The pandering is getting old.



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Launchpad

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Writers need to focus more on writing interesting stories and making good art. Tons of energy is being wasted on being the least offensive, and most inclusive. There's got to be a gay character, a black character in a wheelchair, and a transgender otherkin grandmother, but none of them are part of the thesis, right? They're just added to seem progressive, but it's not. It's completely hollow. If a story that pops into your head happens to involve a minority or underutilized demographic in fiction, that's one thing, but more often than not, it seems completely tagged on.

Not going to post any examples to avoid flame wars. Does anyone agree or disagree? Holler at me.
 

Dentim

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What are you saying exactly? That if you're story isn't about, for example homophobia or gay pride or whatever, gay people shouldn't be in it at all? Because that's how it's coming off to me and honestly dude, that just seems very wrong. (Then again could just be me. It's early)
 

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i'd love to see this overwhelming mass of stories that are being too inclusive in your eyes. because where i'm standing it's still more or less the exact same overwhelmingly white, straight male dominated stories. and i wish that pandering would end because talk about dull.
 

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A controversial example to get a fire under everyone's booty would be the whole gay Dumbledore situation. I feel as though gay Dumbledore was a retroactive decision that had no bearing on the character and was a completely lazy way to seem progressive.

Meanwhile, in a more recent show, Steven Universe has several 'gay' characters in it. (I know the gems aren't human, but they all use female pronouns and they're pretty much women, c'mon guys) With Pearl, Ruby, and Sapphire, it all seems natural. It's a naturally implemented part of the characters' make-up, and it comes into play every now and then without feeling tacked-on or pointless. It's a great example imo because it's pretty revolutionary for children's television.

Outside of sexuality or gender, there's race, of course. Recently there was a whole crazy thing about black Peter Parker. Making Peter Parker black isn't an interesting STORY choice, it's just pandering. Meanwhile, there's ALREADY A BLACK SPIDER MAN. Miles Morales is black and he's got tons of great stories. Peter Parker's skin has no bearing on a story, changing it on an established character isn't impressive, it's frivolous.

My point is, people should just write good stories instead of focusing on how to be super inclusive and get the most attention for how 'progressive' they are.

EDIT: My issue isn't that things are 'too inclusive'. It's that the entire motive is inclusiveness instead of writing something decent. Please read carefully before shit-slinging, we're in intelligent discussion.
 

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EDIT: My issue isn't that things are 'too inclusive'. It's that the entire motive is inclusiveness instead of writing something decent. Please read carefully before shit-slinging, we're in intelligent discussion.
I did read carefully, you just didn't make your point all that clear until this second post going into your examples >_>

I'm not sure how you discern when someone's intent is to pander, or get attention for being progressive, and when it is to write a decent story though. I mean being mindful of being inclusive and writing a decent story aren't mutually exclusive either after all. I am almost positive, for example, that the people behind Steven Universe are very mindful of being inclusive and being progressive. It was likely that mindfulness that lead to the strong end result we see now, because it was something tied into the very fabric of the show itself. If they didn't care about those things, the show would probably be lesser for it, if they focused just on writing a story and not about the messages they were sending and the like.

If Peter Parker's skin has no bearing on the story, then why does he have to be white?

I don't think Dumbledore was done as a way to seem progressive. I think J.K. Rowling answered honestly about that. That isn't the same to say that the way she handled it was good mind you. And you'll find a lot of people critical of it.

Honestly, I think this is less of a case of pandering or trying to be inclusive being bad or whatever, and more of a case of what makes representation good and strong and what makes it weak.

Dumbledore was bad because it was shit representation. Steven Universe is good because it's strong representation.
 

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I'm not sure how you discern when someone's intent is to pander, or get attention for being progressive, and when it is to write a decent story though. I mean being mindful of being inclusive and writing a decent story aren't mutually exclusive either after all. I am almost positive, for example, that the people behind Steven Universe are very mindful of being inclusive and being progressive.
Word, and they've said as much. A good set of creators can be mindfully inclusive and create a fictional world where that's organic. Like the real world. where it's happening.

If Peter Parker's skin has no bearing on the story, then why does he have to be white?
Exactly, and there are way too many white people dominating roles/characters in fiction. Representation is definitely important, and if you don't feel that way it's probably because you're widely represented? The action, it reasons to say, is to be more mindful of it and create more diversity - or, change pre-existing spaces and alter the canon with new interpretations that can add more depth. And your example? Are you kidding me? Miles Morales was created, mindfully, to add a black spiderman to the canon as a direct result of Donald Glover campaigning for the role in the reboot and because of the fact that we'd gotten a black president.

And to counter that, we don't live in a society where people have gotten over race. So you don't see the merit in turning Peter Parker black, adding a layer to him being a nerdy orphan in queens obsessed with science and photography and becoming an alternative path to justice in the face of an oppressive authority system? You really don't think that would be an interesting interpretation of the character?

