So many times have I watched sci-fi, especially when it’s supposed to be utopian, and ask, “So, that whole part where 80-90% of humanity was wiped out in targeted ethnic violence or a mass eugenics program that CLEARLY must have happened for this group to be so white? Can we talk about that?”
Or flip-side, the dystopias where the BIG CRIME is that white people are being treated poorly, but no one mentions what happened to the POC… (still wondering what happened to the Latino folks in Hunger Games movie, and shudders with horror at their absence…)
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour? And the author never seems to realize this is what is coming out of their minds? This scrubbed whitewashed superiority etc wish?
I haven’t seen the dystopian ones though. Or at least, the distopian ones I have seen? There are white ppl being treated badly, dealing with poverty. And then there are MUTANTS or ALIENS trapped on earth or some such, and STILL no human people of colour. And it’s all the corrupt government megaconglormate’s fault; which is run by rich greedy white people.
And then I end up wondering if the poverty etc happened cause none of the poor white people want to be janitors or maids or gardeners or assembly line workers etc.
Occasionally? I have the horrible thought that all the PoC are actually the servant class robots. That there was a mass ethnic cyborgizing, cause it was easier to re-enslave electronically than create actual complex AI. And of course the cyborg/android servants just take it.
Hell even though the Matrix had PoC? I can’t get over the Animatrix explaining how the machines set up their own civilization in a desert and the humans declared war cause they just couldn’t stand having that civilization exist and be more advanced than them and create advanced products etc. And all those peeps in power declaring war and sending the world to hell? White.
It’s all damn telling.
Just like the enemies in fantasy always being brown; while white people walk around in kimonos and faux Egypt, and ride the plains like Mongolians and some NDN tribes.
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour?
Or at least, the people of color who are present are a few tokens who never shake the system… The utopia is either our complete absence or our obedience, because POC having their own in any way or form is too dangerous.
In a lot of ways, where I see the all white cast + robots, I figure they made the robots and got rid of the POC, much in the same way they constantly shifted cheap labor based on who they could get to work the hardest and survive under the worst conditions.
Reminds me of the short story “Space Traders”
Because if it really came down to it, this shit would most definitely come true.
scariest fuckers on earth
How many then went to go see “AfterEarth” in the theaters because if you didn’t then you comments are useless. If you will not support a film with us not only in the future but with a leading role then why make/reblog posts like these?
Just for the records; cause this level of ignorance (the above post by - I believe it is ‘lessonsinthecorner’, needs speaking on.
When there are SO FEW media products out there that contain PoC in leading roles, far less leading roles in SFF, that the PoC media consuming public has to be treated like a monolith; is treated like a monolith in that their personal likes and dislikes; their personal appreciation for actor and director doesn’t settle into it because SOMEHOW revolution will come from purchasing power directly and only and not from change higher up the line; not from cultural wake up calls and realizations, not from a lack of ethnocentric focus in the creators, not from a pigeon holing of WHO gets to act and direct in those few few media products?
THERE IS STILL A FUCKING PROBLEM.
People swarmed to see the first and even the second Men in Black. Do you know what that told the film companies? Make more of the same. Exactly The Same! NOT - there’s a hunger for SCIFI / Urban SCiFI with PoC possibilities.
PEOPLE SWARMED (who were in the know to hear about) ATTACK THE BLOCK. That shit has FANS. DIE HARD FANS. Have YOU heard about a follow up? If we’ll ever get a continuing story of if there are more of the aliens, of Moses’ treatment by the police once he was out of the spotlight of his neighbourhood? If there were other attacks in other parts of the world?
Did you watch Silver Hawk? I can ask you. Did you watch The Touch?
And it’d mean nothing. Because the promotion of those films was minimal in the US. And individuals may not personally have liked the actors or the style. Whereas white audiences? They get such a mixture of things. They get Galaxy Quest AND Gattica AND Solaris and Dark City AND Aliens AND The Matrix AND Cloverfield and so many many more; different styles and contexts and approaches in SciFi, so many different actors and directors and editing styles.
