legend of Korra would be at the top of the list for that, but I was wrong, but now, I’m not wondering too hard, why.

Anyway these are the discussions being had on Twitter and Tumblr about Black fandom expectations about White fans of the *MCU and fandom in general. *(Marvel Cinematic Universe)

*If this is how fans are treating the Black men in the MCU, I don’t wanna see how they’re going to treat Misty knight when she appears. Will they just ignore her? Ship her with their White fave? Write her as every worst stereotype of Black women? We’ll see.

As for Nick Fury’s narrative in fandom, I’ve noticed that  when fans can’t find a role for a Black character, within canon, that is useful to the White characters, they will often write that character as a villain. This is the reason you see Nick Fury written as either, a screaming caricature of Samuel L Jackson, or as a bad guy, even when he commits the same actions as their woobified favorites like Tony Stark.

karnythia angelsscream

ororosmunroe:

ororosmunroe:

Is it so impossible for white fandom to imagine a place where they are not in a place of prominence? Where white people are either not there or barely existent. Where they are not the center of attention?

Wakanda is the only place where were white imperialism has not touched. Where white colonialism isn’t a thing. If you can only get into the idea of Wakanda if you insert a yt fav to “normalize” it….that says a lot about you tbh.

This is the point of the post where you self reflect and see why shoe horning a white face into a rare, completely black space is deeply f-ed up.

Also, T’challa is not a bank for your yt waves to come to when they are low on cash and or accessories/gadgets. He is not here for you yt favs in any capacity. Stop trying to shoehorn him into an assistant/benefactor/serval role. It’s really uncomfortable, gross and racist.  I thought this was common sense but here we are.

Source: ororosmunroe
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First there was #Where’s Rhodey?

Then came Heimdall the Living Telescope and Nothing Else.

Then came Sam Wilson The Stucky Cheerleader and His Home For Wayward Whites.

Now there’s Sugar Daddy T’Challa.

If I see Gangleader/P-mp Daddy Luke Cage or Sassy Black Friend Misty Knight, I’m going off on MCU fandom and you all will owe me $5000 in reparations for every fic or headcanon y’all type up.

You forgot the canon backed #FuryLies.

But the point absolutely still stands.

Source:
nerdsagainstfandomracism diversehighfantasy

russianspacegeckosexparty asked:

I sure can’t WAIT to read all these white liberal think pieces by white MCU stans on why Wakanda is oppressive, misogynistic, backwards and harmful. They’ll talk endlessly about how the whole royal family thing is corrupt and be hyper critical about it, yet they’ve said nothing about Asgard and it’s royal family. They’ll say Wakanda is selfish for “hoarding” technology + not sharing it with the outside (read: White) world. Boy, this is gonna be a wild, migraine inducing ride

stitchmediamix answered:

*There’s gonna be white people in fandom who justify reducing T’Challa to a Sugar Daddy and Vibranium dispenser for Steve and other Whites by saying “Well in the comics, he designed the Quinjet for the Avengers so it’s totally plausible…”. The way they twist and exploit T’Challa’s noble, kind nature with stuff like “He’s a good, selfless guy so he’d do this!” to shout down rightfully angry black fans is gross and tiring.

I’ve been preparing for this – all of this – from the second that I first had confirmation that the Black Panther film was in the works. One thing I don’t think most non-black members get is that from the moment that a Black character gets introduced, Black fans start worrying. They see “T’challa takes care of the Avengers” as a positive because it’s what they want from him, not bothering to look at the history of how Black characters and people have regularly been forced into playing “nanny” positions for white characters and people.

So from the moment that I was first told “Hey, just so you know, Black Panther willbe a thing,” I knew that things would get bad. They would get creepy. Fans would pant after T’challa’s BBC the way they did with every single Black character ni fandom as if Black men are only

Because we’d already been through fandom looking at Sam and seeing a psychologist, a secret HYDRA agent, or someone who exists only to serve and protect the white Avengers because they’re freaking TODDLERS.

