Weekend Link Roundup

Here’s some interesting reading from around the web, for the weekend. Some of the articles are older, but no less relevant:

 

Asian Erasure

*From Firefly and Star Wars, and from Bladerunner to The Matrix. What do these movies have in common? They’re all about the future, and they all have a certain Asian aesthetic. Unfortunately they also have no Asians in them. Hollywood loves seeing an Asian future, as long as there are no actual Asian people in that future. The Chinese population is some 1.3 billion people.  People classifying themselves as White make up only 11% of the world’s population and are set to be even less than that in the future as their population continues to decline, yet, there’s no evidence of that in any of the most popular movies about the future.

https://boingboing.net/2017/10/11/cyberpunks-asian-representat.html

https://moviepilot.com/p/what-is-cyberpunks-obsession-asian-imagery/4379249

https://www.avclub.com/read-this-why-does-cyberpunk-keep-making-asian-cities-1819366143

http://www.slashfilm.com/blade-runner-2049-asian-culture/

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mb7yqx/cyberpunk-cities-fetishize-asian-culture-but-have-no-asians-blade-runner

 

Hollywood’s “Little” Problem

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https://www.thedailybeast.com/hollywoods-other-open-secret-besides-harvey-weinstein-preying-on-young-boys?via=newsletter&source=Entertainment

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/corey-feldman-elijah-wood-hollywood-897403

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elijah-wood-calls-out-hollywoods-pedophile-problem

 

Toxic Masculinity in Pop Culture

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http://www.vulture.com/2017/04/nice-guys-in-movies-arent-nice-anymore.html

https://www.themarysue.com/toxic-masculinity-in-jessica-jones-kilgrave-as-a-nice-guy-and-will-simpson-as-misogynistic-hero/

https://www.themarysue.com/wolverine-toxic-masculinity/

https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/how-fargo-captures-sad-realities-toxic-masculinity

http://www.ebony.com/news-views/toxic-masculinity#axzz4w4vfOIGI

https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/this-isnt-toxic-masculinity-its-sociopathic-baby-men.html

 

Neo Yokio Review

 

  1. Lord help the poor souls for whom Neo Yokio is their first introduction to anime — and let that same Lord (whatever benevolent nerd deity presides over these sorts of things) bless the brave souls who watched this inane attempt at entertainment knowing that so much greater anime exists in the world.

    Neo Yokio, a Netflix original series created by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and starring the vocal talents of Jaden Smith, Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Jason Schwartzman, and Steve Buscemi, among many others, takes place in a futuristic New York City that’s underwater south of 14th Street. In this version of New York, which is randomly and inexplicably peppered with elements of Japanese culture, one’s social standing — showcased on the all-knowing “Bachelor Board” in Times Square — is of the utmost importance, and those with old money look down upon the “magistocrats,” demon-slaying members of the elite who have worked their way up, through exorcisms and social engagements, into the class of nouveau riche (aka “Neo Riche” ::queue eyeroll::).

    Our hero (a term I’ll use with the same degree of irony that Neo Yokio overuses to no end) is Kaz Kaan, a young magistocrat who spends his time exorcising some demons but even more time complaining about his social status, shopping, and bemoaning his relationship status to his friends and mecha British butler, Charles. And what’s the plot, you may ask — a fitting question, but one for which Neo Yokio has no answer. The show literally follows Kaz as he mopes around, goes on errands, and tries to figure out how to become the most eligible bachelor in Neo Yokio. If there’s a reason why we should care about Kaz’s problems, it’s unclear. After all, with its fixation on brand names, fashion, and the superficial minutiae of Kaz’s upper-class life, Neo Yokio presents itself solely as a satire of classism and commercialism in our culture, right? Maybe.

    That’s just the problem — it’s unclear. For all its posturing about class, Neo Yokio never actually commits itself to saying anything about it. We see the characters bask in their privilege and throw around their money carelessly but the only instance of real contrast is when we see how Kaz treats Charles and the few characters he briefly encounters in the service industry (including the sales clerk at Bergdorf’s, whom he only refers to as “sales clerk”) with utter disregard. The characters — and the show in general — exist in a kind of vacuum, making it impossible to determine whether the show is taking itself seriously or not at all — and if it’s satirizing a group of people or an idea, who or what exactly that is. None of the characters are written with any depth and none of them reveal the show’s true aim. Sure, fashion blogger Helena St. Tessero awakens to the superficiality of Neo Yokio and initially seems like she’ll be the lens through which we may see the satirized world (think the smart, incisive gaze of Daria, who reveals the stupidity of those around her), but she too is exaggerated to the point of no return (read: is turned into a terrorist-recluse), leaving us with equally fatuous celebrations and dismissals of this upper-class life.

     

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Writing With Color

 

*Here’s some basic writing advice, for writing just about any marginalized group, (and eve nsome very common, not so marginalized groups) so you don’t come off looking like a racist twat! Now this is not to say you can do none of these things. Some of them can be done without offense, if you have a damn good reason for doing it. Some of the others…not so much.

 

Common Micro-aggressions: African Americans and/or
Black People

Anonymous said: What are some common micro-aggressions that a black american will regularly have to deal with?

Behold this masterpost of common micro-aggressions towards African Americans and/or people in the African Diaspora, several of which may be applicable to other PoC. Micro-aggressions can be perpetuated by White people as well as fellow Black people and People of Color.

This is just to give a thorough understanding of some of the things a Black person (often in America) deals with. Don’t run forward and jam-pack your Black character with every one of these experiences, though I can say I’ve personally experienced every one of these or know someone who has.

General Micro-aggressions

  • People excusing blackface.
  • Having our grammar and annunciation corrected.
  • “I don’t see you as a Black person/ I don’t see colour.”
  • Calling Black people ghetto, thugs, rachet, sassy, urban…
  • People debating why they should be allowed to say the n-word.
  • Then saying the n-word anyway.
  • Whispering, spitting, or stumbling over the word “Black” as if it’s a curse.
  • Refusing to pronounce your name right, or just calling you by a different name that’s easier.
  • Alternatively, “jokingly” calling you a “ghetto” name.
  • Constantly mixing up unrelated and not even resembling Black people, because you know.. ‘Black people all look the same’.
  • Dismissing our experiences as “just overreacting,” defending the wronging party, or using our plight to talk about one’s own experience (e.g. “well as a gay man i’ve got it rough…”).
  • Telling racist jokes and calling you sensitive when you don’t find it funny.
  • “______  is the new civil rights movement!” Black folks are still fighting for their rights so…

Media

  • Fox news (xD)
  • Caricatured depictions of Black people on TV.
  • Casting calls for Black people only tailored for “race roles.”
  • Media treating white criminals and killers better than Black victims (see these headlines).

Stereotypes

  • Assuming you only listen to rap/hip-hop/r&b.
  • Assuming you love chicken, Kool-aid, and/or smoke weed.
  • Assuming you’re good at sports.
  • Assuming there’s no father in the picture in Black families.
  • Assuming all Black people (see: young girls) have children.
  • Calling Black people who don’t conform to one’s image of Blackness, “less black,” acting white or “oreo.”

AAVE

  • Non-Black People mimicking/imitating AAVE.
  • People falling into AAVE when talking to Black People.
  • “Why don’t Black people speak real English instead of ‘ebonics’?”

Insults/doubting intelligence:

  • You’re so articulate!”
  • You take advanced classes?!”
  • “How did she get into that [prestigious school and/or program]?”
  • “They only got x because they’re Black/Affirmative action.”
  • Assuming a Black person (usually male) attends college because of a sports scholarship.
  • Counselors discouraging Black students to take prestigious coursework, assuming it’s too difficult for them.

 Respectability politics:

  • “You’re a credit to your race.”
  • “I’m glad you’re not like those other Black people. You’re not ghetto or listen to that rap stuff..”
  • Tone policing: dismissing someone’s reaction/argument/etc. because they are too “emotional.” Thinking that we need to be calm in order to be taken seriously.
  • Pitting African immigrants against African Americans, especially those coming to America for education, aka “Good Blacks.”

Beauty Standards and Dating

Fetishization/Othering

  • People asking you what you are or where you’re really from.
  • Referring to Black people or our features as “exotic.”
  • Referring to Black people’s skin as chocolate or other foods.

Black Women/Misogynoir

  • Saying Black women are ”strong, independent and don’t need no man.“
  • Calling Black women ”sassy“ or angry if she shows passion/emotion.
  • Referring to white and non-black women as “girls” and “women” while calling Black women “Females.”
  • [White] males who apply courtesy to white women (holding doors, giving up seat) but don’t apply the same to Black women.
  • Referring to Black women on government assistance as “welfare queens” (While ignoring that white people get more government assistance than Black people in the USA).
  • “Black women All woman are beautiful.” (StopThatPlease.)

Hair.

  • People touching/petting your hair without consent.
  • “So is that your real hair? Are those extensions?”
  • Calling natural black hair unprofessional.
  • White people appropriating Black hair styles (dreads, twists, etc) and being praised as edgy, while it’s “ghetto, unprofessional, and unclean” on our own heads.