Like, he's been turned into a white guy three times. Why would it be so bad to have him be played by a black guy once?

I don't think Dumbledore was done as a way to seem progressive. I think J.K. Rowling answered honestly about that. That isn't the same to say that the way she handled it was good mind you. And you'll find a lot of people critical of it.
I'm definitely critical of it, but I don't think it was an afterthought as she said it immediately after the 7th book came out. The 7th book is absolutely dripping with subtext about how Dumbledore loved Grindelwald, and because of that she was asked about it at a signing and that's when she outed him. It wasn't a press release she did for buzzfeed, it was a launch event in '07. She'd been giving notes to the screenwriters for years prior that Dumbledore was gay so they'd stop trying to include a line about him mooning over a girl in his youth.

Honestly, I think this is less of a case of pandering or trying to be inclusive being bad or whatever, and more of a case of what makes representation good and strong and what makes it weak.

Dumbledore was bad because it was shit representation. Steven Universe is good because it's strong representation.
Again, I agree, and I think this is the kind of argument that should be made instead of white straight boys rolling their eyes every time someone mentions representation. (I don't know if Launchpad is a white straight boy, this is about society as a whole)

But ultimately this is a forum for a disney game, so idk if any of this would be read by anyone and seriously thought about
 

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Uh spiders are all kinds of different colors so what does it even matter lol

I understand what you're saying, but the straight white male demographic is the most overrepresented in all times of media, no one should really mind if they add some variety.
 

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Get mad at people for writing in bad characters, not for writing characters who are minorities.

Including them is hollow? Only include them if they automatically pop in your head? What utter nonsense, and a complete misrepresentation of how the creative process works. There is absolutely nothing wrong with including characters from other groups for the sake of including them. The only thing that matters is whether the characters themselves are good.

There are literally no legitimate examples of "shoehorned" diversity hurting a story that doesn't also include, "the character is poorly written as well."
 

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I don't care, to be honest. The only time when a minority really is shoehorned in is when the story starts actively and blatantly pushing some kind of agenda, even when the plot itself has nothing to do with such themes. Otherwise, who really cares? If they can play their role well, then so be it.

The only thing that pisses me off more than shoehorning is when people start screaming "racism!" "sexism!" or "discrimination!" when there is none. Those kinds of people are the reason why so many don't take reasonable and realistic equality movements seriously anymore. :/
 

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Nyangoro hit the nail on the head. The problem is with the bad writing, not the inclusion of minority characters. Real life is full of diversity. Why should this not be reflected in art and entertainment? It's not pandering. American movies and TV-shows in particular have traditionally been pretty whitewashed until recently. The only ones who seem to be upset by the sudden inclusion of minorities are white people who wonder where their all-white America has gone. Usually the same kind of people who get upset when someone says happy holidays instead of merry xmas too.

That being said, a show should not be criticised for not representing every single minority group within the main cast either.

Look at Girls for example;
1) The show takes place in New York, yet had no people of colour in it at first. This was fair criticism and later seasons featured a more diverse cast of extras and minor characters.
2) On the other hand, some people wanted the main cast to be more diverse. That's not fair criticism. In the real world, people don't always hang out with people of every colour and cultural background. Birds of a feather and all that.

It's no different from Empire exclusively having a black main cast, but of course they have to include all kinds of people as extras and minor characters because otherwise it just wouldn't represent the real world.
 

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Nyangoro hit the nail on the head. The problem is with the bad writing, not the inclusion of minority characters. Real life is full of diversity. Why should this not be reflected in art and entertainment? It's not pandering. American movies and TV-shows in particular have traditionally been pretty whitewashed until recently. The only ones who seem to be upset by the sudden inclusion of minorities are white people who wonder where their all-white America has gone. Usually the same kind of people who get upset when someone says happy holidays instead of merry xmas too.

That being said, a show should not be criticised for not representing every single minority group within the main cast either.

Look at Girls for example;
1) The show takes place in New York, yet had no people of colour in it at first. This was fair criticism and later seasons featured a more diverse cast of extras and minor characters.
2) On the other hand, some people wanted the main cast to be more diverse. That's not fair criticism. In the real world, people don't always hang out with people of every colour and cultural background. Birds of a feather and all that.