We’d already been through #NickFuryLies being a major point of characterization in the fandom despite the fact that Nick is not even remotely required to spill his entire plans to the kind of untrustworthy Avengers who had proven over multiple times that they were incapable of being responsible.

We’d already seen how fandom literally erased Rhodey from Tony’s life becauseSteve (who Tony doesn’t even like half the time) is somehow a better friend than the man that has been with Tony for most of his life and who knows him better than he knows himself.

So really, Black fans knew that shit was going to get ugly when T’challa was officially introduced to the MCU.

And okay, I think a really huge sign that these T’challa “fans” who are slotting him into the Sugar Daddy role for the avengers really don’t understand anything about his characterization in any film/show/comic he’s been in.

Like you said, they’re all “he’s so kind and selfless so of course he’d drop a couple billion bucks on making sure the Avengers have the best toys” when part of what makes T’challa such a great character is how flawed he can be.

He can be kind and is a king, but he’s also human. Which means making mistakes and making decisions that are more selfish than selfless. But fandom is too busy salivating over the idea that the richest man in the MCU can now be at the beck and call of their white favorites to care that his actual personality isn’t a damn think like the Sugar Daddy they’re dead set on turning him into.

And let’s be very real here: on no level in any universe has T’challa ever flung money at the Avengers because it was “the right thing to do” and he’s certainly not going to start here. Yeah, T’challa has Bucky literally chilling in Wakanda, but that doesn’t mean that suddenly, the country he and his ancestors have kept safe and secluded for centuries to protect them from colonialization and whiteness is suddenly going to lay out the welcome mat for the Avengers and their assorted family members.

Fandom doesn’t get that what they’re doing is wrong with these AUs and the passive aggressive posts and the super shitty characterization they slap on T’challa because they don’t want to get it. They want to write their super racist, colonialism-worshiping AUs without people calling them on their shit. They want to reduce Black men to what’s between their legs without being criticized.

You know… because it’s just fandom.

That’s where you get the willful “oh Black Panther is for everyone, stop segregating” bs you see every time a Black fan brings up that Black Panther and T’challa have a special and specific place in Black nerd history and hearts.

I don’t think non-Black fans realize how important T’challa and Wakanda are to Black comic fans across the diaspora and how Black fans are sick to death of fandom ’s fucked up characterizations for Black characters, but they’re going to learn.

Source: stitchmediamix Antiblackness marvel cinematic universe Marvel Comicsfandom racism Black Panther racism in fandom Meta Long Post Reblog Mod P.

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One of the really sad things pointed out to me on Tumblr was that even when Hollywood and television is being diverse, and giving fandom an opportunity to view the narrative through the eyes of a PoC, fandom chooses not to do so, often erasing the PoC from the narrative, and focusing on the ANY White characters who happen to be available, even if those characters are the most minor villains like Hux (from SWTFA).

I still believe the majority of fanfiction writers are young White women, a certain contingent of whom, are absolutely insistent that there be a White gay romance in everything, even to the point of female erasure ,which is interesting , considering that this is the exact same fandom that insists it wants strong female characters. Even members of the gay community have remarked about the fetishization of gay men in these narratives. 

This is also disturbing becasue it points to a complete lack of imagination as fans follow a formula for writing these stories. Its a fill-in-the-blanks form of writing, that I personally dislike. They’ve been following this same formula since the the invention of Kirk/Spock, and seem loathe to movie themselves from it. Pretty much all it takes for any show or movie to get shipped is to have two White men in it, but making them gay isn’t as progressive as fanfiction writers would have everyone believe, since they seem to want to do so to the exclusion of all the other characters in the narrative. And then there’s this:

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/7/11950648/fandom-shipping-social-justice-ideological-warfare

Its gotten to the point where fans are demanding from the show’s creators, that their particular White male ships be made canon, even in shows that have canon gay characters in them, like Teen Wolf. In the case of Teen Wolf, the gay character is Black, so I find it interesting that fans don’t want to see him in a relationship, but they will demand that two White males, Derek (now off the show) and Stiles (who was under age), be shipped by the creators, (which erases Scott, who is played by a Latino actor, from the narrative entirely.) 

