Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    QFT.

    Case in point, after playing this one video game once, I rushed out to buy a samurai sword and, well, I probably shouldn't admit to this in a public internet forum, but I climbed up on top of this building above this girl who was praying, then, when she wasn't expecting it, leapt down and stabbed her through the heart from behind with the sword. True story. Games corrupt like that.

    Let my story be a lesson to all parents not to let their kids play Final Fantasy games, as you never know what violence you may unleash. Video games kill people.

    And don't even get me started about the things I ran out and did after playing Mass Effect 1...

    For all the lawyering people spying on this forum and censoring slash fiction that cannot be re-enacted by people in cosplay outfits, I should point out that this post is not true, and that if you thought it was you need to go out more and get a life.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Apr 10, 2013
  2. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    Playing devil's advocate abit; Outside of context the image is just a random picture of a blowjob, and the TV Tropes page makes no mention of any gay couples in the comic so it just seems like arbitrary prudery than someone getting uppity over a positive portrayal of homosexuality.

    Wake me when someone starts talking smack about Apollo and Midnighter.
  3. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Context is the whole point. Outside of context, even Schindler's List is smut.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Apr 10, 2013
  4. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    Yeah, but what is it in context? I'm genuinely curious, because alot of comic writers will throw stuff in just for shock value and nothing else *cough*Millar*cough*.

    Doesn't justify the censorship though, just to be clear.
    Last edited by Reveen, Apr 10, 2013
  5. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  6. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  7. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Jul 6, 2007
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    As you may have noted I wasn't just going by her name.

    Ask Grand Admiral Jello. Something about minorities being represented in a negative way, thus better to not have ethnic minorities appear at all then have them appear as villians.;)
  8. Skaddix Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2012
    star 4
    You can have them as villains as long as you have them as relevant heroes. Having them only as villains yeah that is a problem.
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  9. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    True
  10. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    I can't agree that casting an ethnic minority in a villain role is inherently racist. In fact, I'd say that's actually somewhat ridiculous. Look at Breaking Bad's Gustavo Fring; that show has mostly a white cast, obviously, because it focuses on Walter White's family (Esposito is the only non-white main cast member). That doesn't prevent Gus from being an outstanding villain, regardless of his ethnicity.

    Of course, Breaking Bad is a show where there aren't really "heroes" and "villains", but even so, I'll say that the "villain" modifier doesn't necessarily have to be a negative one. Sure, it's probably negative in the context of the work, but outside of the work characters are typically judged on the basis of how effective they are as characters, not their morality.

    All I can really say on that is that it depends on how it is presented. If we use that rule in a vacuum without considering the work, one might easily conclude that Breaking Bad has a racist agenda.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Apr 11, 2013
  11. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    I think the point when a franchise can say it's inclusive is when it can feel comfortable casting minorities in all ends of the moral spectrum. Sometimes there's no character with more agency and power than a good, well written villain.

    But is Star Wars ready to do that? I dunno. It's villains tend towards the unsympathetic and the pulp fiction that Star Wars draws alot of it's tropes from could get really offensive. Stuff like yellow perils, cannibal savages, depraved bisexuals are things that Star Wars should avoid like the plague, but I'm not sure if they would.

    Still, I'd like to see just as many minorities in morally neutral or gray characters as heroic archetypes. Even if they just transplanted an expy of Amanda Waller into the EU that would make me happy. Her first onscreen actions would be headbutting Saba Sebatyne and busting Ben Skywalker's back over her knee.
    Last edited by Reveen, Apr 11, 2013
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  12. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    It wouldn't. It definitely, definitely wouldn't.
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  13. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Well, cannibal savages has been touched upon numerous times, so that's old hat.
  14. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    The minorities as villains issue is also sometimes a problem dictated by cast size. The issue is you can't have a minority appear only in a villainous or negative role. ie. if the villain is black, there has to be another black character of substance to balance the issue out. This hits on numbers issues, especially as it seems to be treated, by the sort of people who get mad about this kind of thing, as a per work issue rather per universe.