Poverty Assumptions:

  • “Do you live in the ghetto?”
  • “Can you afford that?”
  • “Here are the value prices of this product…”

Racial Profiling + Criminalization:

  • Crossing the street to avoid passing Black men/people.
  • Following in stores, assuming Black people are stealing.
  • Moving aside when we pass, clutching purse, locking doors.
  • Asking Black people for I.D. when paying with card (while white people are not asked).
  • Being pulled over + arrested at astonishingly higher rates than white people.

For a fuller understanding of micro aggressions and the effects it has on individuals overtime, please see this: “These incidents may appear small…”

~Mods: Colette and Alice

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Stereotyping Tropes List (TVTropes)

A masterpost of the Stereotyping Tropes from TVtropes.org. This list is identical to the one linked above, save the addition of Indigenous peoples, which was added. Check for the titles with links, as it leads to more pages of tropes. 
For an assortment of other related tropes, some not mentioned here, see “Race Tropes” as well as “Prejudice Tropes.” Advice on handling characters that lean towards harmful portrayals can be found in the tropes & stereotypes tags at writingwithcolor.


General

Africans

African Americans/Black

Americans

Arabs

Asians

Australians

Brits

Canadians

Chinese

Dutch

Eastern Europeans

Europeans

French

Germans

Indians

Indigenous

Irish

Israel

Italians

Japanese

Jewish

Latin Americans

Nordic Countries

Russians

Scots

Spaniards

 

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*Okay, I had to put this up. This is, hands down, the funniest story I read on the internet all week, and this is next to The 15 Blackest Things About The New Black Panther Trailer , that I posted earlier.

Now while you’re reading this, continue to picture giant koi bloop blooping in a pond. They have no idea they’re the partial cause of all the chaos. They just wanna get fed.

I’m like,”Guys, ain’t nobody thinkin’ about y’all right now!”

The Great Flamingo Uprising

(Edited after additional information was obtained from zookeeping cousin)

I told this story to a few guildies a while back and decided to archive it in a longer format; so here is the story of The Great Flamingo Uprising of 2010 as told to me by my favorite cousin who was a keeper at the time.

In addition to the aviary/jungle exhibit, our zoo has several species of birds that pretty much have the run of the place.  They started with a small flock of flamingos and some free-range peacocks that I’m almost certain came from my old piano teacher’s farm.  She preferred them to chickens.  At some point in time they also acquired a pair of white swans (“hellbirds”) and some ornamental asian duckies to decorate the pond next to the picnic area.  Pigeons, crows, assorted ducks and a large number of opportunistic Canada geese moved in on their own.

Now; the ponds that dot the zoo property (I don’t remember how many there are but the one by the picnic area is the only one with swans) were also full of ginormous koi fish, some of whom by now are at least three feet long.  Sensing an opportunity to cash in on the koi, the zoo put up little vending machines all over the place that dispense handfuls of food pellets.  I swear to god the fish can hear the crank turning, and will show up at the nearest railing, blooping expectantly at whoever happens to be standing there and doing their best to appear starving and desperate.

Like this.^  And they weren’t the only ones who learned to associate the sound with the imminent arrival of food.  The Canada geese knew a good deal when they saw one, and had long since ceased to migrate anyway.  They formed roving gangs of thug-geese and staked out their turf around the vending machines, ready to mug anyone with pocket change.  Picture yourself as a small child squaring off with a bird as big as you are fully prepared to strip search you while standing on your feet and yelling “HWAAAAAKK!!” in your face.  It’s deeply traumatizing to you and incredibly hilarious to your parents.

Anyway.

The flamingos had their spot near the zoo entrance and never seemed to mind the presence of the other birds, as they kept themselves to themselves and didn’t really like the taste of fish pellets.  The problem lay in that their shrimp pond was close to a vending machine.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t have been an issue at all, but eventually the goose population grew large enough that one of the gangs decided to annex it.  Being territorial little shits, they would harass the poor flamingos any time they strayed within ten feet of it.  The flamingos tolerated this for years until one day they snapped collectively.  Here’s a summary of the incident in chronological order.

1.) It was a hot day, so everyone in question both human and avian, were cranky by the time the zoo even opened.
2.) A few flamingos (let’s call them The Jets) strayed into the radius of the vending machine and were immediately confronted by the indignant hissing geese (The Sharks)
3.) Possibly due to heat and the simple fact that the geese had been giant douchebags for far too long, the flamingos decided fuck it, this time they were going to FIGHT BACK DAMMIT, and swarmed the geese en masse.
4.) Chaos ensued.  The geese were outnumbered 4 to 1 but had the advantage of being able to scream for back-up.
5.) Hearing the shrieking Canada geese and the bellowing of the enraged flamingos, the peacocks came to the conclusion that the apocalypse had come upon them and began to gather in the surrounding trees in droves and wail in despair.  Or cheer them on, whichever.
6.) NOISE
7.) Apparently one of the siege tactics employed by geese is to shit explosively all over everything.
8.) The geese, having secured reinforcements from all over the zoo, went berserk and proceeded to attack EVERYBODY who had come to watch be they human or otherwise.
9.) The flamingos were chasing/being chased by the geese through the crowd accompanied by cheers/wails from the peacocks in the box seats.
10.) Complete pandemonium when the zoo tram became stalled by the flamingo pond due to battling birds.  The Jets, sensing these were somehow reinforcements on the side of the Sharks, charged the tram.  Adults were doing the duck and cover.  Small children were screaming, adding to the noise.  People were slipping on goose shit and hitting the ground in the fetal position, only to be stampeded by the rampaging flamingos.
11.) The koi continued to bloop hopefully for food.
12.) Two of the geese were cornered by a rival gang of their own and were chased into the swan pond.  Cue slow-motion.
13.) The swans detected an enemy presence in their territory and by god, SOMEBODY was going to PAY.
14.) The staff were having no luck in breaking up the fight and on the verge of giving up and just building another zoo elsewhere when the hellbirds stormed the battlefield, trumpeting battle-cries, to dispense feathered justice.  The staff promptly dropped their brooms and fled.
15.) Birds scattered in all directions.  Up, down, sideways.  Some people not present in the park circle swear a couple of geese flat out teleported into the petting zoo. A few ducks vanished in the chaos, presumably eaten by the swans.
16.) Two of the zookeepers barricaded themselves in the snack bar and refused to come out.
17.) The uprising was squashed in less than two minutes.  Number of casualties was unknown, feathers were flying everywhere and there was enough goose shit to build another bird.  One staff member had been knocked to the ground and was left with a melon sized bruise courtesy of one of the hellbirds.  Several children were traumatized, probably for life.  The zoo eventually removed the vending machine by the flamingos.

The geese went back to being giant douchebags. Because geese*.

Addendum:  Somehow, my aunt D got hold of this story and posted a link along with the comment: “This sounds exactly like our zoo!”
Zookeeping cousin replied: “This was exactly our zoo.”

*I’m really not kidding.  This is a photo, taken at our zoo, of a gorilla being chased by one of the thug geese.

 

*Yeah, the hellbirds came in and broke that whole shit up in two minutes!

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*I’m in agreement with this, really. It would make for some very intersting names:

I think we should make Puritan naming customs cool again, but like, updated to reflect Millenial values. So we can have names like Resistance Jones, Self-Care Williams, and I-Am-Not-Throwing-Away-My-Shot Anderson.

  • I-Will-Face-God-and-Walk-Backwards-Into-Hell Watson
  • Hydrate Mather
  • Healthcare-Is-A-Right-Not-A-Privilege Bradford
  • Body Positivity Watts
  • WTF-the-Fuck Preston
  • Cinnamon Roll Milton
  • Y’all-Need-Jesus Henderson
  • Snape-Was-Not-a-Hero Whitaker
  • Battery Life Wiggins
  • Reblog-If-You-Agree Bolton
  • @Horse_ebooks Humphrey
  • Renewable Moore
  • I-Came-Out-to-Have-a-Good-Time-and-I’m-Honestly-Feeling-So-Attacked-Right-Now Rutherford
  • Representation Hopkins
  • Organic Hurst
  • Money Cat Wallington
  • Fuck-It Wentworth
  • Impeachment Shepard
  • Don’t-Forget-To-Like-And-Subscribe Simpson
  • Consent Pimple
  • I-Bless-the-Rains-Down-in-Africa Woodford
  • Green Hoyle
  • Social Anxiety Travers
  • Kinkshame-Not Bailey

 

Tomorrow: A rare weekend posting. I finished the first part of my Bladerunner review.

They Gon’ Learn!

Oh, didnt I tell you guys that since the elction, my job on Earth now, is to be a “Petty MF”? Now, I don’t have a whole lot of practice being petty. I’m one of those people who usually takes the high road,

But not today White Jeebus! Not today!

