Why we need them
I’m gonna go way more in-depth with this later, but just some words I wanted to get off my chest.
I never could understand this feeling by many in print media, film, and other entertainment mediums why it was always felt that a product was no good without a white, male (most often straight) hero type character to be somewhere in the franchise. Whether being the main focus or being the one who helps out the woman/person of colour/lgbtq person. And with women and lgbtq, the white male hero was there to dispense advice because hey, he’s white and male and only white males know what’s good for people (unless they happen to be gay, but sometimes that includes even if they are gay).
Those types of stories are dangerous. Because they can foster an identity in different genders and races that this is the truth.
Racism and sexism is prevalent in our society; we are not yet in a post racial society, we are not yet in a society of equality. There are still things that foster this air of inequality, such as the entertainment medium. Our social media today allows us to report on the latest book or the newest movie at break neck speed. It can also display our bigotry at such incredible speeds as well. One such thing is the response to a character in the Hunger Games being black, and most of the tweets said there’d be more sympathy if the character was white. Now that was around the movie. As I myself have read, the description of Rue (the character in question), pretty much solidified that she was black (or, darker skinned). The tweeting of the lack of sympathy showed the absolute apathy and bigotry toward African Americans (or African Canadians).
We need people of colour, women of colour, women, LGBTQ authors and we need characters of the same design. Because once those authors and those characters become more prevalent in our entertainment media, then we’ll be taking a step forward. There has to be more Gail Simone’s and Dwayne McDuffie’s of the world to help bring about new and interesting ideas. With this new world of social media, marketing should be a lot easier. We should be able to inundate different sites with information about new, positive story ideas.
Instead, we’re merely being given the same, tired old stories as though the well has dried up. When a new idea does come along, it’s the most damaging and racist thing ever seen. Two examples of this are 50 Shades of Grey and the Save The Pearls series. One series paints an entire culture in such a bad, stereotypical way, while the other attempts to use reverse racism, siting that white people will be the oppressed and down trodden of the future. Amazingly, the latter won’t happen because we humans have the tendency to evolve with climate changes. As I’ve read, the plot of the book is that due to environmental damage due to over mining, over drilling and pollution, whites can’t survive as well in the new world thanks to huge holes in the ozone layer. Or something to that affect. But seriously, the book without reading it is really racist as it tries to make whites look like an oppressed minority. Which is pure fantasy.
However, enough of that.
People of colour, women of colour, women and lgbtq creators have a lot of really good ideas. We should look closely at those ideas and take them into account, instead of just brushing them aside or complaining that “the quota was already filled” (which is another statement of bullshit). Maybe if we took a look at more of their ideas, we’d have a whole lot more original entertainment to keep us going, instead of rebooting or re-imagining the same crap, over and over again.