On a more lighthearted note, I’ve got some laughs and discussion for the weekend.
Stardreamed sums up pretty clearly what PoC actually want in the media we consume. I think I used this gif before to represent what it’s like for PoC in some of the major fandoms.
Cool personal story, but it has absolutely no relation to the topic at hand.
Casting is a business and shipping fictional characters as a fan is not at all the same as choosing a life partner with whom you will share your life, your home, your bed, your finances, and likely your children except that all would be better if someone wasn’t a racist.
Shipping/casting with diversity simply isn’t that deep. As a producer it’s literally as simple as not racially restricting your casting calls, writers room, directors and crew to white people. We know from POC-run shows/movies that do this on a daily basis that this is not at all difficult. There is no shortage of talent among people of color in the entertainment industry.
As a fan, all it requires is seeing people who don’t look like you as humans as deserving of love, happiness, success and life as yourself. As a black woman who never looked like the white female literary/TV/Movie characters who dominated my childhood, I was still able to find ways to relate to them even though our appearances, upbringings, lives, situations and often values were very different. If I could do that FROM THE TIME I WAS A CHILD with literally hundreds upon hundreds of white characters, why can’t white fans do that with the HANDFUL of characters of color that exist now? Why do they have to whitewash art, or fancast and headcanon established characters of color as white (often with the same story line) in order to enjoy them?
The fact that so many white people won’t even consider creating, watching, or celebrating the fictional happiness of black, NBPOC characters, or interracial couples and universally refer to them as boring, incestuous, disgusting, unrealistic, forced, politically correct, and “reverse racist” without regard for the many different ways these characters are and could be written and acted is super telling in regards to their longstanding personal beliefs and values. They don’t regard us as fully human as they do themselves and it is inconceivable to them that anyone would see us as worthy of love, attention or success.
Nobody here mentioned quotas, but it very much seems like many white people are all peace, love, and light until something has “too many” people of color for their taste. Whether it’s a country, neighborhood, or a TV show/Movie/Book. It’s clear they’re only OK if the unofficial understanding is that white people should always dominate a landscape. Basically, it’s not people of color who have the quotas and restrictions… It’s white people. They always need to feel like they are visually, numerically, and culturally dominant and/or the center of attention in order to feel “safe”.
What WE want as POC and diversity-minded white people is that there are more actors of color cast/supported in shows, not to hit some arbitrary target number, but in order to allow room to represent the full depth and breath of the variety of who and what we are as human beings who happen to be different. The fewer roles/characters we get, the more likely writers are able to be lazy and fall back on the negative stereotypes that hurt us and perpetuate ignorance.
100+ years of entertainment has focused primarily on the personalities, relationships, values, and emotions of people who make up less than 16% of the world’s population. What we’re asking for is balance – a split in focus to some of the other 84% of the world. Why is that perceived as such an unreasonable request?
There is as much diversity (perhaps even more) within racial groups in terms of shade, beliefs, culture and subcultures than there are within white people because we hail from more parts of the globe (not just Europe) and have intermixed (racially & culturally) between ourselves – the various racial & cultural groups – and white people across the ages in a number of different ways. That’s not even getting the different ways gender, sexuality, ability, neurodivergence, economics, government, and faith are expressed across the world.
This could make for a future with THE. MOST. INTERESTING and UNIQUE characters, pairings and plot twists and turns, but instead the entertainment industry and fandom chooses to take even the little diversity we have and demonize, fetishize, actively ignore, whitewash, or root for its destruction.
Diversity is good, not to be P.C. for no reason or even just for POC to see themselves, but for people (particularly white people) to learn to understand and appreciate the values, cultures, emotions, realities of people unlike themselves. It helps them see life for what it truly is. The world would be a lot better right now if they could.
This is what frustrates and angers us as fans of color. This is what we’re pushing back against.
I think the comment I left for this one was: Just stop being lazy and making excuses for it. If you got time to research tiny details of everything else, then you can adequately research a culture.
Or you can just say you’re scared of PoC and go!
Also, can we stop pretending this ‘Research is HARD’ angle is anything but disingenuous bullshit?
I’m sorry (lol no I’m not) but take a stroll through author’s notes on multi-chapter fics throughout random Ao3 fandoms and tell me how many times you come across fanfic authors referencing all the random things they researched for the purpose of writing their fic.