Just leaving these receipts here:

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Death Note
Next up on Hollywood’s list of series to mess with: Death Note.Netflix

 

 

 

*Hollywood’s whitewashed version of anime never sells

https://www.polygon.com/2017/4/3/15142608/hollywood-anime-live-action-adaptations-ghost-in-the-shell

*And just in case Hollywood has not learned anything from the previous fuck ups:

 ‘Whitewashing’ Accusations Fly as Zach McGowan Cast as Hawaiian WWII Hero

‘Whitewashing’ Accusations Fly as Zach McGowan Cast as Hawaiian WWII Hero

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/05/whitewashing-zach-mcgowan-hawaiian-niihau-wwii-controversy-1201814715/

*Now contrast that with financially successful and/or Oscar nominated movies prominently featuring PoC:

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Representation Matters (Pt. 2)

*It’s not enough for PoC to be included in the narrative. They also have to have character, not just be a character. Also, the more people of color in the narrative the less likely the writers (who are almost always NOT PoC) will resort to stereotypes, or rather the number of PoC in the narrative will help to ameliorate any stereotypes that are present.

It’s also important for PoC to be behind the scenes. It’s hard to create action stars  when there aren’t enough PoC as stunt doubles. It’s difficult to have authentic environments of PoC when seen through the lens of white male writers who are too lazy to do the proper research (We’re looking at you Scott Buck!), and even if they did, would never be able to capture all the details and nuances of being a recent Chinese immigrant, a transgender Latina, or a gay Black man. I’m not saying that white people can’t write these characters, but a lot  of them either don’t know, or care enough, to get their shit right.

When white women began writing more movies and TV shows, we started to getting more nuanced,  authentic, portrayals of white women in movies, and the same thing happens when PoC write and star in their own stories. For example, what makes the Luke Cage series stand out as an iconic depiction of Black life, is that the creators are Black themselves, and are aware of all the tiny details, of Black life, that would be missed by white writers, to whom none of those details would even occur.

One of the reasons Into the Badlands looks as rich as it does is because Asian men are the showrunners and the stunt crew. Now compare this show to Iron Fist, where the white writers didn’t seem to kgive a damn that a show (and character) so steeped in Orientalist culture, about a white man who learns Kung Fu, doesn’t actually feature the Kung Fu very well, or any of the Asian culture on which the character is based, and a showrunner who  seemed indifferent to what fight scenes there were. Scott Buck cared  so little about the show’s action scenes, that he didn’t give  his star, Finn Jones, enough time to practice so he could shine in those scenes. If you have a Martial Arts character named Iron Fist, and you don’t showcase the action, youre gonna get booed. I’m just sayin’.

Even White people ( as much as we hear about the racist ones who seem to hate diversity in media) actually crave different types of stories. I’ve come across the occasional essay by White people lamenting  the lack of variety in movies, and TV shows. They want something different from the “bland white guy gets the call to adventure” type of  story. They too want to see stories like Hidden Figures, and Moonlight, rather than yet another story of a white man’s growing pains in the Midwest, or another romantic comedy where the spunky, young, white actress of the moment, eventually hooks up with the bland, white guy, she initially hated.

We understand that Hollywood is a business and will keep trying  to give us the same product they have successfully sold us many times, but with the studios bottom lines beginning to suffer, it’s time for them to be less conservative, and much more daring. Yes, movies cost a lot of money, and people are loathe to risk not getting a return on their investment, but they’re losing money now, and need to try some new things.

Well, they could at least try making the same old movies, just without the same twenty five White actors we’ve been seeing.

 

reblogged

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results…

I’m not celebrating or sad.  This is emblematic of a huge shift in entertainment media that will progress with or without those who stubbornly adhere to old myopic ways.

They happened upon that wave early and let it wash past them instead of surfing it out of pure hubris, color-blindness, and stubbornness.

Sleepy Hollow came before Hamilton, Queen Sugar, Underground, Insecure, Atlanta, American Gods, Luke Cage, Get Out, Moonlight, and the upcoming, A Wrinkle in Time…  Black people and other marginalized groups are increasingly occupying genres and spaces they’ve rare-to-never been leads in, where they are having their perspectives and feelings served, instead of serving a white man’s story, as so many fans have been starved to see.

Such is business that if there is a need that will make money, it will eventually be filled by someone(s) if you choose not to.

That’s what I got out of this debacle.

That and, when you cater to a singular perspective for a long, long, time, no matter how new or “fresh” a spin you think you have on it, it’s probably been done and is trite, boring, and even offensive in its refusal to treat anyone who isn’t a white guy like they matter.

In other words, the exclusion of the other being central to these narratives for so long created this condition where those very narrow white boy dreams are getting staler and staler to audiences.

They aren’t the first white male writers and producers left dumbstruck and scratching their heads wondering what the hell happened after treating everything who isn’t the central white dude like shit and they won’t be the last.

You either evolve or get left behind.

(The show being referenced above is Sleepy Hollow, a show which had been lauded in its first and second seasons, but has just been canceled after its fourth season, after fans learned how the showrunners had been mistreating its female lead, and then unceremoniously, and without  warning, killed off her character. All I have left  to say about that is: They gon’ learn!)

 

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13 Times Hollywood Made Totally Racist Casting Decisions

In the 2015 box office bomb, Stone’s character Captian Allison Ng is written as being one quarter Chinese and one quarter Hawaiian. Many viewers of the film accused the filmmakers of whitewashing the cast, as Stone doesn’t belong to either heritage. The director of the film, Cameron Crowe, released the following as a statement: “I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you …
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*I laughed at this waaay too hard:
Chris Pine’s SNL monologue reminds us how bad Hollywood’s superhero diversity problem is:
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Alright, this was just hilarious for me:
What diversity actually is:
How Hollywood sees diversity:
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*That’s it! The next time I see some fan whinging about Historical accuracy, in a movie that casts any POC, I’m gonna have to (digitally) punch ’em in the side of the neck. 
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  • White actors cast as ancient Egyptian kings: “I know they weren’t white but it doesn’t have to be historically accurate to be a good movie. They should just hire the best person for the job!”
  • Black actor suggested to play fictional white character:“James Bond has always been white! I don’t care how good of an actor he is, you can’t just change history!!!”
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*I think I mentioned this one on somebody’s comments section, that the vast media machine that exists in the US is pretty much geared towards one group of people and that is middle-class, White, cis-gender, and straight, but without any religious connotations. I really only noticed this while watching TV commercials. 
Now remember, the reason why we have television shows at all, is to make us watch ads for the sponsors of those shows. Television can exist without ads (otherwise there’s be no HBO, or Netflix) but you have to pay for it out of your own pocket (subscriptions). The companies that sponsor these showsaim their ads specifically at White middle class people because that’s who, or so they believe, has all the money. Its pretty much been like this since the invvention of the TV. Middle class people were the only ones who could afford TVs anyway. In order to catch those White, middle-class, eyeballs, they created shows geared towards reflecting their lifestyles, which is why the vast majority of television shows feature White, middle-class, often urban professionals. Those are the people that advertisers want, have always wanted.
Several things not taken into account; as TVs became more affordable to the working class, and then the poor, people who are not members of the prevailing socio-economic class would see those lifestyles as something they wanted to attain. Advertisers were quick to grasp that idea and started sponsoring shows geared towards working class whites, but only a few, and mostly comedies. The vast majority of shows featured White men, in some lucrative, but  unspecified city job (Quick! What did Leave it Beaver’s Dad do for a living?), doctors, lawyers, and the occasional detective. The shows reflected the lifestyles people lived, were trying to attain, or power fantasy stories for White men, like Westerns and Police stories. 
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Case in point!
Since the eighties though, television programmers decided that the most lucrative dollar to chase, was the White male, aged 18-35. Just about every form of media, outside of magazines, in the eighties and well into the nineties, was geared towards this specific demographic. Most, if not all of TV, movies, and most forms of music, was aimed at getting these young, white men to spend their money. These young men liked sex and violence, or so it was determined by programmers, so they made movies, and TV shows, about people having sex, and committing acts of violence. Just look at any of the comedies that were released during the eighties. Anybody else who happened to be ewatching these programs were mostly disregarded. (This was not a hard and fast rule.  
There were some things geared towards non-White people, whenever White programmers and Ad-men remembered that  the rest of us had money, they would sponsor a comedy, or made for TV movie, which explains Roots and The Jeffersons.) When it was discovered that these same young white men liked Rap music, advertisers began sponsoring more shows and movies with those themes, although initially, these things were aimed at Black people, (which is how we ended up with movies like Friday, and Boyz in the Hood.)
This is not to say that nothing was aimed at non-Whites. There were a few shows and movies aimed at women, Blacks, and the occasional Latinx,  but they were rare. Occasionally some “Actor of Color” would blow up in the media and manage to get a film career out of it, which explains Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. And the entire time, everyone of every color, was inundated with racist stereotypes of everyone who wasn’t White, sexist lies and tropes about women, and lots and lots of jokes, at gay and transgender people’s expense. 
*And in a not-unrelated post on the racial dynamics of Hollywood movies, Teej lays it all bare, but without my polite indoor voice.

It’s time to kill the idea of white women as leads in movies as “baby steps! :)” toward inclusion of women of color and that WoC and PoC generally need to pay to see these films otherwise Hollywood will never include WoC/more PoC because “Hollywood only listens to money.”

