Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I don't understand your argument.

    "Fractioning" ("fractionating") means breaking up. Breaking up into more subgroups, if I understand that part of what you're saying correctly. How would this lead to "greater pandering to that specific market"? There would be no single market to pander to if there was fractionating.

    Do you mean pandering to many different markets, then? Because it that case, the first part of your statement is groundless. Why would an increasingly diversified market lead to less crossovers? If anything, you'd have people jumping these fractionated boundaries all the time, and some people would have a foot in several.

    I don't understand the last sentence of your argument at all. What are these "ever shrinking demographic groups"? Do you mean there's a less diversified audience going to the movies? I assume you mean in America, right? What are you basing this claim on?

    If you don't know, then where are you drawing all these conclusions?

    Listen, have you ever been to a Star Wars convention? Seen the types of people there? Because hell, there are a TON of women. And not just wives being dragged along.

    And I'll say something completely biased coming from my standpoint: I've met many people over the years who are EU fans. The majority are female. Why is that? Maybe it's because I'm female, but I'm not entirely sure. I suspect there's a considerable number of girls out there who read sci-fi books today. And that number's growing.
  2. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I've only been skimming most of these posts so I'll probably turn out to be completely off the mark here, but if I'm reading what @Mechalich is getting at correctly, I think it's equivalent to a TV program I watched a couple of months ago (either on BBC1 or Channel 4, I think, I forget which), which alleged that with the growth in the number of TV stations, home audiences were "fractionating" (am I using that term right?) into much more splintered and ethnocentric audiences.

    In the case of this program's discussion, which was about black-white racism in the United States, the suggestion was that back in the 80s you had everyone watching the same programs, which were racist in how they just had the "token black guy", but that the situation hadn't improved, and that things had got worse, with white viewers today watching white stations filled with increasingly 100% white casts, and African American audiences watching stations aimed at African American audiences with 100% African American casts, as opposed to both audiences watching the same shows with more diverse casts, rather than having TV shows being ghettoised into "white shows" and "black shows".

    From memory, I think I remember him attacking shows like Clarissa and Moesha, saying that having one show filled with white girls and another filled with black girls wasn't the right way to depict a diverse society, and that when people went home, the television shouldn't be a way to forget that there were people of other cultures living right next door by watching "your" station where you could escape into a fantasy where there wasn't that black guy you didn't like at work or vice versa.

    I can't say I entirely agreed with everything that the presenter was alleging on that show (it was hard to form an opinion not being someone who had even heard of half the programs!), and I can't even remember the names of the TV stations or other programs that were mentioned, but based on what @Mechalich has been saying, it sounds like he's getting at the same kind of thing with this "fractionating" stuff, I think?
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 6, 2012
  3. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    ^Ah, I see.

    Ok, in anthropology we've got a term called "pluralism" to explain the post-post-modernist world. The original fear had been that people would divide themselves into subgroups based on holdovers from the so-called ethnic "boundaries," but in reality that's not what we've been seeing. Increased globazation has resulted in a massive clash of diverse ways of thinking about the world (traditions, customs, religions, languages, etc). "Globalization" is not some giant singular entity; it's a diverse hodgepodge that doesn't occur at a steady rate in every country (or state... or town... or household). What this has resulted in is a continuous flux of social subgroups. None of them have been static; they're all intermingling at intermittent rates.

    So pluralization has resulted in people having multiple (often - usually - changing) roles in various subgroups. In other words, multiple identities.

    How many of you have a single identity? You have your identities as a student, a friend, a family member, an e-person who posts on a star wars forum, etc. You don't behave the same in all of these roles. And you're drawing on different experiences to play these parts. And in five or ten years, these personal roles of yours may change.

    So what we've been seeing is that no, these media subgroups have not remained static. The audiences are constantly in flux, and it's been difficult to predict. That's why we've got so many economists and statisticians and sociologists trying to figure out where the world is going, what's going to be a hit on the market, etc. What worked five, ten, twenty years ago doesn't necessarily suffice today.


    tldr version: No, I don't think we're falling into some trend whereby through increased diversification we're pigeon-holing ourselves.
    RC-1991 likes this.
  4. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Thats a good point. I never delved deeply into the Green Lantern numbers - though another consideration with Green Lantern is the tie in toy sales, marketed to boys(not unlike Star Wars) probably made them more cash. Boys don't buy female action figures, ask Hasbro who stopped making female TCW toys, making Elektra a tougher sell in that market.

    Granted, Elektra has toys tied into the main Marvel line(I think Elektra is Marvel?) but likely could not support a line of tie in toys herself.