    So, if only roughly one in ten characters is black, and if you have a black villain you have to have another substantial black character, that means you have to have twenty major characters, which only certain plot structures have the cast size to effectively handle. As a result, it is sometimes easier to have no black characters. This is an especially common choice because having a broadly multi-ethnic cast may not be seen as mitigating the villainous casting. So if you had a hypothetical show where there was say a heroic party of six, and it was four whites, a Hispanic, and an Asian, and you had a Black villain, there would still be complaints that 'Blacks are only bad guys in world X'.

    I would hypothesize that, more broadly, because there are voices in the media (in the US at least) that are hypersensitive to portrayals of ethnicity, media creators may avoid the situation at all and make bland and traditional casting choices that they feel they have existing arguments to justify - especially in a universe like Star Wars that is structured so that it effectively cannot say anything about race beyond the raw numerical representation. It's an attempt to dodge the issue.
  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I feel like I've said this before, but I don't think this even warrants discussion in a protagonist/antagonist context. Saying you can't have a black villain unless there's a black hero is silly and reduces the issue to the lifeless demographic math that people use as an excuse to oppose diversity. The only question that should ever be asked is, are they a good character or a bad character? Gustavo Fring is the perfect example, in fact--if the villain kicks that much ass, I don't care what race he is.
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  16. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    There are always going to be voices critiquing media representation (note that I carefully avoid calling it "hypersensitive" because that is a pretty subjective determination.)

    As creators and holders of a huge franchise, it boils down to who they want to listen to. The fans who can't stand to or can't empathize with anything other than a white male lead? The people who will give you flak for stereotypical, villainous representation? The people who would like to see more diversity just in general?

    The people who hold the rights to Star Wars are not helpless. They can choose who to cater to.
  17. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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  18. Skaddix Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 3, 2012
    star 4
    Whatever makes money.
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  19. LelalMekha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    Please note that the poor kid on the photograph probably never wore any of those costumes, he was just copy and pasted into the picture. Can't say I blame him: who would voluntarily agree to wear those things? Even Jar Jar wouldn't have accepted: "Mesa no wanten da bombad chickin cossume! Disa nutsen!"
    Last edited by LelalMekha, Apr 18, 2013
  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
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    I saw a kid wearing a SW Angry Birds shirt today. I died inside a little.
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  21. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 4
    Something I heard recently might be of interest to everyone here.

    As I play The Old Republic, I occasionally bum around the game's forums, and there's a bit of news that's making a bit of fuss on those boards. Turns out- can't confirm this, not on Makeb yet- but anyway, there are a pair of NPC questgivers- a woman on the Republic side, and a man on the Imperial side. They're the main questgivers for Makeb, and basically you can do a mini-romance over the course of questing on Makeb, but only if your character is the same gender as the questgiver NPC.

    *shrug* Thought that was newsworthy enough to mention in here, steps towards diversity in Star Wars being the point of this thread. The first openly-gay Star Wars game characters since Juhani, if I'm not mistaken, and among the first in Star Wars as a whole (I think it's just Juhani and the two Mandos before this, right?).

    I lurk enough in here, figured it'd be good if I actually brought in some news I'd heard that hasn't been discussed in here yet. [face_peace]
    Last edited by dewback_rancher, Apr 20, 2013
  22. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Basically, though there is (self apointed) Moff Tavira sort of hinting at being bisexual in I, Jedi and Moff Shild who dosen't care for human woman, plus there are certain races that areā€¦ complicated.
  23. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 4
    And I just read the Han Solo Trilogy recently, too... completely forgot Shild, didn't catch Tavira before (then again I was younger when I read anything with her in it, that might explain it...).

    Well, color me embarassed by my lack of knowledge. [face_laugh]
    Last edited by dewback_rancher, Apr 20, 2013
  24. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    I know my Chiss female agent and Kaliyo have something between them already, even if it's not explicitly said in the game.
  25. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Your source is correct, yeah.

    You arrive on Makeb, meet these two dweebs, and can flirt with one, just like the various quest givers earlier in the game.

    Of course, it would help if Lord... I forget his name (clearly, he's that memorable) didn't seem like a complete douche that I just wanted to punch every time I have to speak to him.
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