When PoC are still being treated as a blank single block of monolithic viewing possibilities and ALL must go and watch a SINGLE film or they ‘aren’t doing anything’ about the RAMPANT MULTI-TIERED GENERATIONALLY INSTITUTIONAL RACISM in the movie making business?
That is a fucking problem.
Also for the fucking records: Talking about it, having conversations, bringing LANGUAGE into it - that powerful thing, language; sharing information, creating, forming and maintaining COMMUNITY? Bully shit for you you find it so fucking scary you want to downplay it. BUT IT IS DOING SOMETHING.
The communication of ideas, ideology, philosophy and life NEVER HAPPENS IN A FUCKING VACUUM. The communication of the revolution? IS ALWAYS AN ACTIVE PART OF THE REVOLUTION.
The argument being made is that no one can complain about 99.9% of white racist media unless they support the .1% of POC focal media which is also made in that same environment?
I mean, let’s all remember After Earth is an M. Night Shyamalan movie and he decided to whitewash all the heroes in Avatar and turn all the villains brown AFTER deciding to do the movie because his daughter loved the fact there was a cartoon that had a heroine who looked like her.
And by a lot of reports, it’s not a very good movie either.
No. Folks can and should demand both better representation AND for white folks to stop turning all their media into narcissistic propaganda pieces.
The problem is you can’t vote with your dollar out of a capitalist system BUILT on racist to END racism.
a comment on seeing yourself in the media
Whilst still in his teens my father was sent to the UK to finish his alevels and after that go to university. At the time, during the late 50s, a turban wearing sikh boy was a rarity even in london. Utterly unsure of himself on arrival in a very very different place to Kenya the only reassurance he felt, the only thing that made him feel that everything would workout was the sight as he was driven to his lodgings of another turban wearing sikh boy walking down the street.
The only abiding memory he is left with of his arrival, the only thing that mattered in the long term was the relief and joy at seeing someone who was like him. Someone had already been on the path he was on, someone had already blazed a trail. He wasn’t entirely alone.
It is very difficult to describe to someone who isn’t an immigrant, or a decendant of immigrants, or a person of colour just how alienating life can be. We may not strive to see a face like ours whilst walking on the street but that same exictment, that same exhileration at someone like us appearing on the TV or in the cinema still exists. My siblings and i still shush everyone and point when a sikh appears on tv. Theres no rational reason for it really, we don’t feel discriminated against in our day to day lives, we aren’t persecuted by anyone.
But still. Theres one of US!. On the actual TV. Someone made it.
Our parents cling to their past by watching satellite tv channels from ‘back home’. We stare at the tv channels in the country we consider our home and point at the british programmes when someone who looks like us appears on them. Its one more step to acceptance. One further step towards belonging.
Thats why its all the more heartbreaking when we’re reduced, in the countries we consider our home, to mere backdrops. Hip ethnic enclaves where white heteronormative storylines can be played out. The problem i have with Girls is similar to the problem i (and many others) had with the movie Notting Hill. Its very location was chosen because, bluntly, its ‘real life’ ethnic mix provided an area that was/is considered fashionable and as such attaching what was a pretty straighforward lovestory to a ‘trendy location’ was commercially attractive.
the real reason i hate The Hobbit
Hollywood would never, ever, ever make a big budget movie celebrating a bunch of women who are depicted as varying degrees of short, fat, old, and plain and how important their journey and their relationships are and how they, as people, deserve everyone’s time and attention
i would love to watch that movie
but it would never happen
and if it did happen fandom would be bored
and my rage is vast
IDK if, for me, it’s as strong as “hate” but this is a big part of why I’m completely and utterly indifferent to it.
Well write a book with it in then.
It’s one thing to complain about a modern movie but when you’re hating on something that’s based on a book a good SEVENTY YEARS OLD then I don’t think that is a valid reason to hate it :/
Besides; they did have some awesome dwarven ladies in there.