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diversehighfantasy terresdebrume

Fandom’s Race Problem and the AO3 Ship Stats

terresdebrume:

diversehighfantasy:

generalsmol:

diversehighfantasy:

centrumlumina:

After four years working on my AO3 Ship Stats project, and having previously addressed issues of misogyny in this data set, I feel like it’s past time to talk about the elephant in the room:

Fandom is kinda racist.

(Hold on folks, this is going to be a long one… If you don’t want to read all the details, skip to ‘Conclusions’ at the end.)

Keep reading

Read More Now! Read More Now! Read More Now! Read More Now!

The extra breakdowns (as opposed to just saying x% are POC) are appreciated. I saw the POC stats rise last time, and it very much showed favor to POC who are perceived as white (and are very rarely even part black). At that point, further breakdown along racial lines is necessary. I saw people patting themselves on the back for meeting an acceptable percentage of POC rep, but no one talked about how only 1.5% (iirc) was Black.

And this year’s stats show 1.5% Black as well (0.5% if you exclude biracial Black people). FinnPoe may have made the top 20 (ranked 94 overall), but that is a terrible, embarassing percentage that shows that antiblack sentiment is strong in fandom, and that, at least as far as shipping trends go, it’s not getting better.

While I think this is an incredible breakdown and brings up some valid problems, I think it is also important to point out that fandoms aren’t actually the only factor in these statistics. The results you are seeing are not only a result of fandom choice, but also of the media’s under-representation of POC, especially POC who are very visibly so. There are less characters, which means there are less possibilities for shipping.

I’m not denying that there’s racism, but keep in mind that you’re looking at a system, not an isolated group.

And yet even when a fandom represents a movie or show with people of color at the forefront, white characters are preferred by fandom for shipping, again and again. The Force Awakens is a textbook example of this, as are Teen Wolf and The Walking Dead. Quite a few of the all-white top ships sideline people of color, and those people of color are overwhelmingly Black (these include Guinevere in Merlin, Michonne in TWD, Jimmy in Supergirl, Uhura in the new Star Trek Movies, and Iris West, who is sidelined in the ‘16 Top 100 by a character perceived as white by fandom played by an actor of African descent).

As long as fandom minimizes the characters of color it’s given, fandom will have to face their contribution to the problem, and not deflect blame on the industry. At this point, let’s be real, media is trying a lot harder to be inclusive than fandom is.

Also (as a white fan) I feel like fandom is capable of putting a lot of effort into creating a character when there isn’t one already made (see the rise of Kylo/Hux or Phil Freaking Coulson who got such a fandom he got un-killed and then got his own TV show).

I mean like. Yeah, there’s a lot of reason why less representation (and bad representation) influence stats but also fandom (and specifically white fandom, I feel) needs to face up to the differences between the ways they treat white (often male, but not only) characters and the way they treat characters of color :/

Definitely true. Fandom will fixate on minor white characters and create rich backstories for them, but when it comes to minor characters of color, especially if they’re Black, the interest isn’t there. (Minor non-Black CoC such as Poe Dameron occasionally do get this treatment.)

It doesn’t matter how much potential the minor character has. Some of my favorite characters are minor, underutilized Black characters like Milo in Being Human (UK) – an ideal “blank slate” character whose mysterious backstory was only hinted at in canon. It’s a small fandom to start with, but the number of fans who recognize Milo’s potential is minuscule.

Basically, any white male character – major, minor, bad or good – is seen as having value on some level. Black characters, not so much.