    I still don't agree with the idea that Catwoman, a third ranked villian from Batman, should really be worthy of much consideration in the first place. But a character like Wonder Woman, who is very well known, should absolutly be getting a shot in film.
    Last edited by Robimus, Dec 6, 2012
  5. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Although I agree myself, I must admit that program I watched actually disturbed me a little.

    If I remember right (as it's starting to come back to me now!), its basic proposition was that "white audience liked Friends because Friends was about white people in a city full of white people doing things stereotypically associated with white people". I've never really watched Friends, so have no idea if that's true, but apparently the show barely featured any black characters, either in major roles or backstage extras? Apparently, according to the documentary, "surveys" (such reliable things that they are! :p) showed that it was more popular among white than black viewers (of course, that obviously depends whether they're talking like-for-like or if it was just because there were less black people in the survey group).

    It then brought up some program that I can at best paraphrase as "Black Friends" that featured an all black cast living together in a city, doing pretty much the same things as the characters in Friends did, and that -- again according to that wonderfully trustworthy thing known as a "survey result" -- it allegedly scored more points with black audiences in comparison to Friends itself. I can't for the life of me remember what the program they were on about was called though.

    The documentary definitely felt way too over the top in its conclusions, as I'm white and had no problem watching Sister Sister on Nickelodeon and I'm sure there are black people who watched Saved by the Bell, but if nothing else, I suppose it reconfirmed why this thread's original focus is important if today there's still that same sort of split when it comes down to the diversity of what people see in films, TV, comic books, etc.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 6, 2012
  6. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Not a Friends expert but I do recall one of the characters having a black love interest for a long while, but in general I can't recall a lot of racial diversity on the show.

    Here is a question though. Were white audiences not interested in the Cosby Show?
    Last edited by Robimus, Dec 6, 2012
  7. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    I am white and I love the Cosby show.. especiall here in germany that show was repeated countless times and loved by many! it still runs on some channels from time to time!
  8. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Thats what I'm saying in my own way :p

    While there might be something to this show that Zor watched and its 'Friends' survey I wonder if the Cosby Show was included in the survey? How about The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Family Matters?

    Now I won't argue that TV currently is pretty heavy with white lead actors, but I find it hard to believe that a significant portion of people are hung up with exclusivly watching TV shows featuring people with thier own skin tone. I'm sure there are some who look at it that way(I'm pretty sure KKK members didn't like In Living Color) but I suspect they are a very small minority.
    Last edited by Robimus, Dec 6, 2012
  9. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    I still feel that focusing on a single, specific instance as though it will make or break an entire argument (and one that, as I said, was more about executives perception of why a film failed than the actual success or failure in real terms), but I feel I owe it to pop culture to point out that Catwoman isn't a third-rate Batman villain.

    She's not even really a villain. She's his main love interest, a character who was introduced in the very first issue of Batman, and pretty much sits with Robin, Joker and Alfred in terms of recognisability. She's one of very, very few comic book characters to have a big enough pop cultural profile that people who aren't geeks will have heard of her. Catwoman is hugely more important to the DC universe than Elektra has ever been to Marvel. While she's not the first character I'd try to give a shot in a solo movie it is absolutely not a weird choice. The weird choice was removing any mention of Batman from the film and hiring what I assume was a talented Lemur to write it.
    MarasFire and cthugha like this.
  10. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    For my part, I grew up on Family Matters and Fresh Prince as much as Step By Step and Boy Meets World. But on the scale of national television, everything is watched by everyone to some extent. The matter at hand is viewing trends overall, and how they shape the creation of material.

    Edit: another thing that's probably relevant to the comic book movie topic is that regardless of cultural penetration, Elektra and Catwoman both began life as secondary characters in a male-led story, while Wonder Woman, the franchise that nobody can seem to figure out, is the only one that's inherently female-led.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Dec 6, 2012
  11. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    From memory, I recall it mentioning Fresh Prince, not sure about Cosby though.

    Most of its focus was on some American television station aimed at African American audiences which had a bunch of shows that I can't remember -- albeit a couple were names that I remember thinking "Oh that" at the time, so they weren't totally unheard of.

    I assume it was proposing the idea of there being people who just sit at home watching [Insert racial stereotype dramas] akin to how there are some people who are hooked on just watching channels airing endless reruns of CSI or NCIS.

    I've got a feeling it was possibly focusing on immigrant communities though, who felt alienated by the mainstream broadcasters, so I suppose it was challenging whether specialist broadcasting is helpful or in danger or being a pathway to self-ghettoisation that was making it harder for them to integrate.