One of the characteristics of social oppression is that it iscumulative, okay? So when people today decide what books to turn into movies, they’re drawing books from a pool where the lives and experiences of women and people of color have been consistently suppressed and underrepresented. Despite that, though, there are 70 year old books that aren’t just about white men! But the sexism and racism of our current world produces a selection bias.
Telling me to write my own book when I’m trying to talk about massive, ongoing social oppression and how it builds up over time is an exercise in missing the point.
Let me be clear: I’m happy for anyone who enjoyed the film! If it gave people some pleasure, I’m okay with that. I often get pleasure from narratives that are messed up. I think it’s possible to enjoy it and recognize that it’s a product of a messed up cultural industry drawing on a long sexist/white supremacist cultural legacy.
The Charming “White Male Asshole” Character On Television
“Dr. Gregory House.” “Dr. Sheldon Cooper.” “Patrick Jane.”
I won’t lie. I love these characters. They are certifiable assholes. They are memorable characters. They make me laugh. I watched every episode of House M.D. when it was on the air. I am catching up on any missed episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I’ve seen every episode of The Mentalist.
Still though…keep their behavior the same and make them White women. Still lovable? Now, make them Black women. Still lovable? (Not even close to most people.) Sexism, racism, and white privilege says no.
“But it’s just TV!” - people who refuse to think
Actually no, it’s not “just” TV. Nothing in art or media is “just” anything. This came to mind as I thought about a great essay that I read a few months ago titled The Glorification of White Crime. It mentioned:…fictional white criminals get to have a deep fanbase who loves these white criminals, receive accolades and awards, get called amazing television that portray the complexities of human nature. Viewers of these characters see past the atrocious crimes and into their humanity, a luxury that white characters always have while characters of color rarely do.
This easily applies to any type of character, truthfully, even amidst comedy and dramedy. Not only would the characters I mentioned at the start of the post not be deemed lovable, as Black women, they would no longer be deemed nuanced, complex or having an anger that is relatable. They would be reduced to being both unlovable and simplistically bitter.
… You know, and Asian people and all kind of folks you know, there was no problem with Russians you know, it’s very important that the future be hopeful and that’s what this is.”
Whoopi Goldberg on Star Trek The Original Series and on why she asked to be in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Black people see themselves in the future.
We see ourselves shining bright in the future.
After months of Psy taking the Internet, and then the world, by storm, you might think we’ve heard from all the pundits, music critics, pop-cultural commentators, and Korean-culture bloggers out there about the cultural, musical, and social significance of “Gangnam Style.”
But you’d be wrong. Because we hadn’t yet heard from Bill O’Reilly.
Now that “Gangnam Style” has broken all records for the most number of YouTube views, with 800 million watches and counting, the Fox pundit has deemed it worthy of his attention. But despite all the readily available resources to help him understand the song’s critique of modern South Korean culture, O’Reilly claims to be deeply confused.
In their five-minute assessment of the video, he and psychiatrist Keith Ablow come to the conclusion that the viral hit is just a lot of jumping up and down over a catchy beat. Both O’Reilly and Ablow roundly denounce the song as having no depth or emotion. Claiming that the song is devoid of “reality, feeling, and meaning,” they imply that “Gangnam Style” represents a need for “pure escapism.” Psy is “just doing the Pony … jumping up and down,” O’Reilly says.
O’Reilly states that the song is “without intelligible words,” and that it “doesn’t try to convince you of anything”—ignoring both the obvious fact that the words are unintelligible to himbecause they are in Korean, and the easily obtained fact that the music video is an intentional critique of South Korean materialism epitomized in the wealthy urban district of Gangnam.
The masses of listeners, O’Reilly claims, simply want to be “pushed towards a good beat that buries them in music.”
The climax of his litany of misunderstandings comes when he contrasts Psy with a handful of British and American singers:
Elvis Presley could sing. His songs had words. He put on a show. This is a little fat guy from Yongyang [sic], and he’s jumping up and down. … You could understand Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, even Justin Bieber. … There’s no comparison.
Psy, who studied at the renowned Berklee Conservatory of Music in Boston before returning to Seoul (that’s in South Korea; Pyongyang is North Korea) to pursue his career, might disagree.