It's no different from Empire exclusively having a black main cast, but of course they have to include all kinds of people as extras and minor characters because otherwise it just wouldn't represent the real world.
I agree with your other points (Fresh Prince was another good example too) but lmao, you're just fucking wrong there man. It's fine if you want to say it during the whole month of December fine, you sound like another boring bland cog in the machine the government is programming you for but that's your choice to do that (remember that grey blob OddParents episode on Nickelodeon?) No what's just most wrong with that is when people say it on the actual day of Christmas. It's a national fucking holiday. It'd be the same as saying happy thanksgiving. It's just sad the amount of people or companies saying 'happy holidays' on social media yesterday. Just plain sad. I applauded the people and companies that actually said merry christmas yesterday. How about you learn things about other people and say happy Hanukkah during their 8 days of celebration, etc? God the PC in this country is just sickening.

But I think another example on topic was this piss poor handling of randomly turning Iceman in X-Men gay just for their stupid agenda's sake. Marvel comics have just been so asinine lately that all they are doing is just making stupid story decision after stupid story decision after another just to have them in the news. Oh look, Thor's a girl now! Oh wait, they already did that decades ago. Whoa now, they just made Peter Parker black? Pretty sure he's white, plus they even have Miles Morales who is a pretty damn good character, but whatever, gotta keep pandering to that agenda. Everywhere I look that's all I see when people talk about how bad Marvel comics have been lately is exactly that. It's a shame from how good they used to be.
 

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Have to disagree on the Iceman one because it's been teased for a long time now. Before Marvel started going super PC.
 

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If people wanted real, practical "equality," race, gender, orientation, or ethnicity shouldn't matter, period. It shouldn't help or hinder anyone in any kind of way. A person should be chosen for a job, position, college, anything... because they meet the right qualifications, not solely because they come from a minority. Achieve that, and the pandering will no longer matter either.

... Ha. My apologies, color-blindness has always been a stupid pipe dream of mine. Judging an individual by his heart, or the content of his character? Ha! I know this will never happen. It never will. Neither side, not the "oppressors," not the "oppressed," ever does a damn thing to stop perpetuating the actual problem. And by the end of the vicious cycle, both sides end up becoming what they initially swore they were not.
 

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Have to disagree on the Iceman one because it's been teased for a long time now. Before Marvel started going super PC.
I don't think so, this was just a super ham-fisted way of using Jean Grey as a mouthpiece for this 'discovery'. He had plenty of long and successful relationships with other women, heck even Emma Frost never figured out or confronted him about it before. It's just lazy retconning of characters. Even older Bobby is confirmed to be straight, so it's just lazy and cheap way to boost sales.
 

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Happy Holidays isn't a big deal. It's not even a tiny deal.

And if there's any problem with Iceman being gay, it's the fact that Jean totally invaded his privacy and outed him. Which was a super dick move on her part. But there's nothing wrong with him being gay. Or Thor being a woman. Or Spider-man being black.

I hear people use the whole "it's just a marketing tool to get sales" and "it's just to push their agenda" arguments against diversity in media; but I'm sorry, that's just BS. Creative media does those two things all the time for so many things, and nobody says jack about it.

People say they don't care about diversity and simply don't like it "being shoehorned into stories where it doesn't belong." But the way those same people argue about it tells me that, whether they realize it or not, they just don't like it because it's different. Because it's change. And I'm sorry, but that's not a good enough reason to criticize diversity in media.
 

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I agree with your other points (Fresh Prince was another good example too) but lmao, you're just diddlying wrong there man. It's fine if you want to say it during the whole month of December fine, you sound like another boring bland cog in the machine the government is programming you for but that's your choice to do that (remember that grey blob OddParents episode on Nickelodeon?) No what's just most wrong with that is when people say it on the actual day of Christmas. It's a national diddlying holiday. It'd be the same as saying happy thanksgiving. It's just sad the amount of people or companies saying 'happy holidays' on social media yesterday. Just plain sad. I applauded the people and companies that actually said merry christmas yesterday. How about you learn things about other people and say happy Hanukkah during their 8 days of celebration, etc? God the PC in this country is just sickening.
I'm not American, mate.

Of course you say Merry Christmas when it's actually Christmas. But I was referring to the many butthurt Christians who think there is a war on Christmas, the kind of people who boycott Starbucks because their cups say "Happy Holidays" throughout the month of December. Last time I checked the US had separation of Church and State and as such one religion should never be imposed on others even if it's practiced by the majority.

That being said, Christmas can also be celebrated as a secular holiday (which is what most people here in northern Europe do). There's very little Christian about Christmas as far as ornaments, food and other traditional stuff goes. Not to mention Santa himself.

But I think another example on topic was this piss poor handling of randomly turning Iceman in X-Men gay just for their stupid agenda's sake. Marvel comics have just been so asinine lately that all they are doing is just making stupid story decision after stupid story decision after another just to have them in the news. Oh look, Thor's a girl now! Oh wait, they already did that decades ago. Whoa now, they just made Peter Parker black? Pretty sure he's white, plus they even have Miles Morales who is a pretty damn good character, but whatever, gotta keep pandering to that agenda. Everywhere I look that's all I see when people talk about how bad Marvel comics have been lately is exactly that. It's a shame from how good they used to be.
What agenda? Don't tell me you think there's a "gay agenda". That's just a laughable theory. People don't choose to become gay. You can't convert people into becoming gay.