People proffering this argument are either gullible, not paying attention, have no understanding of how racism works in Hollywood, or all three.

Hollywood knows that Black movies and shows make money (I’m focusing on Blackness because it’s what I know and antiblackness exists in all communities). Straight Out of Compton made money, Selma made money, 12 Years a Slave made money, Tyler Perry’s movies make money (much to my chagrin), and those are just some recent ones. There is a history of Black cinema and films that made money. Empire, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder are led by Black women and Empire has a predominately Black cast, and they’re wildly popular shows.

Black people and other PoC have money and we have and will continue to spend it in theaters to see films that feature us. HOLLYWOOD IS WELL AWARE OF THIS. Stop believing and proliferating their tired excuses and lies.

The issue is that Hollywood only cares about a specific type of money: white money.  

When Hollywood refuses to put Black women and men and other PoC in lead roles in upcoming Blockbusters it’s because they don’t think white people will relate to or be comfortable with the idea of PoC as heroes. It’s not just about money (because Black people and other PoC will definitely spend money to see those films), it’s about whiteness. It’s the WHITE DOLLAR and the white audience that these studios are after and are worried about losing. They know that white people have difficulty empathizing with Black people and other PoC. They know that white people only find Black led films palatable if there’s a BLATANT NEED OR REASON that the lead/cast is Black.

That is why, due to white racism, Hollywood is only comfortable telling one kind of story of Blackness (and stereotypical stories about other PoC). So they’ll acknowledge films about slavery (usually as long as there’s one white savior), they’ll allow comedic films about Black folks, they’ll allow films about Black sports legends, etc. because they know that these kinds of images are largely palatable to white people. Occasionally, when a Black actor like Will Smith reaches mainstream appeal (read: white people no longer see them as “just Black”),  they’ll let him be the hero in a Blockbuster or two (Independence Day, Men in Black, etc) as long as he’s accompanied by enough white people to make the white audience feel comfortable.

White women have lead movies in all genres because they are white, not because Hollywood is taking “baby steps! :)” to becoming more racially inclusive. It is in furtherance of whiteness and white supremacy that white women are chosen to lead instead of PoC. Implicit in the argument that white women “need to go first” is the reality that whiteness is privileged. Continuing to privilege that whiteness is never going to lead to acceptance of PoC, especially not WoC, because widening the scope of which white people can access the privileges usually afforded to cishet white men will never lead to inclusion of WoC, least of all, Black women. Hierarchies need someone at the bottom.

This is especially obvious when white women are given roles based on characters or real women who are not white (Katniss, Tiger Lily, Angelina Jolie in blackface as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart, etc).

Hollywood is built on continuing to sell white people the fantasy of them being heroic protagonists with sidekicks of color, and if they can’t be the protagonist, they must be the white savior. These stories are the ones white people time and time again will pay to see.

When you understand all of this, it is clear that progress isn’t going to come because Black people and other PoC support white lady led films. That idea is frankly laughable. Hollywood has been making lily white films since the dawn of film without any concern as to whether Black people and other PoC will pay to see them.

Change will only come when white folks show that they will support films led by WoC and other PoC as more than tokens following/supporting the white dude/lady protagonist. And these WoC need to visibly be of color–these white passing women getting leading roles are just further example of how whiteness is what is truly at work here, not just money.

There’s a reason why Black folks have a whole host of Black led movies we can reference and laugh about together that we saw in theaters and that made money that white people don’t know the first thing about: because white people by and large do not support films with black/other poc leads/casts.

So, instead of all these White Feminists ™ telling Black women and other WoC that we need to hand over our cash to support yet another white lady lead in hopes that we might one day get a WoC lead, white people need to demonstrate that they will support a WoC lead.  Get on Twitter and Facebook and ask these studios why they cast yet another white lady. Spend your white money on a film with a Black/other PoC lead/cast. Stop spending your money on these typical white male hero movies. Stop patting Hollywood on the back for doing the most basic shit and stop praising them for only spotlighting white women as if it’s opening the door for anything other than more white women.

In short, Black women and other PoC not supporting white lady led films is not the problem. The problem is white people not supporting WoC and other PoC led films. We are not the problem. You are.

Yeah, this is all bumming me out, so I know its probably bumming you out too. So here, have a Spidercat!
Image result for spidercat gif

Ghost in the Shell Thoughts & LinkSpam

Here’s a roundup of thoughts and feelings  from Asian Americans (and a few others) on Ghost in the Shell, Hollywood, and Whitewashing:

Orientalism and the Ghost in Hollywood’s Shell

The Incomparable Differences between Whitewashing and Racebending

https://thirdtwinmusings.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/stolen-brilliance-whitewashing-and-the-white-mind-as-perfection/

https://screenalicious.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/how-to-end-hollywood-whitewash-in-10-easy-steps/

https://amazingrace350.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/how-get-out-proved-that-minority-actors-are-marketable-hollywood-just-refuses-to-make-it-work/

Exorcising Ghost in the Shell

https://haleyjb.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/entertainment-media-a-white-world/

http://www.gq.com/story/the-whitewashing-playbook

http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/02/history-whitewashing-asian-american-hollywood

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/03/24/filmmakers_and_actors_keep_defending_casting_controversies_but_here_s_why.html

https://theringer.com/ghost-in-the-shell-scarlett-johansson-63bd6503af72

http://www.tor.com/2016/04/20/why-are-we-still-white-washing-characters/

 

 

And also check out  the site:

http://blog.angryasianman.com/

For intelligent discourse on issues pertaining to Asian Americans in Popular media, and a list of similar blogs:.

http://blog.angryasianman.com/2017/04/read-these-blogs_9.html

Asian American Month begins in May.

 

Talking on Tumblr

Not me!

My general attitude when reading things on Tumblr is this: That’s really all I can do on Tumblr, which doesn’t invite a whole lot of immediate discussion. If you want fast discussions, Twitter is good for that, but discussions on Tumblr take a while and sometimes you may never know how the discussion went unless it shows back up on your dashboard. If you can find these discussions, please visit…

View On WordPress

Talking on Tumblr

My general attitude when reading things on Tumblr is this:

That’s really all I can do on Tumblr, which doesn’t invite a whole lot of immediate discussion. If you want fast discussions, Twitter is good for that, but discussions on Tumblr take a while and sometimes you may never know how the discussion went unless it shows back up on your dashboard.

If you can find these discussions, please visit the original websites (which sometimes include tags) and  make haste to go read them because sometimes these little talks can get lost and you’ll never be able to  find them again.

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File this under things people need to know. Don’t just accept this person’s word for it, though. Do the research. My job is researching things, so I have and can vouch for the truth of it, but you should still look these names and themes up for yourself. Google is your friend!

rdtrashpanda:

ginsengmask:

at the women’s studies conference I went to last semester, someone did a presentation about how the myth of the black “welfare queen” was created and it’s so crazy to think that Reagan managed to make the American public believe that all black women were simply lazy and took advantage of the system when in reality, Reagan’s whole tirade against these supposed elaborate schemes of black women were based off of one Linda Taylor who assumed over thirty aliases and amassed a large amount of riches through a number of different ways (theft, forgery, insurance fraud, child abdication). It’s so easy to sway this country to believe racist allegations such as these because they don’t even care to find evidence to support such claims, they honestly just want an excuse to paint the black community as lazy criminals

The book I’m reading, The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah, talks ab Nixon and Reagan specifically using coded language to create the illusion of “race neutral” politics that were truly created to harm Black people such as Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” where Nixon told an advisor, “you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the Blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this without appearing to” and Reagan’s “war on drugs” when Reagan launched a propaganda effort to associate drugs and crime with people of color, creating the stereotypes of “crack whores” “crack babies” and young Black men as “predators” that we still see today

What’s even weirder is that Linda Taylor was such a consummate con artist that she lied about her race and people believed her. She was born to white parents (and might have had some Indigenous American ancestors), but told people she was Black, Asian, Hispanic, & Jewish as it served her needs. The myth of the Black Welfare Queen is based on a long term con run by a white woman.

(via dynastylnoire)

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Sometimes some deeply philosophical discussions occur, like people vs utilitarianism, and how some of that philosophy ties into different forms of bigotry:

jorj-cardas:

gap-var-ginnunga:

siriustachi:

siriustachi:

silversarcasm:

bloodblonde89:

fluttersheep:

silversarcasm:

the idea of people having to be ‘useful’ is just so gross, like people do not exist to be used

having to produce something and have a use is a capitalist ideal and not an intrinsic part of humanity

just by being alive you are human and you are worth something and you can never be useless

this applies to animals as well

“Having to like DO THINGS is SO OPPRESSIVE. No one had to like DO THINGS before evil capitalism. In ancient times food, water, and shelter just existed and everything was taken care of for me”

Guess what happened to people who didn’t do things before capitalism? They died. Cause if you weren’t hunting, gathering, or useful in some aspect of nature. You were killed, died or starvation, dehydration, or exposure.

Being useful is literally part of our biology. Fucking moron. You pull some idea out of your ass because you literally don’t want to get off your ass.