    I can't think of any British parallels though (unless you count BBC Scotland or Al Jazeera :p), so a lot of the show went over my head which is why my recollection is fairly sketchy.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 6, 2012
  12. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Yes, and national television is dying. The same thing is true of national music (the US bestselling artist is Carrie Underwood, a country music artist most of the people in the country have never heard of) or national movies (major blockbusters are now more interested in the foreign than domestic box much of the time). The number one late night program, Jay Leno, has an audience that's shambling towards social security.

    The current media models are falling apart, and until something drastic changes the producers of content are beholden to ever smaller groups of people who will acutally spend real money on their stuff. fans who won't, or who will spend only a little, don't matter. That was the point of the anime example I posted above: if you weren't prepared to drop $400 on their box set, Aniplex considered you utterly irrelevant to their calculations. That meant writing off some huge percentage of the people who'd actually seen the product.

    If we take Star Wars, the example would be TCW. The most important issue, now that the show has survived to syndication, for long-term profitability is getting people to buy product, meaning DVDs and toys. Those are the people who matter, anyone who is just watching the show is pretty much irrelevant as far as the economic evaluation is concerned. Don't you think that the producers will pander to that specific toy and DVD buying audience? I sure do.

    Now, maybe that audience is just as diverse as the broader show watching audience, maybe it manages to reflect the whole country. Maybe, but probably not. Instead, it probably skews young, and male. That's who we expect to buy action figures and LEGOs after all.

    Once you reach this situation, when the primary concern is market penetration among a small, specific demographic group, whether thats males 12-18 or women 35 and up, you pander to increasein ay way you can your presence among that group and ignore whatever loses you might be taking outside of it.

    That's where you can get loss of diversity concern - when everything has become about giving a specific group what they want. In that situation you'll still see gestures towards diversity - anything that doesn't appear to cost anything, like having Northstar get married to another man, will still go forward, but real inclusion, the kind that alters major character balances or portrays people in different ways, that will get beaten up by the economic concerns of targeting.

    Ultimately, where the rubber meets the road, and considerations of diversity come up against economic concerns, or even the perception of the same, the money will always win. I think that the way trends are headed, as audiences become smaller and smaller and more contained and precisely appealed to, that sort of thing will become more common.
  13. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Oh, please, BBC Scotland's got nothing on S4C. ;)

    No, but to be serious a minute, I think that minority interest channels and series have an important place as part of a total view of the media, but that it can become problematic when it leads to separation rather than greater integration. S4C is a pretty bad example because the linguistic issue means that it really wouldn't be feasible to include it with other shows.

    I have read articles similar to the documentary you describe, Zorr, talking about the BET Channel in the States and the way it's simultaneously important because it provides a place where programming featuring majority/all black casts aren't relegated to a less important timeslot or constantly judged against other shows that perform better ratings-wise, but also problematic because it creates a place where this programming is "supposed" to be.

    I suppose it's the difference between creating a safe space and creating a separatist space.

    I think that the way people are invoking the Cosbys and Fresh Prince and Sister Sister (all of which I also grew up loving as a white kid in Wales?), though, may not be as clear a statement against this process as it seems - these shows were huge in a time when television in general had fewer channels and special interest channels, so these shows aired on channels that people of all races commonly watched. Would they now air on ABC, Fox or NBC, or would they air on BET? And how would that affect the demographics of the audience and the amount of crossover from its primary target?

    I don't actually think I know enough about the programmes in question, the current landscape of American television or sociology in general to be sure of where I'd come down on this issue other than "it's complicated" but I thought it was worth mentioning that our experiences ten and twenty years ago are not necessarily the experiences that we'd have today.

    Moving on to Wonder Woman - (not that you asked, Coop, but it's Wonder Woman and I love her, so you know, I'm gonna talk...) - I think the reason they can't work out what to do with her sort of is because she's in such an inherently female-led franchise, and I don't just mean that as a snarky comment. I mean that Wonder Woman's entire character was deliberately created to be feminist, but it was also seventy years ago and consequently about as subtle as a sledgehammer to a Hollywood Producer's notion of "branding" her as a "strong female". There's also the tension in the original source material between her original writer's odd ideas about inherent femininity and pacifism and his love of bondage. I think the best example is probably the recent Wonder Woman animated feature - the first draft was written by Gail Simone and was almost entirely devoid of gender politics and told a straight-up fish-out-of-water story where Diana comes to the Modern World and doesn't understand it and fights monsters. Someone else took over at that point, and suddenly it turned into an awkward mouthpiece for butchered second-wave feminism with a weird subplot about Diana having to realise that loving a man wasn't omfgevil. I mean, the movie was all right, but it was only all right because it insisted on including this feminist stuff that felt like the equivalent of your teacher trying to tell you that they used to be hip, okay, they know what's cool, baby.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, I adore Wonder Woman. She's one of my favourites and when a good writer gets their hands on her, it's magic. But it's also usually sandwiched between a bunch of people who just completely and totally miss the point and either think that she should be the superhero equivalent of A Very Special Episode, or that they need to make her relateable by giving her a "human side", which usually means something approaching Ally McBeal.