Keep on keepin’ on, Bill.
in Ultimate Comics X-men all mutants in the country were offered a chance to take the cure and become baseline humans or give live in the sovereign mutant nation.
Only 20 mutants didn’t take the cure
Because those writers believe that people would give up their marginalizations at the drop of a hat.
They really do.
I mean shit, if you’re a Black mutant, not being a mutant ain’t gonna make your shit no better.
I still don’t even believe that getting cured would change anything
you think people are gonna forget you used to be a mutant?
Maybe if they up and move you to a new town, give you a new name
And ain’t that bolded the truth
Why Whites Hate Affirmative Action
Lack of knowledge on the actual policies. Very few people actually understand the original executive orders, subsequent judicial decisions and legislation beyond sound bites via “news” that is insistent upon painting this as “taking stuff” from Whites for Black people (as if it is “just” about Black people). Honesty, how many White people have reviewed the actual history of why this is needed? It’s almost as rare to find as anyone who calls themselves “patriotic” who has actually read the Constitution or a Christian who has read the Bible. Media soundbites shaped by bigotry (in a White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society) absorbed by many Whites whose life ideologies have been shaped by bigotry is not going to produce the nuance and thought necessary to understand affirmative action. (Even so, these two simple, non in-depth cartoons explain this almost as well as the complex legalese: 1 and 2.)
Anti-intellectualism. Piggybacking on the first point, the current culture of anti-intellectualism doesn’t encourage most White people (and Americans at large) to actually investigate things they are “for” or “against.” It’s much simpler to decide to be “for” anything shaped by a legacy of White supremacy and White privilege and against anything that appears to be contrary to the former. Whites are used to being a “baseline,” the “norm,” or not considered a group at all, but those whom other groups are compared to. Sociopolitically, many Whites are having a “day of reckoning” moment by even being classified as a “group,” or a “race” as Tom Scocca pointed out so well in a recent article about Romney’s overwhelming support from Whites. These factors contribute to the resistance to affirmative action.
Ahistorical views on race. If a White person takes the “why isn’t there a White history month” and “why isn’t there a White Entertainment Television station” stances on Whites and the media, it can be safely assumed that they are either uneducated or being willfully ignorant about the role of race in America and why certain spaces exist for Black people amidst the media, public discourse and culture itself. By pretending that the tide of history has no racial element, they can then infer that if everyone “is equal” (as if being equal means being treated equally) Black people are “unfairly” getting “goodies” through affirmative action. This also ignores the fact that even with said theoretical ”goodies,” unemployment, health care, finances, real estate, and more is markedly worse for Black people (and other people of colour) versus White. The latter is written off as Black “character failures” in the ever so common victim blaming ideologies such as American “exceptionalism” and even “patriotism” at times. This is where LIES about “poverty culture” come about as a way to praise greed, wealth and Whiteness and demonize suffering, poverty and Blackness.
The concept of what “greatness” is. The inherent racism involved in assuming that someone White is always “more” qualified, as if being White is a skill itself, is common in everything from college admissions to employment applications. The idea is that some “stupid” minority “stole” a slot from the perfect White knight on a horse who deserved things because he “worked” for them prevails. Further, the idea that perhaps a series of advantages afforded by White privilege is “hard work” would be even more humorous if it wasn’t despicable. Said privileges often place Whites ahead in spaces by sheer virtue of the luxury of Whiteness, not any actual work. The myth of meritocracy is a plague on the American psyche. (Christopher Hayes wrote about this oh too well in his book Twilight Of The Elites - America After Meritocracy. Also, I recently read a fascinating study about the REALITY of financial aid versus the myth that “stupid” minorities “take all of the college monies,” and other assorted lies.)
