Why am I so against Tokenism and race-bending now, when a few years ago, that shit never bothered me one bit? Why is a certain type of diversity so opposed in today’s media? That’s the question I hope to answer today!
Awareness! Yeah, you thought I was going to write out a long exposition before giving you a vague answer at the end? Nah, I’ll get straight to the point, it’s awareness! I’m more aware of things now than I ever was. Back then, race never mattered as extensively as it does now. Just like any functioning human being with a decent IQ level, you could relate and insert yourselves in the shoes of any characters and find something you can learn and like about them, or at the very least be able to understand them. Now, things are different, no one cares to write compelling stories for characters outside the “white race” in Hollywood, it’s all about ticking a box!
Let me take a step back and give you an illustration as to why I have such a major issue with how Hollywood (and its extended family) is handling the whole diversity agenda! To some it’s common sense, to others it’s quite a difficult thing to grasp. I’ll use myself as an example, I know I’m not the common rule here but the logic I’m trying to apply here still holds up.
When I was growing up in Austria, I was well aware of the difference between myself and my fellow Austrian classmates. At that time, the whole race thing wasn’t at the forefront of my mind back then but looking back now, it had some implications for how I was treated. Despite that, my childhood was great! Anyways, I was exposed to all types of shows, white show, black show, Asian show and show with different races and ethnicity together! As a child I never paid attention nor noticed that at one point I was watching a Black show or a White show, all I knew is I was watching a show that was funny, had compelling stories, and had great characters. I could see the skin-tone obviously, but I didn’t care! Whether they were white or black, I would always find the character that I could relate to or the one that was the coolest.
It wasn’t until Shaman King, an anime that was the coolest show I was watching at the time, that the veil of blissfulness shattered! You know where I’m going with this! In the show Shaman King, there was a character by the name of Chocolove McDonell that appeared I believe in the latter season. I couldn’t tell you why at the time, but it was the first time ever that I noticed that he was different from the others. When you look at how all the other characters were drawn and compared them to him, he stood out like a sore thumb! It was the first time I was visible annoyed at him. Every time he would come on the screen I hated him. What made it worse was the fact that he had such a cool ability. Why did he have to look like that?
Still, that wasn’t enough to make me start being aware of how Black people were being treated, I mean we had shows like Kenan and Kel, That’s So Raven, and more that I chucked it to just “eh, he’s lame, I hate him“! It wasn’t until I began to see how people were treating me did it began to click that how we’re portrayed in media is what people will use as a “guide” of a sort to help them talked to different people. I know this because, for the longest time, I assumed all Indians were like Apu from the Simpson, and would crack jokes about it, only to realize that the people who were laughing, were laughing because I looked like Apu, skin-tone wise! I was unintentionally perpetuating two stereotypes, both at the cost of myself and the people of India! Keep in mind I was like 12! I have learned to be better since then.
After that, I started to become more aware of how people would treat me, and it mostly stemmed from how we were portrayed in the media. I began to notice the sidekick trend a lot more, the “gang” traits, “hip-hop traits” the “slang” traits, all of it! Shit, even football began to annoy me as I noticed how Black footballers were never described as tactical or intelligent but always “fast and strong”, it became more prevalent during world cups! I’m saying all of this because people are incredibly easy to manipulate, pump out enough material and people will believe it. So then why do I have an issue with Hollywood “trying” to retrify these bad acts? Because they’re not! Oh, by the way, I lied about not giving you a long exposition, I just realized that now!
Anyways, well when I look at what Hollywood has been doing over the past, let’s say 10 years, they’ve actually made people more intolerable of seeing other races on screen in a positive light! You might say that, well it’s a “small minority” that is racist and intolerable, but when you have every character that is non-white introduced via race bend and the like ratio of a video is going to hell or most “SJW” work failing, you gotta ask, why? Trust me, it would be SO easy to just assume every person is racist for not liking something but that will never solve anything. The core of it all is that Hollywood simply doesn’t care enough to put their heart and soul into a project to give it the care that it needs. It’s no surprise that we’ve seen more reboots than original work over the years, but none of it has actually had any longstanding effect on how other races are viewed.
It’s not just the project themselves, it’s also how Hollywood markets these projects, focusing more on the skin-tone rather than the story being the selling point. John Boyega was the perfect example of this, they essential baited us all into thinking that Boyega was going to be big in the trilogy, only to be reduced to a damm fool. I also think that there’s a larger, more devious ploy at play here. Hollywood is in a sense, conditioning us to react in certain ways when we see Black characters vs a White character. I mean, it’s as if they WANT us to hate anything that strays away from the “norm” of white lead roles, in order to justify it and then say, “look SJW doesn’t work, let’s never do it again”! Ask yourself this, what major corporation do you know what is willing to LOSE money making something? It doesn’t exist.
The reason why I’m at Hollywood’s throat here is that they are one of the reasons why people view another race in a certain way, media has that power. Now the other side of it is us! We are willingly giving these massive studios the power to basically destroy us! We hamper and depend on them to tell our stories, and I know they’re people who have honest stories to tell, but executives are making a change to their works, to the point where it’s no longer recognizable! Because of this, the rise of anti-sjw became more prevalent as it too has become a problem.
Look, no matter how much pandering Hollywood and other sources of media do, it won’t have the positive result they’re looking for, it all means nothing! I’ve already talked about why here but you get the idea. Let be frank here, the only force that actually leading this “drive for diversity” are white woman, the rest is to just tagging along for the ride! Which leads me to another problem that I’ve noticed, which is those who cry for diversity often just take what they can instead of I don’t know, having some self-respect! Yeah, I said it! How those seeing Black-washed characters actually empower us exactly? Here’s something from the Huffington post that proves that they’re nothing thinking in the right direction, well as subjective as that claim may be:
‘It was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl,’ says Javicia Leslie!
Does that sound right to you? A vigilante who’s on the run from the law as she fights crime, wants her silhouette to be recognizable as a Black woman. I don’t know about you but if I had to evade the law, the LAST thing I want is anything giving away my skin-tone. I’m sure when Batman left his mouthpiece open, he wanted the world to know “it’s a white man fighting for them”! To be fair, most people are attacking her for her Afro hair, which is fucked up! I won’t defend that!
But you get the picture, the priorities just aren’t there, and because of that, we to an extent get the brunt of the attacks for the lack of vision by as the left would say “old, white men in Hollywood”! We end up getting hated for Hollywood’s lack of actually trying! Make no mistake, I think when the previous Batwoman that was casted she also got hated to oblivion! Of course, the other side of the coin is people taking stereotype roles too! That shit also does some harm!
I say this because oftentimes, you’ll hear Black actors or Asian actors say that they HAVE to take those roles that clearly paint their race in a bad light but plan to talk about it once they get a platform in order to make a change. Well? Exactly, nothing has changed! We are just as much to blame for taking these roles as Hollywood is creating them! The point I’m trying to drive home here is, we can’t let others tell our stories, and we have to understand that it won’t be easy, we’d be pretty much starting from zero. However, it’s better in the long run, as we’ll have more control over what we want the world to see!
If we keep letting “old, white men and middle-aged white women” continue on like this, well honestly it’s going to hurt us!