So, I’m Ryan, an artist/animator/musician, and this is my plane of existence.
I’m a science fiction fanatic, a punk rocker, a comic book geek (particularly DC), a film buff, a video game player, and just a mediaphile in general. I’m always looking for new bands to listen to, movies to see, comics to read, and games to play, so suggestions are always welcome!
Also, Green must be my favorite color or something, because my favorite superhero is Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and my favorite band is Green Day.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are Jewish and you are in France
save yourself and get out
if you are Jewish and Roma in Europe, arm yourself and flee. You going to be forced to defend yourselves real soon.
This world continues to make me more sick day by day.
HAVE WE SERIOUSLY LEARNED NOTHING FROM FUCKING HISTORY?
A GOOD PART OF THE WORLD IS IN CIVIL WAR WITH GROUPS TRYING TO FORM A BRUTAL ISLAMIC STATE AND NOW IT SEEMS LIKE WE’RE SETTING UP FOR ANOTHER GENOCIDE
FUCKING WW3 IS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE PEOPLE CANT LEAEN FROM THE MISTAKES PEOPLE MADE YEARS AGO. WE CANNOT AFFORD A ANOTHER WORLD WAR.
I AM SO PISSED OFF
As someone who is Jewish born myself, I am legitimately afraid of entering most of Europe right now…
"Tiger Lily Doesn’t Equal Human Torch" plus a very long rant
The other day I posted this tweet:
"Wait they cast a white chick for Tiger Lily in the new Peter Pan? Did they not remember Lone Ranger last year? Or, you know, racism?"
(If you didn’t hear, Rooney Mara is supposedly playing Tiger Lily, who is a princess of the “Native” tribe, in the reboot.)
I got tons of Tweets agreeing with me, and then a lot of Tweets like this as well:
"I agree they shouldn’t screw around with classic characters. Oh wait they cast a Black Guy as Human Torch."
"Are you actually retarded? Black men were cast to play Heimdall and the Human Torch, why aren’t you complaining about that?"
Well, no sir, I’m not “retarded.” Thanks for asking. But from the general tone of the responses (most were civil, for the record), seems like there are lot people upset about black people replacing white people in the Marvel Universe. And they consider that issue a valid counter-argument to my comment about Tiger Lily’s casting. (I guess because they think both have “changing canon” in common?)
I’d like to clear up some stuff here, especially with regards to my initial tweet:
I am not upset about Tiger Lily, a role originally written for a Native American female character in the book, being cast as white because it upsets the canon. Screw canon. I am upset about a role that was expressly written as a female minority being given to white actor instead. And here is why.
Most lead characters and lead actors of movies are white. Period. I even dug up a recent study to back that up, like this is some fucking term paper or something: Across 100 top-grossing films of 2012, only 10.8% of speaking characters were Black, 4.2% were Hispanic, 5% were Asian, and 3.6% were from other (or mixed race) ethnicities. Just over three-quarters of all speaking characters are White (76.3%).
(In referring to “speaking characters”, I also assume that’s counting judges and store clerks and taxi drivers with just a line or two. You see a lot of casting stick minority characters to check the boxes of “yeah, we had diversity, look!” So we’re not even talking about opportunities to carry the whole movie here.)
Another thing to note from the study: “These trends are relatively stable, as little deviation is observed across the 5-year sample.” Gee, no movement towards reflecting the country or world we live in! Fantastic.
Bottom line, actors of ethnicity don’t get a lot of work to begin with. And that very fact creates a scarcity in the number of actors of different ethnicities to choose from when casting. It’s a chicken and the egg syndrome. In what instance can you point out a role where a Native American actress has a chance to be a lead in any movie? Almost none. So why chase a dream that doesn’t seem like it could come true, because the system would never allow it?
It’s a self-perpetuating reality we live with, so the only way to change it is to break the norm, and cast more leading characters with more diversity. At the very least give roles that are intended to be ethnically diverse to ethnically diverse actors, I mean, BARE MINIMUM, PEOPLE.
So for me, the opportunity to give a leading role that could be a Native American, a possible protagonist role that the audience could relate to and live the story through, to a white actor, is kind of shitty and backwards to me. And that’s why I posted my initial tweet.
To compare Tiger Lily being cast as a white women to Human Torch or Heimdall being cast as an African-American is not equivalent, because I don’t think this issue is about violating or adhereing to “lore,” I think it’s about providing more representation. And that’s why I think that the Human Torch being cast as African-American is an awesome thing, because that move evolves Hollywood and storytelling and the Marvel universe.