A zero/sum view of racism. Ultimately, many Whites feel that any joy, success or progress in Black life means misery, failure and regression in White life. Period. This tunnel vision view is rooted in racism and fear. Research has revealed that many cisgender heterosexual White men feel like the “real” victims in America. Even if they are victims, would that not be at the hands of men just like them, except of a higher social class? Not to them. Racist social narratives involve the worship of “job creators” (the same ones who fire these men) as heroes because after all, they share Whiteness even if they don’t share class, status or cash. Other research has revealed that while some Whites view past times (during and pre-Civil Rights era) as a time more racist against Blacks, they view today as “more racist” against Whites. Of course this is false and has more to do with the idea of some Black people not suffering and Barack Obama’s existence more than any in-depth study of how race is a primary factor to consider when examining socioeconomic status. The enlightened exceptionalism involved in some who even choose to praise Oprah or Beyonce or LeBron James is what allows them to pretend that life for the average and for most Black people has dramatically changed, when for many, it has not. Claims of “reverse racism,” which doesn’t exist, are more common now than ever.
People who benefit from affirmative action also want it destroyed. While more than anyone else, White women have benefited from affirmative action, many of them stand with White men against affirmative action while simultaneously benefiting from it. Most people now know the name Abigail Fisher and know it well. Further, many older Black people (primarily men from what I’ve seen) want it dismantled despite the fact they benefited from it in the past. They clearly knew that in their time especially, being qualified was not enough. Assumed inferiority blocked their way.
Yellow Face and Orientalism in the Media: Controlling What it Means to be Asian
[Inspired by my Amplify associate, Karachi, and her post on Blackface, Slurs and Appropriation]
Yellow Face isn’t just the mere inauthenticity and a failure of aesthetics of white people dressing up, wearing make up, trying to be Asian, and/or playing the roles of Asians. No, it’s definitely more insidious and problematic than that. It is systematic racism and discrimination, refusing to hire Asians or forcing them to play as villains, or when they receive a major role, it is typically a stereotypical one (i.e., martial arts, ‘wise man’, ‘dragon lady’, etc). It simulates a crude idea of what ‘Asians’ look like, all the while perpetuating terrible stereotypes, controlling what it means to be Asian whether it’s in person, on the stage, or on screen.
Orientalism: It’s a dichotomy created by the ‘West,’ it builds a view of the ‘East’ along with many elements of this culture that becomes obscured and exotic. Making a whole group of people seen as something monolithic, creating an erasure of actual identities.
I’m not even going to try to bother with getting too in-depth about the obvious cultural appropriation, ethnocentrism, and orientalism (not too much at least). I’m not going to go into Yellow Face on stage, in whitewashing (too much), in Europe, nor will I take the time to go through political caricatures of Asians throughout history. [Not that it’s less important or there’s a lack of evidence.] These following examples and history checks should do enough for now in getting my point across. (Please find a friend in Google if you really want to educate yourself though! Thank you!)
So, why did Yellowface occur? Was there a shortage of Asian people to play these Asian roles during the times this practice was most rampant (19th and 20th century)?
Meet Sessue Hayakawa (Born 1889-Death 1973), the first Asian American leading actor. He was one of the highest paid actors of his time. His talents were definitely recognized by Paramount Pictures and was even considered a sex icon. But despite all of this, he still met discrimination and racism everywhere he went. He was always forced to either play “the exotic villain” or “the exotic lover.” He waited for his turn to be casted as a hero of color, but it never came.
This is Anna May Wong (1905-1961). During the 1920s-1930s, Anna was given many different roles as a contracted Paramount Pictures actress, but they were always either as a “dragon lady” or a “butterfly lady.” Despite all of that, she was still a household name and was considered a fashion icon.
She was the top contender for the leading role of O-Lan, a Chinese heroine for the movie The Good Earth (1937) by MGM, but that role was later given to Luise Rainer (definitely not Asian). MGM went to her and tried to give her another role for a film called Lotus, but it meant that she had to be the villain again, so she turned it down and left for Europe for more opportunities and eventually went back to Paramount Pictures.
Say hello to Philip Ahn (1905-1973). For the film, Anything Goes, Ahn was initially rejected by the director, Lewis Milestone, because—I shit you not, he said this to Philip Ahn—he thought Philip’s “English was too good for the part.” During World War II, Philip Ahn was often forced to play roles of Japanese villains. He even received death threats because people thought he was actually Japanese.