I’m not saying nobody should ever do things ever, I’m saying people don;t have to produce to an arbitrary standard in order to prove their right to live

And if you really think disabled people deserve to die if we can’t ‘contribute’ or be useful in a way you approve of then congrats youre a fucking monster

actually there’s significant evidence in terms of Neolithic burials that disabled people who would not have been able to hunt for themselves (the archaeological evidence mostly shows mobility disabilities because it’s visible in the bone record) were well fed and cared for by their communities

so the “people like you would have been left to die” argument isn’t just cruel and violently ableist, it’s extremely historically inaccurate and based off of projecting modern prejudice on prehistoric cultures

sources because I’m on my laptop now!

note: in the neolithic era, a person in their 40s or 50s would be considered elderly

12,000-year-old burial of a woman about 45 with mobility disabilities both congenital and acquired

burial of a 40-50 year old Neanderthal man who had survived to old age with a deformed right arm and a long-healed head injury that would have made him blind in one eye

neolithic burial of a man in his 50s who lost the use of his left arm in adolescence

neolithic burial of a man in his 40s with evidence of a significant mobility disability caused by an injured hip and leg, some time in adulthood but long before his death

neolithic Asian burial of a man in his 20s with a congenital disorder which would have made him a quadriplegic around age 14. He survived for 10-15 years after that.

5th century burial of child with Down Syndrome

i read somewhere that you can measure the worth of a society by how it treats it’s helpless, elderly and sick and i think that’s totally on to something. this also ties in with the whole “survival of the fittest” garbage that people (mostly violent machismo men) spew without knowing what it actually means.

the inherent idea of productivity = worth IS a product of a culture based off of industrialization and capitalism, anyone who says otherwise is blinded by bias and needs to read some anthropology.

Animals do this, too. There’s a ten year old orca named Tumbo with severe scoliosis. He’s slower than the rest of his pod, but his mother and brother stay with him and help him hunt. He’s a transient, too, which means he travels great distances daily with his pod, and hunts dangerous prey like seals and sharks. Yet despite his disability, his pod takes care of him, and his pod thrives, even with the care they show him.

As someone said above me, a society can be judged by how it treats the sick, elderly and disabled. If animals can show such compassion, what’s a human’s excuse for lacking the same compassion for a fellow human being?

Source: silversarcasm
nerdsagainstfandomracism

I’m always fascinated by the fact that people can suspend their disbelief long enough to accept/enjoy the fantastic, exaggerated, or straight up ridiculous aspects of fiction. But as soon as someone brings up the idea of making people of color (or any marginalized group) the center of those types of stories, we suddenly have to abide by realism.

-Mod Finn

Anonymous asked:

what does this have to do with feminism? Personally I am really excited for the new movie and I am very interested with the new casting. But all these people are saying is that they don’t agree with changing the movies dynamics they knew and loved.

profeminist answered:

Here’s the problem. Let’s say that in the 70’s and 80’s white guys made up 90% of awesome lead characters in movies. The number may be higher than that but let’s use it as an example.

Now cut to today when Hollywood is rebooting everything beloved. If we don’t “change movie dynamics,” the reboots will also be 90% white men, leaving women and POC out of the picture AGAIN.

The “movie dynamic” that is so beloved is exclusion. It’s male supremacy. It’s white supremacy. It’s the belief that a white guy’s story is universal, while everyone else’s is niche. It is changing, it will change, and it should change. It was unjust in the first place.

Important point guys are missing: if there had been fair representation all along and there were a ton of great franchises led by women when we were all growing up, maybe nobody would need or want to gender-flip franchises, although that would still be fine. 

But there wasn’t. So to say, “don’t change things,” means “keep it white and male, I was the center of the universe and I don’t like having to share.”

Also, FYI those were the polite sexist responses. 

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So not only do we have to put up with the woobification of obvious villains in fanfiction, we also have to contend with the villainization of PoC, like Nick Fury, who was just doing his job.

Sometimes I just get so mad because Phil Coulson respects Nick Fury almost as much as the fandom disrespects Nick Fury. All your faves respect Nick Fury more than fandom does. Steve Rogers respected Nick enough to lie to his superiors and find out what Nick was trusting him with. Natasha Romanoff and Maria Hill were openly hurt when they thought he was dead. Clint trusted Nick enough to tell him about his family, trusted him to find a place for them, keep it off the map and off the books and Nick did that. Hell, Tony even came down out of a doughnut because Nick Fury told him too. The Avengers exist because of Nick Fury. The Avengers have repeatedly fought for and beside Nick Fury. Instead of recognize the complex character that he is, fandom has made the decision to erase, ignore and villainize him, but given that it’s a stupid ass decision, I have elected to ignore it.

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Why Japanese people shouldn’t be asked their opinions on American whitewashing:

thatfoureyedbitchDeactivated

I was watching this video today which was Japanese people reacting to some video called “Weeaboo Cringe Compilation,” and when they started asking Japanese people how they felt about the people in those videos, it was a bunch of positivity and “as long as they’re happy” bullshit. Then I just logged on to fb (which idk why I don’t just delete it at this point) and there’s a video where I guess the producer of the Ghost in the Shell commented on Scar-Jo’s casting, and he’s pretty much like “this is a great way for the story to be told across cultures” bullshit.

And I don’t want to speak over Asian Americans, but that shit pisses me off so fucking much! Stop asking Japanese people how they feel about westerners/Americans wearing Kimonos, wearing yellowface, being cast in live adaptions of their stories, being problematic weeaboo trash, etc! They don’t live in America. They don’t live here. There’s a reason why John Cho and Ming-Na Wen spoke up like “this is bullshit” but a Japanese producer doesn’t care. BECAUSE THIS SHIT LITERALLY DOES NOT AFFECT THEM. At least not negatively. In a best case scenario, the movie is a hit, and Ghost in the Shell gets more readers and people buying the dvds and movies and etc and giving that company more money. Japanese actors can easily get jobs in Japan (as long as they’re good). In America? Asian actors get so few roles that they make up like less than 1% of the roles available (that’s an old statistic, and idk if that’s changed in recent years, so tell me if that’s gone up), and if they do get roles, it’s crappy background characters that are racist stereotypes and caricatures of their cultures. Japanese people don’t have a voice here because it doesn’t affect them. AT MOST, it affects them with western tourists traveling to Japan acting like idiots, but 1) Japan would love the money that would make them and 2) the average Japanese person STILL doesn’t have to deal with an asshole like that. So they don’t get to speak on things and be looked at as the “voice of reason” like we don’t know why Asian Americans are mad/annoyed at the whitewashing!

Japan and the US’s racial makeup is like completely different. So what constitutes as problematic or whatever in one isn’t major in the other and vice versa. A country where any live adaption they did of an anime would easily provide the correct representation can’t speak over a nation where whitewashing of roles about non-white countries and cultures is rampant. And it irritates me because of course the Japanese are going to love someone like Scar-Jo playing a Japanese woman. She’s the epitome of white beauty that gets fed to us to worship. Like, you can’t ask a Japanese person how they feel about this shit without talking about years of white imperialism, the US relationship with Japan (especially after WWII), the image of ideal beauty world-wide being a white woman that looks exactly like Scar-Jo, the status that comes with that level of “beauty” etc. There are too many layers as to why a Japanese person who’s lived his entire life in Japan and will never be in America to live and become a citizen might love the casting while actual Asian Americans who live here won’t. It’s so basic and lazy and fucked up and disrespectful to Asian Americans to even try it. And I’m sick of people doing that shit.

Source:
*I think this poster has a point. Japan is a nearly homogeneous society, that was colonized by westerners, so the dynamic between Japanese people and Asian-Americans  is completely different. Japanese citizens are exposed to Western culture and thinking, but  without the actual Westerners, which creates a great deal of exotification of white people in Japanese culture.
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And there are some deeply important discussions about why Finn is Force Sensitive, along with some very compelling arguments, which I’m inclined to agree with. I’ve watched the movie about three times now, and the argument for this is legit, along with reasons for fandoms unwillingness to accept that he might be:

claranovak asked:

Why is that person so obsessed with disproving FS!Finn, Rey had not awaken at that point of the film. It doesn’t take a master degree. In fact Snoke obviously didnlt know about Rey UNTIL Kylo told him about her much later in the film. Hell, I don’t think even Kylo knew about Rey’s ability until the interrogation scene since he didn’t comment on it when he was mocking her about Han Solo and her friends (it also explains why Kylo seemed so personally angry at Finn in their fight).

luminousfinn answered:

cont. Kylo was obviously as interested in Finn as he was in Rey. That only makes sense if they are both force sensitive and a possible threat. And not just because Finn was some random stormtrooper. Considering stormtroopers get sent into recondition Finn’s doubts wouldn’t have caused that big of red flag alone. There has to be something else about him.

*Oh that ones easy. It starts with r and ends with ism.

When you consider the fact that Finn was envisioned and written as a white man (see all the concept art, in every piece Finn is drawn as a white guy), then all the clues and queues surrounding him isn’t even remotely subtle. And Rey (envision as a white woman) gets the more obvious clues because Abrams, Kasdan & Kennedy et al. knows that people will focus on the (white) man over the (white) woman.