I’ve seen fanfic writers talk about putting hours into researching medical minutiae for a Grey’s Anatomy shipper fic with a minor medical mystery subplot. Sci-fi fanfic writers talking about researching various angles on genetics, biology, star systems, propulsion, all for the sake of expanding on some plot point for a Star Trek fic or hell, Dr. Who. Let’s not even get started on the countless hours down the rabbithole Supernatural writers spend browsing through archaic sites in search of some new bit of myth or folklore that hasn’t yet been mined to death by thirteen seasons of The Show That Will Not Die.
Or here’s one, who here’s ever seen fic writers in fandoms like Criminal Minds or CSI or freaking’ Bones joke about ending up on watchlists because of all the time they’ve spent researching how to buy illegal weapons or commit specific crimes or shit like that?
And that’s just FANFIC writers talking about all the research they’ve voluntarily, willingly, HAPPILY done in the name of writing more realistic storylines in their unpaid fanfic. Multiply all that time by a factor of ten when you look at career writers who are researching for their latest novel or screenplay with the knowledge that consumers who are going to pay money for that finished product want to feel like they got their money’s worth. And so they usually have Opinions when they feel like a writer didn’t care enough about a certain element of the worldbuilding and will gripe about how ‘the police would never react that way to this kind of crime’ or ‘a planet like that couldn’t sustain life’ or ‘so and so wasn’t even alive during the War of 1812, what’s he doing in this book.’
All writers research. To varying degrees, sure, not all writers devote as much time and effort to it as others, it depends on things like genre, setting, etc. But research is literally part of the writing process and there is not a single writer anywhere who is not familiar with this. Whether it’s researching some scientific study in depth or merely looking up the meaning of certain names to settle on the perfect fit for a supporting character, writers research.
You’re right though, there is only so much time writers can devote to research. But how they choose to spend that time, what they choose to prioritize researching, these are choices. Choices that reveal things about what a writer considers more important, that leave an impression about whose opinion and good favor they value most.
So when a writer’s finished product gets the seal of approval from white Call of Duty gamer bros because the main character was using the correct kind of gun and ammo for the military scenes or the murder factoids in the crime drama were just right or the medical speak checked out or Clever Sidekick Who Copes With Tense Situations By Rattling off Obscure Bits of Trivia always has plenty to say….but that very same writer’s depiction of their characters of color suggest all the research they put into writing those characters began and ended with watching a couple episodes of Law & Order: SVU to see how they handled having characters of color in a similar context or what the fuck ever….like.
Yes. Shockingly. This might in fact suggest to readers of color that a writer does not consider representing them with authentic, fully fleshed out, three dimensional characters to be as important as getting random elements of their murder mystery plot or sci-fi worldbuilding juuuuuuust right. And like…ummm….why the fuck WOULDN’T they have a negative opinion of that?
Also, while we’re on the subject of disingenuous bullshit, can we just fuck the entire hell off with this myth of ‘hyper critical poc who are never going to be happy with anything so why even bother?’ Please, by all means, show me where white writers who have actually, genuinely devoted sincere time and effort to researching inclusive ways to represent poc and their experiences are being harassed by fans because singular specific elements of the finished product aren’t matching up with specific individuals’ experiences. Like, sure, you can probably point to somewhere something superficially like that is happening, but odds are a closer inspection will reveal its actually just *gasp* criticism? Of the one specific element ppl find flaw with? Because getting a thousand things right doesn’t mean you get a free pass and ppl should just overlook it when you do get one thing wrong?
But again, this is pretty much bullshit though, cuz this isn’t what’s happening out there, this isn’t the actual content of what was being described. There’s a world of difference between being critical of one element of an otherwise thoroughly researched work and being critical of a work whose research can be summed up as ‘this one time, I read a wikipedia page and it said latinx people like spicy food.’
And as I mentioned earlier, how and where you choose to prioritize your attention? That’s a choice, that reveals a lot about you whether you realize it or not. And when you engage with conversations about expecting writers to consider their fans of color worth the time and attention it requires to represent them well, and your go-to argument is essentially ‘well you’re never going to be happy anyway so there’s not really much point in sinking a ton of time and effort into research when its ultimately gonna be a useless endeavor, now is there’, your priorities are clear. And those aren’t listening, they aren’t learning, they’re just fostering the idea that the bare minimum should be good enough, at least if there’s Good Intentions behind it all.
Look, if a writer doesn’t want to do the work, then just don’t do the fucking work. But if they choose not to do the work, they don’t get to show up and still expect a gold star for their half-assed presentation of how little they actually give a fuck.
I mean, if you’re in school, and you’re asked to write a 4,000 word essay on a book of your choice and you choose to write about The Scarlet Letter and then the day its due you show up with 500 words based on your late-night viewing of Easy A starring Emma Stone, which wikipedia assures you was based on The Scarlet Letter and thus is like….thematically the same…..what right do you have to expect anything other than an F for your (lack of) effort?