I do agree that it seems they're just changing way too many things now just for the sake of it. But there would have been nothing wrong with just changing one or two characters as opposed to half of them. The problem is that not only is it difficult to come up with new heroes and villains that stand a chance of becoming popular, but especially ones who would be part of a minority. There's hardly any leading roles for minorities as it is in general. And this goes for video games too. Games with female leads tend to sell less, especially if they're on the cover art. According to polls most gamers, especially males, would not like to play as female characters, people of colour and LGBT characters. That's pretty sad.

Personally speaking, I'm really sick and tired of Marvel and DC rebooting their superhero franchises every 5-10 years. I would love to see something new. Not another Spider-Man trilogy for the gazillionth time!

By the way, you do realise that X-Men has always been incredibly supportive of minorities and especially the LGBT community, right? Bryan Singer made an obvious reference to this in X2 when Iceman (speaking of the devil) came out to his parents as a mutant. This analogy has always been part of X-Men. And it's not like there's never been LGBT people in comics before. If anything comics have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to acceptance of minorities.

I think that if you're one of those people who get upset about the thought of Peter Parker being black, even if it's just for one movie, season or whatever: you really need to ask yourself why it is that you're most likely okay with foreign film or television being remade for an American audience with American actors. Or why you never question the whitewashing of Jesus. Just some food for thought.
 

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Including them is hollow? Only include them if they automatically pop in your head? What utter nonsense, and a complete misrepresentation of how the creative process works. There is absolutely nothing wrong with including characters from other groups for the sake of including them. The only thing that matters is whether the characters themselves are good.
A good example that comes to mind is Naveen Andrews' character on LOST, who I read wasn't originally in the plans for the show, but was created because ABC wanted "international" appeal. And yet his character is easily in my top 2 from that series.

The problem with writers not purposely going out of their comfort zone is that people naturally write characters like themselves. A white person thinks of their characters as white, a man automatically makes their male characters more interesting/plot-relevant, etc. I've often heard some writers say that the best way to write strong female characters, for instance, is to write a male character and then change their gender. Because it makes it easier for someone who isn't female to not unconsciously reach for stereotypes and cliches.

The Dumbledore thing annoyed me. Not because I didn't believe it (there's plenty of hints in the text supporting it), but because Rowling didn't have the courage to be explicit in the text. She thought people would be fine to have WW2 echoes, mass murder, racism/blood superiority, child abuse, Voldemort being a product of female-on-male rape, Umbridge, and Molly Weasley saying "bitch" in a children's story, but not to say a character was gay or have him said to be in love with another male character. Now you have people who say, no, he's not gay, they don't have to accept it because it's not in the books!!, etc. I hate those people.
 
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I don't get it. So what? So what if directors/producers slap on indifferent personalities/races/sexuality just for the sake of it? The idea, in this era, is to appeal to everyone. Yes, even those who are never highlighted or hit the limelight. Does it make the characters/story a bit shallow?! Well duh. But don't put the blame on what humans are or have become; put the blame on the directors/producers who fail to utilize the assets to make a good story out of it.
 

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A good example that comes to mind is Naveen Andrews' character on LOST, who I read wasn't originally in the plans for the show, but was created because ABC wanted "international" appeal. And yet his character is easily in my top 2 from that series.

The problem with writers not purposely going out of their comfort zone is that people naturally write characters like themselves. A white person thinks of their characters as white, a man automatically makes their male characters more interesting/plot-relevant, etc. I've often heard some writers say that the best way to write strong female characters, for instance, is to write a male character and then change their gender. Because it makes it easier for someone who isn't female to not unconsciously reach for stereotypes and cliches.

The Dumbledore thing annoyed me. Not because I didn't believe it (there's plenty of hints in the text supporting it), but because Rowling didn't have the courage to be explicit in the text. She thought people would be fine to have WW2 echoes, mass murder, racism/blood superiority, child abuse, Voldemort being a product of female-on-male rape, Umbridge, and Molly Weasley saying "bitch" in a children's story, but not to say a character was gay or have him said to be in love with another male character. Now you have people who say, no, he's not gay, they don't have to accept it because it's not in the books!!, etc. I hate those people.
Don't forget the implied centaur rape in book 5.
 

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[video=youtube;iKpKAlbJ7BQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKpKAlbJ7BQ[/video]

This is now a Sense8 thread.

Well, more like I'm posting it because it's a good example of good media with good representation of various minorities. Since each of the main characters hail from different parts of the world, it only makes sense that this show illustrates that.
 
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