Other Asian actors/actresses: Barbara Jean Wong, Fely Franquelli, Benson Fong, Chester Gan, Honorable Wu, Kam Tong, Keye Luke, Layne Tom Jr., Maurice Liu, Philip Ahn, Richard Loo, Lotus Long, Rudy Robles, Suzanna Kim, Teru Shimada, Willie Fung, Victor Sen Yung, Toshia Mori and Wing Foo.
Merle Oberon can also be added to the list, although she was part white/part Asian. She had to lie about her origins and applied whitening make up to pass as fully white. Other Asian actors and actresses: Jack Soo, Pat Morita, Mako, Bruce Lee, Lucy Liu, Margaret Cho, B.D. Wong, Amy Hill, Jennie Kwan, Masi Oka, James Lee, Ming Na, Daniel Dae Kim, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Charlyne Yi, Miyoshi Umeki, Shin Koyamada, John Cho, Brenda Song, and George Takei. Click on this link to see a hundred more.
After going through the list, ask yourself why the majority of the actors and actresses here are either in some martial arts movies or some other stereotypical crap?
TL;DR this section: There definitely wasn’t a shortage of Asian American actors and actresses. And there still isn’t.
Very Few Examples (of Very Many) of Yellowface in History:
Nil Ashter as General Yen from The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
What Nils Ashter really looked like:
Harold Huber as Ito Takimura in Little Tokyo, USA (1942)
Interestingly enough, everyone who was a “bad guy” in this was portrayed as Japanese. Even more interesting, this was around the same time Japanese Internment Camps were happening.
What Harold Huber really looked like:
Katharine Hepburn as Jade Tan in in Dragon Seed (1944)
Katharine Hepburn just a few years after Dragon Seed:
Jennifer Jones as Dr. Han Suyin in Love is a Many Splendored-Thing (1955)
Another interesting concept found in this movie. “BEING WITH ASIAN WOMEN IS SO HOT AND EXOTIC. LET’S FETISHIZE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.” Yup.
What Jennifer Jones actually looks like:
John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror (1956)
John Wayne, y’all:
Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Mickey Rooney at that time:
Joel Grey as Chiun (Kung Fu Master, everyone—on the left) in Remo Williams (1985)
What Joel Grey really looked like:
Other cases I haven’t really taken the time to cover: Charlie Chan Series (Actors who played as Charlie Chan from 1931-1981: Warner Oland, Sidney Toler, Roland Winters, Peter Ustinov) Fu Manchu, Madame Butterfly, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Shanghai Express, The Manchurian Candidate, Sayonara, Mr. Moto Series, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Short Circuit (1986 & 1988), The Party, Gunga Din, Broken Blossoms, The Year of Living Dangerously, etc.
I mean, I guess you could say, “But those movies were decades ago!”
Alex Borstein as Ms. Swan.
Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu (2007)
(Other actors who played the role of Fu Manchu starting from the 1920s up ‘til now: H. Agar Lyons, Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Harry Brannon, Christopher Lee, and Peter Sellers)
Christopher Walken as Feng (2007)
Rob Schneider as Asian Minister in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)
M. Night’s The Last Airbender (2010)
Well, the show was based on Asian and Inuit culture. But just look at the casting. The three protagonists are all light skinned while Zuko (played by Dev Patel in the movie) is dark skinned, and by default in this movie, the bad guy. Someone please just remake this movie. Please.
British Actor, Jim Sturgess, (rocking bad eye prosthetics) playing as a Korean in Cloud Atlas (2012)
Like I said - I continue to refuse to support media businesses which overtly show you they’re totally about segregation era- hiring practices - because how much more obvious can it get than…
“We wanted an asian character, but we hired a white person, and even though we say it’s about acting chops MORE THAN APPEARANCE, we decided to dress them up to LOOK ASIAN, so in reality what we’re saying is we wanted someone who ‘looked asian’ but we were too damn racist to consider giving that money to an actual asian so instead we spent lots of money on make up and CGI to instead, so that tells you how much money we’re willing to drop to make sure we don’t accidentally give any Asian actors a paycheck.”