I saw this too, and its its happening in the Star Wars fandom, right now.
you know on top of everything else that’s great about Captain America: The Winter Soldier I genuinely think we have it to thank for the fall (or at least marked decline) of the Loki fandom
no one asked but here’s some elaboration on that:
I don’t know how many of you were active in the MCU fandom in 2012 but the post-Avengers Loki fandom was… you know, pretty much exactly what you’d expect the fandom for a nuanced villain played by a moderately attractive white man.
there was a lot of overlooking the fact that he willingly took part in a plan to enslave the entire human race in favor of fic and art where he was inexplicably an unofficial member of the Avengers. he was shipped with everyone – Tony (based on that one scene where Tony gets Loki’s ego trip), Natasha (entirely based on that one scene where he threatens to kill her and calls her a cunt. never change, fandom), Thor (despite or possibly because of the incest factor), even Darcy Lewis (who was, and to a degree still is, the MCU fandom bicycle, probably owing to the fact that she’s the easiest canon character to write like an oc).
and sweet god, the Loki fandom was desperate to prove he was actually entirely innocent. post-Avengers, my dash was flooded with heartfelt analyses of the most minute moments in the Avengers all attempting to prove that Loki had obviously been tortured and brainwashed into working with the Chitauri and that he wasn’t actually complicit in any of it.
(actually the more I think about it, the more I realize how much the Loki fandom was paving the way fr the Kylo Ren fandom, aka the overpowered white boys throwing murder tantrums fandom, but I digress.)
the Tom Hiddleston thirst was so bad that when Marvel had Tom-Hiddleston-in-character-as-Loki reveal the Thor: The Dark World trailer at SDCC (which, honestly, was pretty cool), I had to read a very serious discussion on my dash about whether or not T-Hiddles got a sexual rush out of it and the probability that he had a boner while he was on stage.
and then. AND THEN. IN 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier happened. and specifically, Bucky Barnes happened.
you like murder woobies? well lo and behold, the ultimate murder woobie. he’s canonically brainwashed and irresponsible for his actions, and we even get to see how brutally treated he is right on on screen. (I read a very spot-on analysis somewhere that argues that a big part of what makes Bucky so beloved to female fans is that he’s one of the few male characters to be subjected to the kind of onscreen violation of bodily autonomy that most women live in very real fear of, and I couldn’t agree more.) he desperately wants to be good again and is prevented from doing that by forces beyond his control, which makes it okay to be into him while he’s doing the murder strut down a highway aiming a gun at our heroes, because it’s not like he’s actually a killer. that’s just what he wants to be.
he’s everything that Loki’s fandom wanted Loki to be. and they. jumped. ship.
I’m mean, I’m not saying the Loki fandom is entirely dead. and obviously Bucky isn’t the only contributing factor; fans get older, their interests change, etc. but it’s been almost a month since the Thor: Ragnarok trailer came out, and I’ve seen exactly zero posts about anyone wanting Tom Hiddleston to raw them while wearing that ridiculous horned headband.
and honestly? I think it’s because we got a better murder woobie. thanks, Buck.
IM LAUGHING BECAUSE ITS FUCKING TRUEI WAS ON THIS HELL SITE FOR ALL OF THISITS 100% FUCKING TRUEand tbh the kr fangirls nowwould have been loki fangirlsif they were the age they are nowin 2012 – tags via @spacescaptain
see I wanted to talk about this in the original post but thought it was too off topic so thank you for this in
in hindsight, for sure, the Loki fanbase was VERY MUCH the prelude to the Kylo Ren fanbase, and it’s all part of a larger culture of apologizing and idealizing white boys who throw murder tantraums.
but. BUT. there’s at least room to argue that much of the Loki fandom bailed when they got a new character who actually was what they wanted Loki to be.
and then there’s the Kylo Ren fandom, who have actually and literally fabricated an entire past for Kyle (misspelling very intentional) in which he was OBVIOUSLY abused by his parents and uncle and had noooo choice but to slaughter all of his fellow baby Jedi and kill his dad, because he’s a CLEARLY an abuse victim.
when, you know, standing right next to him you have Finn, actual victim of childhood abduction and lifelong abuse, who makes a very clear choice to NOT BE A FUCKING SERIAL KILLER even though it’s the one thing he was raised to be.
and yet. many (not all, I get it, don’t eat me, but MANY) Kylo fans will try to claim that somehow Finn in the real dickbag here.