The issue arose when John got cast as Finn and Abrams didn’t do rewrites to account for race. Because if people will focus on the white male over the white female, then they will focus on literallyanyone else (even the blurred out two bit white villain with no skills and less personality in the background) over a Black male lead.

But Abrams subscribe to the colorblind theory so I doubt he would ever even consider this an issue.

Back to your points.

Heck, even when Kylo does tell Snoke about Rey he sort of doubts it and doesn’t seem to have sensed her himself, despite the fact that she used the Force not that long before. (Exact words: “If what you say about the girl is true, bring her to me.”)

And Kylo does initially seem very dismissive of Rey. (Just a scavenger.) Right up until she laser targets his creepy obsession with Vader.

Yeah, since reconditioning is a thing and Phasma seems very much to be on top of things there, Finn’s doubts alone would not have cause Kylo Ren’s obsessive and unusual attention to FN-2187.

And it is very unusual. I’m working on an analysis of the scene between Hux and Kylo Ren on the bridge, during Finn’s and Poe’s escape and it highlights not only the interest Kylo has in Finn, but also how very extraordinary that interest is.

But more on that when I get the whole thing typed out.

Source:

*To elaborate on my contribution to this post: and tie all these posts together. Trust me! There is a theme here and that is “utilitarianism”. The usefulness of other human beings to the narrative. Fandom is nothing more than an extension of ideas given (to them) by Hollywood. Fanfiction, for example, is nothing more than fantasies being written about fantasies, and as a result, all that most Fandom can do, is reiterate the specific dynamics they’ve been taught by Hollywood films, for the past seventy plus years.

The only narratives (and justifications) Hollywood has given the public for having any marginalized person in a movie, is if that person is useful to the white lead characters. This goes for everyone who is not white, straight, cis, and male. For decades most white women could only be in movies unless they served the purposes of the male protagonist.  We even have special words for it: Women in Refrigerators, The Sexy Floor Lamp, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Their purpose in a movie is not to affect the plot, but to affect the men, who affect the plot.

The same is true for people with disabilities, most often used as “inspiration porn”, to  make the protagonist of the story, or sometimes even the audience, feel good about themselves. Almost the only time you see people with disabilities get cast at all, is in horror movies, as the monsters, or to inspire the main characters and audience to live better lives.

 The same is true for LGBTQ people, which is how we got the term, “the Gay Best Friend”. Usually, they only exist in the plot to give support, and sympathy to the straight characters, or prop up their love lives somehow. In thrillers and horror movies, they exist to be killed, so as to alert the protagonist that the villains are getting close, or to indicate to the protagonist that they are in a Horror movie.

And PoC, serve all these purposes, The Black Best Friend, The Caddie, The Maid, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, The Black Guy Dies First. The only narrative that most white people have seen PoC perform for the past seventy years is that of being useful to the main characters, who are white. Yes, there are movies that exist outside that dynamic but most white people don’t, or won’t go see those films.

It’s the reason why fandom can’t see PoC in fantasy narratives that include fantasitical creatures like elves and orcs, and why Finn, from Star Wars can never be seen as anything other than Rey’s friend, rather than a possible  love interest. Its the reason people speculate that Michonne should die at Negan’s hands next season, to illustrate Rick’s whitemanpain. It’s the reason white Fandom doesn’t know what to do with T’Challa, other than make him Bucky’s Sugar Daddy,  and the Dore Milaje who challenged their white fave, Black Widow, gets vilified for being a big ol’ meaniepants, when she was merely doing her job of protecting her possible future husband. And its the reason why Nick Fury gets vilified, and Tony Stark gets woobified in fanfiction, for committing much the same types of behavior.

The only narratives most white people have to work from are marginalized people as servants and slaves, counselors, helpers, and  mentors to the white protagonist. And when not cast in  helping roles, then they are infantilized, or erased from their own narratives, so that the White Saviors can look good taking care of whatever problems they can’t solve for themselves.

Hollywood  has insisted on reproducing these  dynamics in film after film after film, since its inception. We should not be at all surprised at all the racism and bigotry we have seen  in the Fandom. Is it any wonder that there is a dearth of imagination, and a complete inability to see marginalized people outside of the boxes  in which Hollywood has kept us. They are merely reproducing the only kind of  stories they’ve been given. The fault isn’t entirely on the fandom. A large part of the fault lies with Hollywood.

This also ties into my earlier posts about how insidious racism and bigotry are. You have to remain vigilant and constantly examine what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, if you don’t want to end up simply reproducing the racist, ableist, homophobic,  and sexist narratives we’ve all been ingesting since we were children. Its even worse when you  reproduce the mainstream narratives, while believing that you’re being progressive.

 

 

Race in Hollywood/ Tumblr Talk V

Once again, the discussions on Tumblr break it down, regarding the rules and regulations of intersectional femininity, and race.
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My thoughts on being a person of color in Hollywood: nicolebyer:

The New York Times asked me to write about being a person of color in Hollywood. I wrote it but they didn’t like what they read I guess??? I say that because they decided not to run it. But I think I actually wrote something good. Thank you to my dear friend Madeline Walter for proofreading and editing it. Have a read will ya?

Hmmmmm… oh boy. Imagine my surprise when I opened an email and saw that the New York Times wanted to know my opinion on being a person of color working in Hollywood. To me, that sentence is a crazy sentence. Like my life is crazy and the fact that I am working in Hollywood is crazy. Also my friends barely want my opinion on anything, and the New York Times is, like, a news source that intellectuals in coffee shops read.

But, down to the actual question that has been posed to me… what is it like being a person of color working in Hollywood? Well I’ll tell you, it’s a real roller coaster, because not only am I a person of color, but I am a woman and an overweight one at that. I’m like the least traditionally fuckable of all the women you could gather and put on TV/film. Now you’re probably thinking, “OH NICOLE! DON’T SAY THAT ABOUT YOURSELF! EVERY BODY IS A BEAUTIFUL BODY!” That’s a very nice thing for you to shout at me, but I already know that. I love who I am right now, and I’m not the one who’s telling myself I’m unfuckable. It gets beaten into my brain from audition notices that say, “looks like a linebacker”…“woman who is fat and disgusting but still somehow has sex”… “fat black waitress”… “hooker”… “black bus driver.” A lot of under-five characters I would audition for don’t even have names. Instead, they’re named by their race, body type and/or profession. They’re not given real names, which to me, means they’re not viewed as real people. Which is super helpful, ‘cause, you know, in case I forget what I look like, some cool writer or casting director will remind me.

Also, I’ve done a handful of voiceover and on-camera jobs where I’ve been asked to “be blacker.” Which is code for be sassier, more ghetto, more neck rolls and snaps. I even wrote and shot a video about it with some dear friends (please take a break from this and YouTube it). A lot of the time I wouldn’t know where my next paycheck was coming from, so I would just sass it the fuck up when someone asked me to. That’s not to say that being sassy isn’t fun. It is… just not when it’s asked of you everywhere you go. Because you start to feel that nobody cares what else you have to offer. Now before you think, “Nicole, nobody escapes typecasting,” I say, “Oh fuck you, take a nap, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Typecasting is a thing, but when it involves race, it narrows the roles available down to an almost comically small amount.

On the flip side (told you it was a roller coaster), now I do get to audition for things that are not defined by race. I’m very lucky that in most of my jobs now, I’m able to just be a “funny person” as opposed to a “funny black person.” I perform at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where my race and gender are rarely pointed out. I just worked on a new sketch show for Fox called “Party Over Here,” where sketches were written for me because of my funny and not my race. MTV’s “Girl Code” was one hundred percent me… that show allowed me to really fine tune my comedic voice. Now, I’m currently writing and about to star in my own scripted show for MTV, where race and gender play a role but are not the star. Maybe you’ll see me take off a wig or get my brown makeup on the cheek of a white person and then discreetly try to rub it off without them noticing… I mean, you guys, there are so many funny (and some not funny) stories that people of color can tell without race having to be mentioned overtly.

You know, I think Viola Davis really hit a home run with “And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
I constantly see shows that seemingly have diversity but fail to realize that you don’t have to hide people of color in the background and in under-five roles. You can give them fully three-dimensional characters who return in multiple (dare I say all?) the episodes in a season.

So, when I think about being a mildly successful person of color in Hollywood, I think that change IS happening. If you look at me on paper, I shouldn’t have the things I have. I should thank Queen Latifah, Gabourey Sidibe, and Monique for being trailblazers by not adjusting their bodies to industry standards. Their careers have made it easier for me to exist in this world. Also changing what the standard is; is hard. Maybe now you’re thinking, “Nicole shouldn’t the best person get the job, regardless of race or gender?” Yeah, they should, but in this business, “best” is subjective, and people tend to like what they know. And more times than not, it’s a bunch of old white men making the decisions. If you’re white, you know white… which isn’t on purpose, it’s just embedded in our heads. Systemic racism/preferential treatment is real, and it’s something I could go on forever about but, my friends, I have a word limit.
Listen, I don’t wish we existed in a colorblind society, because what a boring fucking world that would be. Also, saying you’re colorblind is essentially taking the color away from people, just lumping everyone together into one big beige ball. I don’t ever want to be just a basic bitch lumped together with a bunch of other basic bitches in one big basic bitch beige ball. I want to wave my color proudly. I want to bring my color and background to the table, because it makes life/entertainment more interesting. And, I want people to embrace differences and maybe step outside of their comfort zones. I know I think we just as people in entertainment and in life need to be inclusive… I don’t know. I hope that wasn’t too ramble-y.