Remember in the past, lead characters were most likely written as white in the first place, because they were created in an even more white-centric world. Fantastic Four debuted in 1961, segregation was outlawed in 1964. You can’t say that the culture at large at the time didn’t influence the creator’s choices when making these characters! Fast forward fifty years, the culture at large NOW doesn’t match up with the lore from before, and we should be open to changing it.
Tiger Lily, in the book, is actually portrayed in an EXTREMELY racist way. But hey, it could be a great opportunity to re-invent the character as a Native American to be proud of, rather than dodge the issue entirely, and take the role away and give it to a white woman.
Why NOT re-imagine Tiger Lily so that the audience can fall in love with and admire a woman of color? Or reimagine a superhero as an African-American, one among a TON of white ones we see every day? Let’s show the audience that they can live through anyone’s eyes!
We have to make an effort to change the pattern of only seeing stories through white characters’ points of view, so that in the future, diverse protagonists are just a given. So that we can have heroes and villians and judges and love interests of all backgrounds, and not have to point it out as “look how special this is!” Evolving stories and lore is a GOOD THING FOR OUR WORLD.
And bottom line, if you feel so disenfranchised by one role out of TONS of roles being changed up ethnically, if you are saying you can’t possibly relate to a character who is another race from you, well, I think that’s more a problem of your own than anything else. But don’t worry, the stastics say you’ll have lots of other entertainment for your point of view to choose from. Around 75%, actually. Hooray, I guess? :/
So yeah, I guess that’s my expansion on my previous 140 character Tweet, haha. Happy weekend!
white feminists want us to watch frozen because it was created by a woman and has a white female lead (and white everything else) but wanted us to boycott pacific rim because it didnt pass the bechedel test, despite having a woman of color as a lead with a developed, fleshed out story and several other poc characters. shit’s buckwild
created by a *white woman
We should probably watch both then. Let’s watch both.
Wait, who the fuck said anything about boycotting Pacific Rim? Fuck that, a movie doesn’t have to pass the Bechedel test to have awesome female characters, especially when it has a badass WOC lead.
My issue with the Bechedel Test bashing is that there’s no reason Mako and Alexis couldn’t have exchanged lines. Just established a connection between the women. For a movie built on the different kinds of connections between people, it’s frustrating there isn’t a female one in the movie at all. So while it’s dumb to boycott it, there’s still a strong issue with isolating Mako.
100% agree with Beat here. Just because a movie has problems doesn’t mean it isn’t a good movie. But also, a movie being good DOES NOT EXCUSE it’s blatant problems, especially when they are problems of representation. I haven’t seen Frozen yet (obviously), but it seems worth seeing, and Pacific Rim was DEFINITELY worth seeing. That said, they both clearly have social issues that should be discussed, as we’ve said.
the reason I’ve stopped saying “most men/some white people/many straight people do X oppressive activity” is because if you’re a member of those groups, I want you to sit there and think, “do I do X? am I a part of that? am I an active part of the problem?”
if I say that only most or some people in those groups participates in X, that’s letting you off the hook! that means that you’re not asked to think about your actions and choices!
and besides, even if you yourself aren’t doing X, chances are you know at least five people who do. and I want you to think about them too.
bronies make me so fucking angry
how dare you co-opt a show for little girls and make their fandom unsafe by pornifying and sexualising goddamn cartoon ponies when you’re the exact type of dudes to turn round and call some teenage girl an attention-seeking fake nerd slut for enjoying ‘male’ things like video games or comic books?
actually fucking die you disgusting perverted assholes
This is a jar full of major characters
Actually it is a jar full of chocolate covered raisins on top of a dirty TV tray. But pretend the raisins are interesting and well rounded fictional characters with significant roles in their stories.
We’re sharing these raisins at a party for Western Storytelling, so we get out two bowls.
Then we start filling the bowls. And at first we only fill the one on the left.
This doesn’t last forever though. Eventually we do start putting raisins in the bowl on the right. But for every raisin we put in the bowl on the right, we just keep adding to the bowl on the left.
And the thing about these bowls is, they don’t ever reset. We don’t get to empty them and start over. While we might lose some raisins to lost records or the stories becoming unpopular, but we never get to just restart. So even when we start putting raisins in the bowl on the right, we’re still way behind from the bowl on the left.
And time goes on and the bowl on the left gets raisins much faster than the bowl on the right.
Until these are the bowls.
Now you get to move and distribute more raisins. You can add raisins or take away raisins entirely, or you can move them from one bowl to the other.
This is the bowl on the left. I might have changed the number of raisins from one picture to the next. Can you tell me, did I add or remove raisins? How many? Did I leave the number the same?
You can’t tell for certain, can you? Adding or removing a raisin over here doesn’t seem to make much of a change to this bowl.