I’m not saying Bucky would have been received v e r y differently if he wasn’t white, but.
I’m not a huge fan of this show, (I kow enough to know who the main characters are), but I guess this show is at least trying to do things right. How right they’re getting it is some matter for debate, but at least they’re trying.
In Shadowhunters, Fantasy Conflicts Don’t Have to Ignore Their Real-World Influences
Throughout the second season, the Shadowhunters and Downworlders have worked together and separately to face off against their biggest threat: Clary’s father, Valentine (Alan Van Sprang), a Shadowhunter turned rogue who plans to use the mortal instruments—ancient objects with immense powers—to create a new army of Shadowhunters, for the purpose of wiping out the Downworlders, which he considers inferior species.
While the threat of demons might be far off from our own world, the threat represented by Valentine and his anti-Downworlder beliefs is not. Shadowhunters is following in the footsteps of many of its fantasy predecessors (perhaps not coincidentally, as Clare wrote Harry Potter fanfiction before The Mortal Instruments books were published) with a conflict that parallels the very real forms of discrimination and racism that exist in our own world.
From the initial casting of the show, it was clear that the showrunners were willing to engage with this issue more explicitly than the books. The majority of Downworlder characters are played by actors of color, even those who were written as white in the books. The many ways in which these characters are targeted and discriminated against by both Valentine and other Shadowhunters because of their species is a clear parallel to racism, but this casting allows the series to represent this in a way that more closely mirrors real-world discrimination than had it followed in the footsteps of fantasies that allow white characters to play out oppressed narratives.
Just think about it for aminute:
I hated the movies, but I would watch this, if it were movie.
“Why don’t you take your cheap ass back to Marshall’s where it belongs?”
“Hey, if you wanna be told the same shit in a different voice, I do a really good Jack Nicholson.”
Yeah but fuck you its on the top shelf and I’m not getting a ladder. Eat a dick old lady.
“What!? Why is that your policy?!”
“To fuck with you, specifically. We do it differently for everyone else.”
*burns stack of expired coupons in front of customer*
“This food is dry and gross.”
“I thought I would serve food based on the customer today.”
I feel like this is an entirely accurate representation of me…
- they need like a dozen of hobbies as outlets for their energy. if they don’t get the energy out, they become a host of a time bomb.
- insatiably absorbs all information of all kinds like a baby on his mom’s chest or a tic sucking out blood from a fresh catch: you choose
- no one really knows if they’re showing genuine reaction/emotion cos you don’t know if they’re forcing it or not or they dun even know too
- is the jack of all trades cos they have so many talents but can’t focus and drill hard on one cos they jump from different talent to another
- may come arrogant but always they always want everyone to be happy and enjoying the time, probably more than how libra wants it.
Okay, on Black Nerd Problems, they’ve been doing recaps of all the Game of Thrones episodes of this season, and frankly I prefer the recaps over the actual show. These are some of the funniest recaps/reviews I have ever read, and I hope to be this funny one day. These are hilarious, and you don’t have to watch the show to get it. Visit Black Nerd Problems (and subscribe) every Tuesday for that weekend’s recap.
Maaaaaaan, listen. After that corny-ass Dragon’s Lair save from last week, Bronn and Jaime wash up 1) seemingly far enough down stream where they aren’t captured by Daenerys and 2) without nary a sun tan between the two of them…aiight. Bronn is like, muthafucka did you not see that mythical creature spitting Kendrick bars from the sky? The fuck were you thinking? Jaime was trying to end the war and / or never have to see his sister again.
Tyrion walking the battlefield thinking this Hand of the King thing was a lot more fun when he was just up in a castle making plans and shit. Your boy walking past his own countrymen burnt to a fuckin’ crisp like they lived in a town below a volcano or some shit. Just human charcoal briquettes everywhere, yo. Dothraki looting these muthafuckas and leading every dude that ain’t currently or past tense on fire to mount Drogon.
Some links to make you smile:
Games for Introverts:
‘Pet the Pup at the Party’ is a silly game about avoiding people and befriending dogs instead
Crying White Supremacists is my new aesthetic!
The Problem With Sense8
Or How Sense8’s Faux-Progressive Worldbuilding Falls Apart
(I have no link for this one, as it’s on Medium.Com. So, subscibe to access the article.)
You have to read the funniest Jury selection ever.
Shadowhunters, Malec and the Burden of Representation
Read more at: Shadowhunters, Malec and the Burden of Representation | ScreenSpy
This is my favorite scene in a movie full of favorite scenes. Homecoming is one of the funniest Spiderman films to date, and check out the images on the wall, behind the teacher…