Okay bye bye!

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(Editor’s Note:

I agree. Both the casting directors and writers need to be taken to task for their shameless inability to use their imaginations in creating roles for people outside the straight, white cis-gender male gaze.)

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An this is another excellent article about Sleepy Hollow and the importance of representation for WoC, From The Mary Sue:

Spoilers for all of Sleepy Hollow to follow.

“Ichabod, everything we’re striving for here, fighting with our dying breath to create for this country a free land of opportunity for all Miss Abigail Mills represents. She is the American dream.”—Benjamin Franklin 2×18: Tempus Fugit

If someone had told me that in 2016 Bonnie Bennett would be practically leading The Vampire Diaries and Abbie Mills would be dead on Sleepy Hollow, I would have called them a liar. Abbie was safeshe was the main character on a FOX show with a huge cult following!and despite the writing failures, there was no denying that Abbie was important to the show. Then she was killed off, and I was forced to realize that there was no safety.

Throughout science fiction and fantasy there have been female characters of color, but many have been either hated (Doctor Who’s Martha Jones), sidelined (BBC Merlin’s Gwen), or just never allowed to real their full potential (Teen Wolf’s Kira Yukimura). There are others that exist, but on smaller shows on cable television: Z Nation,Hunters, Dark Matter, and Killjoys, to name a few.Sleepy Hollow held the hopes of a huge population of black fans who were looking for a place on a major network in genre television.

The announcement of Nicole Beharie as the lead actress of Sleepy Hollow was exciting, but I remember that year was also the year Elementarycame out and there was a lot of joy about seeing more women of color leading a show that wasn’t written by Shonda Rhimes (she can’t do everything y’all). In season one, despite a few pitfalls, the show really balanced out its core cast and the intense chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie (Ichabbie) is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. Not only was there Abbie, but she had a sister, Jenny; and Frank Irving was a black male character in power who was kind, wise and had a family of his own. We had multiple layered POC and it was excellent.

Then in season two, they began to bring the foolishness.

abbiewalking

Abbie, Jenny, and Frank took a back seat to the Crane Family Viewing Hour and we were treated to the angst of Ichabod’s relationships with his wife Katrina and evil son-demon, Jeremy aka Henry aka Horseman of War. Slowly but surely Abbie’s narrative dwindled into a single episode that was totally centered around her, “Mama,” and while we were shown a tiny sliver of what the show could be, it returned to assuming that the only way it would prosper is by Crane leading the path. Even though people kept talking about how important Abbie was to the show.

People were screaming for more Abbie at the end of season two and not just screen time, we wanted Abbie to have a life. Despite living in Sleepy Hollow her whole life Abbie had not one friend to go to. With the exception of her sister, Jenny, Abbie was denied having real outside relationships with anybody throughout her run. That was despite the immense thirst coming from: Hawley aka Worst, Andy aka Cho-tastic, Random Angel Guy who never came back, Hot Camera Guy who never came back, and Ichabod Crane himself. Meanwhile not only did Ichabod have his relationships at the very forefront of the show, he was allowed to have friendships and his random knowledge almost always led to the resolution of the story’s main mystery.

But, like a thirsty man in the desert, fans hoped beyond hope that season three would be different. With Katrina dead and Hawley gone it was time for Abbie (and Jenny) to get their screen time back. Then everything changed when Betsy Ross appeared.

Betsy Ross will go down, in my humble opinion, as one of the stupidest things this show did. For a show that was celebrated in season one for its diversity, it continued to peel back its characters of color and add the most irrelevant white characters they could dust up. Betsy Ross was the cream of the crop, second only to Hawley, in being a huge waste of time. Plus, guess who got a relationship story again? Oh that’s right: Ichabod. One in the past with Betsy, and one in present day with a colonial history-buff Zoe.

What was Abbie’s storyline? Well, she got sucked into a tree once. After being brought back into reality with help from Ichabod, Abbie did have a fairly good storyline dealing with her PTSD from being in a world devoid of time, but even that in the larger picture was too little too late. Even her eventual relationship with Daniel, her boss and former flame, got very little development and the timeline itself is wonky at best.

Then after all that, she died since she “served her purpose” by helping Ichabod. Excuse me while I go scream into my pillow.

angryabbie

Abbie’s death isn’t upsetting just because she died, but because the show really thinks it can survive without her. The actress wanted to leave, and rightly so, considering the material she was getting, but that is the problem—the story made her want to leave. Sleepy Hollow, whether it wants to admit it or not, got its fanbase because of diversity and because of viewers who enjoyed seeing Abbie Mills as the lead characters. There are people who, despite the poor second season, still stuck with the show because they wanted to see Nicole as Abbie Mills.

Let us not forget that during the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. asked actress Nichelle Nichols to stay on Star Trek because of what her image meant to black female viewers. The sad reality is that hunger, that need to see ourselves, still exists in media and with every step forward, there are several steps back that only reinforce the need to see the few that do it well survive.

As a black woman I don’t just want Empire andBlack-ish. We don’t want television that people assume is just “for us,” we want to be a part of stories that people have assumed we have no place in.

Abbie Mills was supposed to be our Buffy, our Scully. Not because black women or other women of color don’t enjoy those characters, but it means something to see a woman who is brown and beautiful and smart be on screen, being called “The American Dream” in a world that constantly questions your humanity. Abbie Mills held in her the hopes and possibilities of what a dark skinned black woman could be on a network sci-fi show. And it failed.

abbiesavior

Sleepy Hollow reinforced the expendability that black bodies are in genre television, and proved that protagonist protection does not extend to us. As I watch shows like Elementary, Wynonna Earp,Killjoys, and Z Nation that have non-white characters as “leads,” I fear for their safety constantly.

We are not safe. Not in this world or others. I mourn Abbie Mills and as I look at my old television flame, The Vampire Diaries, I just keep hoping that Bonnie Bennett will make it out alive because I need someone to.

Princess Weekes is a full-time writer, part-time Barista originally from Brooklyn, but camping out in Queens, NY. When she isn’t catching up on Netflix or stressing about student loans, she reads about dead white royality. She runs a small YouTube Channel under the username Melina Pendulum and hopes to someday finish that novel. Find her on Twitter orYoutube.

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr,Pinterest, & Google+.

As a black woman I don’t just want Empire and Black-ish. We don’t want television that people assume is just “for us,” we want to be a part of stories that people have assumed we have no place in.

Abbie Mills was supposed to be our Buffy, our Scully. Not because black women or other women of color don’t enjoy those characters, but it means something to see a woman who is brown and beautiful and smart be on screen, being called “The American Dream” in a world that constantly questions your humanity. Abbie Mills held in her the hopes and possibilities of what a dark skinned black woman could be on a network sci-fi show. And it failed.

@abbiemillsamericandream is this the one you were just talking about? *runs to read*

 

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*(Editor’s Note: Yes, I’m still grieving over the loss of Abbie Mills. I will never forgive Fox for this. And I should have known better after the cancelation of Now and Again, and Firefly. I’ve been burned by Fox too many times to ever trust them again.  Abbie was one of the primary reasons I started this blog, and one of my first posts was about her existence in the genre. My statement still stands, as important as ever:

WoC like to have adventures, too.

Its so sad that the PTB, can’t see beyond the white male narratives they like, to the idea that ALL the other people who exist in this world, want to see reflections of themselves that don’t tear them down and break them up .

This is why representation behind the scenes is so incredibly important. Its extremely obvious that the white, middle class, straight men, who run these systems, cannot/will not see beyond their own whiteness. If whiteness is universal, then how hard is it to apply the universality of their emotions to other people? To understand that PoC, LGBT, Latinx, and others fantasize about many of the same things they do, (being beautiful, being powerful, loved, and special,) and make us part of the narrative as something more than ” expendable help”. But what’s really sad is, not only are our lived experiences not safe, we aren’t even allowed to have fantasies where we are safe from harm.

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Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian-Americans

Daredevil’s second season was great—except for the endless Asian stereotyping. When will the Marvel Cinematic Universe wake up?

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough to spark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas War on Terror stateside—that’s all great stuff.

The problem is all that great stuff is only half of Daredevil Season 2. There’s a whole other half that’s almost totally disconnected from the Frank Castle plot, the Nelson and Murdock law firm, and New York City politics. There’s a full 50 percent of DaredevilSeason 2 that’s total crap, and that half is the part with the ninjas. (x)

 

Why Doesn’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors for Anime Adaptations?