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finnnorgana irisvwest

localgaysian:

i love how white people assume that people of color have to overanalyze media to find its racism. “just enjoy it!” they say, like we’re not going to notice a portrayal of our “inferiority” being rubbed in our face. “i miss the good old days when social justice warriors didn’t ruin every movie/tv show ever,” like pointing out racism ruins the media and not the racism itself. it’s the epitome of white privilege.

Source: localgaysianmmmhmm
I’ll have more on this subject later. Its depressing and disheartening to know this.
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5 thoughts on “Tumblr Discussions: On Black Characters

  1. I don’t watch TV shows as much as I used to. Despite having a DVR, Roku, etc., they can be annoying to keep up with. Nevertheless, as a NoC I must support shows like Luke Cage and Misty Knight.

    I’m also gonna cross my fingers and hope that they don’t recast Lupita Nyong’o’s character in Black Panther 2, and replace her with Alexandra Shipp, or someone else. And I don’t mean changing his love interest to Storm, I mean recasting the character Nakia completely. I’ve seen this happen in movies and twice in the show My Wife and Kids, in which the actress who played Damon Wayans’ daughter in season 1 was recast from being portrayed by a dark-skinned actress to a biracial actress, and Meagan Good’s character on My Wife and Kids was also recast with a biracial actress. It’s ridiculous, but unfortunately it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really liked this comment.

    “i love how white people assume that people of color have to overanalyze media to find its racism. “just enjoy it!” they say, like we’re not going to notice a portrayal of our “inferiority” being rubbed in our face.”

    Always love your Klandom series, lkeke ;D

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Excellent piece. You know, I’ve been wondering how Marvel’s Luke Cage series and Black Panther film will be received by White fans. I wonder if they will clamor to see those as they did with the Iron Man and Captain America films. I too am curious to see how knowingly or unknowingly racist White Marvel fans will receive a movie like Black Panther. The Blade trilogy was a success, but the supporting cast was comprised of mainly White males.

    Black Panther will feature a beautiful dark-skinned female lead, and typically when it comes to a female CoC being cast, the actress cast is rarely dark-skinned (see Scandal, Stargate Atlantis, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Flash, Daredevil, etc.). TV shows such as Justified and How to Get Away with Murder are the few series I’ve seen that feature dark-skinned WoC in prominent roles, so I was extremely surprised when Ruth Negga or Zoe Saldana wasn’t cast as T’Challa’s love interest.

    I haven’t been spending my money to see the latest superhero films. The last comic book films I paid to see were Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, and I enjoyed them both. Black Panther will be set in a fictional African nation, and will feature a Black male hero and a predominately Black cast. Some racist minds won’t be able to handle all of this blackness, but I think Black Panther is going to do very well. Black Panther has my full support, and I will happily pay to see it in 3D if available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! I think I said something about reaching peak blackness with Luke Cage, Black Panther and Misty Knight (who is also dark skinned). At least the entertainment industry is trying, despite the pushback from the CEOs and some members of the public.

      Although I know one of the reasons so many in the industry are pushing for diversity is because they aren’t making money with the same old junk they’ve been giving the public, and some of them are listening to what we’re telling them we want to see. I hope this bodes well for the future and the industry doesn’t backtrack.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A perfect example of making the PoC a villain when they don’t meet the White audiences standards of usefulness, is the Dora Milaje from Civil War, who challenged Black Widow.

        This woman is doing her job, but since White fans couldn’t slot her into a helpful role for any of the White characters, the fandom decided to trash her, and say she was being mean to their fave. She wasn’t being mean, she was working. ( This also slots nicely into the racist requirement that PoC always have to be nice to White people, and make their emotional comfort the center of all our behavior.)

        Contrast that with Black Panther who gave Bucky sanctuary at the end of the movie. Up til he did that, he wasn’t useful to their narrative. After that, the fandom can only seem to see him as the Sugar Daddy for the rest of the Avengers.

        Liked by 1 person

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