"Apparently, to newscasters, Blacks vote for Obama because he’s Black. But Whites vote for Obama because of his policies."
IKR but when white ppl vote for someone because their white, which is all the time, that’s totes ok!
Tel aviviwood at work - Watch Israeli propaganda in action. They posted a pic in their media of a so-called ‘Israeli woman hiding in a bomb shelter from Palestinian rockets’ - but in truth it was a photoshopped picture of a woman in the Philippines protecting her child presumably from the floods.
Can’t even say I’m surprised …
Brown bodies and suffering still up for grabs for other people’s benefit.
I mean, was it too hard to stage a photo of their own?
Was there someone who said, “No, no, wait, there’s gotta be a way we can exploit someone ELSE in the process and make the circle complete?”
Dear any POC on tumblr who blogs about television and/or fandoms
If anyone gives you the whole “If you want shit to change in media become a director or writer and change it” bullshit
Show them this
Heres a little quote,
“In this day and age, it’s quite disappointing that so many shows failed to hire even a single woman or minority director during the course of an entire season — even shows whose cast and crew is notably diverse, Barclay noted. “And, ‘We just don’t know anybody’ doesn’t cut it anymore — the pool of talented and experienced women and minority directors grows every year, and too many of these qualified, capable directors are still overlooked.”
This is from the Directors Guild of America basically saying that there a DROVES AND DROVES of women, women of color, men of color all different types of brown people, WHO ARE TALENTED AND EXPERIENCED who do NOT get hired.
Don’t want to believe the LA Times? It’s right there. From the horses mouth.
So please. When people give you that
- Go make some media if you don’t feel represented
- There probably aren’t that many POC making media
- They want to find the best people and they just so happened to be white
TELL THEM TO READ THIS AND GO FUCK THEMSELVES.
(Source: , via sourcedumal)
What if I told you that just because you don’t think of yourself as racist, you can still internalize racist attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs?
The question of whitewashing in our media is a brilliant one: it is in fact racist to use other people’s cultural practices, symbols, food, and clothing as if it were a backdrop to make your show ‘badass’, while never including any people actually of that culture.
Firefly does this.
It is not racist to ask, given how much of the show purports to be about Chinese people, where exactly the Chinese (or Chinese-American, or Asian-American) people are. So lemme get this straight, China beat everybody in the Space race and then disappeared and so… white people?
Well, that’s an interesting way to rearticulate American fears of the Chinese Other, erasure of that Other, and incorporation of ‘safe’, ‘nonthreatening’ elements of Otherness.
It’s also racist.
It’s part of systemic racism - as a system, racism depends on people to keep it going. Individual people don’t need to do much to keep it alive. They just need to buy into the idea that white = the default race, that Otherness is polluting and therefore in need of erasure or control, and that this is Just The Way It Is. They also need to buy into the notion that speaking out against these things - from the genocide through to the ‘little’ things like whitewashing in the media - is somehow wrong in itself, a betrayal from fellow white people, and complaining from the PoC being erased or whitewashed.
You don’t have to do much to participate or benefit from this system, and you don’t even have to think about it - in fact, I’m beginning to suspect, the less you think about it, the better it works, because you won’t see what’s going on in front of you, on your television, in your news, on your YouTube.
I used to defend shows like Firefly, and participated in the convoluted logic that if people didn’t like the Chinese elements in the show, they were racists. I believed my white friends who pushed this logic. It took a long time - and a lot of fights with those friends, actually, before I realized where the racism in such a sentiment is:
It’s predicated on the notion that Otherness is pollution. Let me be more direct:
It’s built on the idea that nonwhite people and even their culture are polluting.
That’s internalized racism hard at work, trying to cloak itself in the vestiges of Otherness.
When white media tries to use mixed-white POC characters as symbols of racial tolerance and kumbayah peaceful happytimes from historical contexts of colonization, slavery, and rape….