It’s been recently announced that Adam Wingard’s American adaptation of the popular anime/manga Death Note will be coming out on Netflix.

The news ripped the Band-Aid over the still-sore wound that the movie, produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Heroes’s Masi Oka, will star Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley. In case you couldn’t tell by the names, both actors are white. Like, very white.

Among the chorus of voices decrying the latest case of Hollywood whitewashing was Asian-American actor and Death Note fan, Edward Zo, who brought both a personal and insider perspective on the situation.

His video, Racist Hollywood?, has been seen almost 57,000 times and in it, he speaks in detail about how his excitement over news of the adaptation quickly turned to ash when he found out he wouldn’t be “the right fit.”

 

“Through the grapevine, I was told to my face that they were not looking to see Asian actors for the role of Light Yagami,” he said.

While I’m sure Wolff and Qualley are talented performers who love their families and pay their taxes, their casting further illustrates the gulf of opportunity that exists between white actors and those of other ethnicities that was called out so well by Viola Davis at last year’s Emmys. (x)

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http://www.vulture.com/2016/04/hollywood-black-actors.html_

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*(Editor’s Note : On Latinx Representation:

I feel about this issue, the same way I feel about Asian Representation in Hollywood. It is not Black People’s job to fight for other people’s representation. It is other culture’s  job to speak up and let Hollywood know they are dissatisfied with their treatment, and only they know how they would like to be depicted onscreen.

My mom has a saying, “A closed mouth does not get fed.” If Latinx people are upset about their treatment in media, they need to let the PTB know it, and why. Don’t yell at black people about it. We’re not the ones who make such decisions. Tell those who can do something about it.

Black people have enough to do fighting our own battles, we cant fight everyone else’s too. But what we can do is support Latinx/Hispanic actors and signal boost any messages Latinx want to send out into the world. If you put yourselves out there, we got your back. We can do that.)

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To that point:

anonymous asked:

I think y’all should be grateful that you get to see black actors in MCU because I’m latina and there’s literally no Latino/a characters in MCU. Like none.

 

I’m not in support of “Keep white people out of the black panther movie”  because I do not want Black Panther to be written off as just a black character IE since he’s for black people only I don’t have to empathize with him. He’s off to the side away from my favs.

No. I want black kids to feel proud and I also want white kids to grow up in an a film environment where their heroes don’t have to look like them to be heroes basically how all minorities have to watch films anyway.

I am in support of “Don’t let white people overrun the film” but a small cameo like Sam Wilson in Ant-man would be alright with me.

There are hundreds of all white movies without a single solitary character of colour. Hollywood is still erasing us from our own films; Asian people aren’t even allowed to play Asian characters. Hollywood is still portraying us as stereotypes.

We have no problems empathising with white people without seeing ourselves represented. If they’re going to write t’challa off as “just a black character” because there aren’t any prominent white people in the movie, they’re racist period point blank. There’s absolutely no reason we should keep having to accommodate whiteness when white people already have everything. Stop giving white people the impression that they absolutely need to be represented in marginalised spaces in order to empathise with people of colour. This is the type of thinking that leads to all white dystopian films where white people are the ones being oppressed.

I’m not adverse to relevant non black characters being in it (i.e. I wouldn’t mind seeing Steve or Bucky in a cameo, I’d have a blast if they showed up) but I don’t subscribe to the idea that we owe white people representation under the assumption that they won’t know how to relate to us without a white body on screen. They’re more than capable of relating to us without having to use a white body as a proxy, they just choose not to because that’s how racism works. They can deal with it just like we do in pretty much every other film.

Source:
The Bait and Switch Debate:
Remember that whole brouhaha over queer baiting, with shows constantly teasing Queer representation, without ever promising to follow through, just to keep certain shippers  watching a show (although now, they seem to have exchanged that bait and switch tactic with bait and kill). Well, this is the same thing only its called “race baiting”. It’s a common  tactic where shows claim, and sometimes even promise diversity, start those first couple of seasons with a very diverse cast, and over the years, slowly whittle out all the PoC , replacing them with white males. Heroes did it, (they were a lot more subtle about it), The Walking Dead still can’t keep any black men in its cast, and  Sleepy Hollow clumsily, stupidly, engaged in this practice.
http://www.forharriet.com/2015/02/television-networks-love-our-ratings.html#axzz48Ixk82v9
 
http://www.theblackgirltv.com/the-bait-and-switch-sleepy-hollow/
 
http://www.btchflcks.com/2015/08/the-veil-of-diversity-in-sleepy-hollow.html#.VzKCotT3arV

Ghost in the Shell #whitewashing

Every week,  Hollywood does something to make me giddy, and then they counteract that, with something that makes me wanna smack a bish! I guess they don’t want me gettin complacent.

Hollywood just refuses to learn. In their defense though, Hollywood is like the  Titanic, compared to the tugboat of TV. Think of it this way: you’re driving a Ford escort which can stop on a dime, and turn on a knife. Hollywood, the behemoth of modern media, can’t do anything quickly. Its going to take some time for the the ideas of inclusion and diversity to  trickle up to the white men who run these companies (and their investors). But that is the only (and I mean THE ONLY) excuse I’ll give them.

One of the reasons for Hollywoods inertia on these issues is also the overseas markets. The PTB continue to hold onto lots of myths about what the global market wants to see in American films. (That’s not an excuse. That’s  just lazy.) Hollywood is still being run by white men, and women, who are too old, and too out of touch with current socio-political beliefs for them to make coherent decisions about those beliefs. The problem isn’t the Oscars. The problem is the Hollywood machinery.

Well, let’s just say, I hope that’s what it is, rather than sheer, stupid, meanheaded, truculence. I proposed an idea that every time casting choices get made, that whoever made them, should be required to write a several thousand word essay, to the public and fans, on the history of whitewashing in Hollywood, and explain in detail, why they made their choice, with bibliographical references, to show they did the reading. Because they have to know what fans are asking them for, and the only reason they’re being so obtuse about it is, they really don’t get it, or they’re deliberately thumbing their nose at fans, out of sheer contempt, and as a generally positive person, I don’t want to assume malevolence, where there is none.

That said, I will not be going to see Ghost in the Shell. I love the anime and I love Scarlet Johansen, but I don’t want to see Scarlet in vehicles where she is clearly not wanted or even needed. They had at least a  dozen Asian women who would be more than happy to have played Motoko Kusanagi in this movie, but chose to give the first four primary roles listed in the credits to white people, with Japanese actors as  auxiliaries in their own movie. If you could get that many Japanese people to star in the movie, in the first place, why couldn’t you get a Japanese lead? So, in solidarity with other PoC who keep getting their nose tweaked by “The Machine”, I’m opting out.

I don’t blame Scarlet for this, any more than I blame Zoe Saldana for the Nina Simone disaster. I blame the PTB that made such awful choices, and if there was more diversity within the machinery of Hollywood, some of the long held myths Hollywood believes about the public, would be questioned and/or  debunked by those people, because this is what happens when too many people within an organization, all think alike because they all have the exact same backgrounds.

This is why we need the Star Trek ideology: IDIC -Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. We need all kinds of people behind the scenes. ALL KINDS! Not just middle class, suburban, straight, cis-gender, white men and women, who are pathologically incapable, it seems, of seeing anything beyond their own personal experiences and fantasies, or just don’t want to. I mean just count, in the past ten years alone, how many movies have been made about some guy’s all American boyhood, or his teen years looking for sex, or lusting after his hot neighbor. (Now count how many of those movies had a black, Latinx or Asian lead character. )

PoC want to be able to tell those same boring ass stories about our lives. We don’t just want to see movies about slavery and Civil Rights. Latinos don’t just want to watch movies only about immigration, or surviving gangs, and Asian people don’t want to see only movies about them knowing martial arts. (That’s what the Chinese action movie industry is for, and even they break that shit up sometimes, with romances and police procedurals.) Many Asian people are seriously pissed at the erasure in this movie and in Dr. Strange. (I feel like Dr. strange is something much more complicated than GitS, though and I’ll discuss that at a later date.)

Nobody is boycotting GitS.  Nobody has said that word. I have heard from a lot of people, that though they are fans of the original anime, they won’t be seeing this movie. I know I won’t be seeing it. I like the actress and know she will do a good job but I would’ve preferred someone else. I cannot in good conscience give them my money, as that would be encouraging Hollywood to keep doing shit like this, and they gon’ learn.

If any of my readers wish to see it, its up to you. Some people, who are unaware of the controversy, will enjoy it very much, but I would feel like I was sitting in a theatre full of the ghosts of what this movie could’ve been.

http://mic.com/articles/140911/scarlett-johansson-and-tilda-swinton-got-cast-in-asian-roles-and-people-are-pissed?utm_source=policymicTBLR&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social#.84C98tFNF

 

Addendum:

Okay, I feel like I’ve just been going on and on about Hollywood disappointments all week, and even I’m g thing tired of it, so as we don’t dwell too much in melancholia, here’s some fangirling, about shit they gettin’ right:

 

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Okay, one more for the road…no. Oh, alright!

 

 

<yaaahhhhhhhh!>

 

 

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