This is the bowl on the right. I might have changed the number of raisins from one picture to the next. Can you tell me, did I add or remove raisins? How many? Did I leave the number the same?
When there are so few raisins to start, any change made is really easy to spot, and makes a really significant difference.
This is why it is bad, even despicable, to take a character who was originally a character of color and make them white. But why it can be positive to take a character who was originally white and make them a character of color.
The white characters bowl is already so full that any change in number is almost meaningless (and is bound to be undone in mere minutes anyway, with the amount of new story creation going on), while the characters of color bowl changes hugely with each addition or subtraction, and any subtraction is a major loss.
This is also something to take in consideration when creating new characters. When you create a white character you have already, by the context of the larger culture, created a character with at least one feature that is not going to make a difference to the narratives at large. But every time you create a new character of color, you are changing something in our world.
I mean, imagine your party guests arrive
Oh my god they are adorable!
And they see their bowls
But before you hand them out you look right into the little black girls’s eyes and take two of her seven raisins and put them in the little white girl’s bowl.
I think she’d be totally justified in crying or leaving and yelling at you. Because how could you do that to a little girl? You were already giving the white girl so much more, and her so little, why would you do that? How could you justify yourself?
But on the other hand if you took two raisins from the white girl’s bowl and moved them over to the black girl’s bowl and the white girl looked at her bowl still full to the brim and decided your moving those raisins was unfair and she stomped and cried and yelled, well then she is a spoiled and entitled brat.
And if you are adding new raisins, it seems more important to add them to the bowl on the right. I mean, even if we added the both bowls at the same speed from now on (and we don’t) it would still take a long time before the numbers got big enough to make the difference we’ve already established insignificant.
And that’s the difference between whitewashing POC characters and making previously white characters POC. And that’s why every time a character’s race is ambiguous and we make them white, we’ve lost an opportunity.
*goes off to eat her chocolate covered raisins, which are no longer metaphors just snacks*
Why not apply this sort of logic to something slightly more substantive? There are a lot of poor, starving people in the world, so why don’t we start killing well-off white people and redistributing their food and other resources to the more impoverished.
Sounds about right on paper, don’t you think? There are so many well off white people that just looking at a picture of them all, you couldn’t possibly notice the difference before and after. But looking at the same before and after picture of well off people of color could really make a difference. And really, isn’t it worth it to sacrifice a few white people to make things more equal?
People aren’t chocolate-covered raisins, they aren’t interchangeable, they all have unique value. White people are disproportionately wealthy compared to people of color. But correcting this forcibly for the sake of fairness, isn’t fair at all. All it does is satisfy some guilty or selfish notion of immediate satisfaction.
Actual equality is hard, it takes time and it takes opportunity and it takes a lot of drive and determination. Taking a shortcut just undervalues its worth.
Stories and the characters within them are the same, they’re all unique and all possessing of value. It might be easy to say they need to be changed for the sake of fairness, particularly since unlike actual people they can’t object for themselves. But it isn’t actually fair, and it isn’t actually an intelligent solution to a problem. All it does is cauterize the wound, it’s a simple solution for someone without the ability to do any better, and in the end it is far more painful than it needed to be and leaves a terrible scar.
Make new characters. Make new versions of interpretable characters. Make new stories. Stop trying to take the easy way out and do it the right way. It might be hard, but it is worth it.
OMG look at this person seeing a post about being more inclusive and proportionate in media representation and asking “How is that different from MURDERING WHITE PEOPLE”?
Check yourself, buddy. (And the comparison in your metaphor wouldn’t be raisins to people anyway. You are terrible at analogies. The apt metaphor would be raisins to food - And I am all in favor of distributing food to the hungry, as should be any decent human)
"Actual equality is hard, it takes time and it takes opportunity and it takes a lot of drive and determination. Taking a shortcut just undervalues its worth."
What the fucking hell, you shouldn’t have to fucking earn equality. That is the whole point is that it should just be innate. Did white people “earn” their place then? OR DID THEY MAYBE TAKE A SHORTCUT ON THE BODIES OF PEOPLE OF COLOR.
And the real difference here is that making modern adaptation of old stories more diverse costs white people nothing. It doesn’t hurt them at all. It honestly would serve white people (including myself) to see more POC in the roles they have grown up loving. It’s a service to their intelligence, empathy, and humanity.
Everyone benefits from a more equal world.
"Make new characters. Make new versions of interpretable characters. Make new stories." This was literally what the post was calling for? New characters, new stories, and new POC versions of old ones? Did you think I was asking us to burn down the MPAA Archive or something? What made you feel so threatened by the incredibly adorable raisin metaphor for equal representation? You should really look into what makes you see such threatening things in an innocuous post, because it’s probably a fear of actual equality.