    Which concludes our lesson in why they never should have taken the Wonder Woman comic away from Greg Rucka. You may now all go about your daily business. :p
    Last edited by beccatoria, Dec 6, 2012
    MarasFire likes this.
  14. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Interesting point, becca, about whether Fresh Prince, Sister Sister, etc would air on the main stations these days.

    I don't watch enough (or any) kids TV to have an informed opinion, but now that I think about it, whenever I'm around my brother's house and one of my nephews has the TV on, I've never seen anything even resembling Sister Sister, Moesha, Kenan and Kel, or that show about a girl whose name began with T who wanted to become a singer... Tarja or Tarisha or something?

    If it's not a cartoon, it's usually just some white kids playing at being movie stars or wizards now I think.

    Although admittedly I suppose Sabrina and Moesha weren't much different in terms of storyline, so maybe it's the nostalgia talking.
  15. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    But Joker, Alfred and Robin haven't had their own standalone films either. For that matter most probably don't know she was introduced in the first comic(I didn't), but I bet many do recall her from the Adam West TV series. I feel like it would be an incredibly up hill battle even if the film was amazingly well written.

    That said I have a huge disdain for characters like Batgirl and Supergirl - characters who are just straight borrowed from their male counterparts, so perhaps she's a better choice than they are.

    The idea brought on by this survey though seems to be a little too skewed for my tastes. While its great for any people to have a go to channel to watch things perhaps more relevent to their own culture I don't believe that many people are so closed minded as to only watch those channels.

    What I'm trying to communicate is that I don't believe black people, in what they watch and how open to other cultures they are, are any different from asian people, white people, blue people, so on, so forth. For this survey to suggest that they are is forcing a negative stereotype onto them as a whole. I mean I'm a Canadian, I bet I watch 1000 times more Canadian programming than someone who is not Canadian does - that doesn't mean I'm going to go sit in a box and force out the rest of the world.

    Also The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince, Different Strokes, Family Matters, tons more, still all air in sindication the same way Friends does so their is still relevence to now, even if they aren't in the same timeslot they would have been when they first aired.
  16. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Whether or not they know she was introduced in the first comic has absolutely zero relevance to whether or not they're aware of her. The only reason I raised it was to point out that your characterisation of her as a third-rate villain was incorrect, both in terms of her factual publication history and also in terms of her general profile with the public. Again you pick on odd specifics and ignore the broader point. Your characterisation of Catwoman as an absurd character to pick for a film due to her low level of recognisability is incorrect, she is iconic.

    She's generally written as an antihero only a shade more morally compromised than Tony Stark, and certainly less so than The Punisher. I would bet actual money that before the first Iron Man movie stormed the cinema, "Catwoman" had more name recognition than "Iron Man" amongst the general, non-geeky public; was his film also an incredible uphill battle? Seriously, why is Catwoman a weirder choice than Iron Man, the Punisher, Constantine or Daredevil? I can tell you why I think her film wouldn't do as well, even if it was incredibly well-written, or why people would claim it hadn't, and I suspect you can guess the answer, but I am honestly at a loss as to why you think so, unless it's your perception that she is a less important character than those I just listed, which is factually inaccurate. I'd also point out you're now arguing that her film was doomed to failure no matter the quality of the writing due to something inherent in her character, which is exactly the attitude I'm pointing out doesn't exist across the board (see The Punisher?), even if you're arguing based on a different inherent trait. Whatever that trait might be. Cus as I said, it can't be her recognisability.

    As to your comments on Batgirl and Supergirl, dude, that's your loss.

    Would I prefer there were more female characters like Wonder Woman and Black Canary who don't owe their genesis to another dude? Sure. That'd be super. But we are where we are. Particularly within the realm of superhero comics, it's very hard to sell any character who doesn't have a pre-existing connection to an iconic hero, and because of when they were invented, most of those are white dudes. You're right, it sucks.

    But what would also suck would be to throw out all the female characters with actual historical pedigree and staying power and fan adoration just because they were somehow associated with a dude character.

    Barbara Gordon, for instance, has a powerful character arc as she goes from happy-go-lucky teen wunderkid Batgirl to wheelchair-bound hard-as-nails I-will-take-down-your-government Oracle. She went from a sidekick to the leader of the Birds of Prey - a comic that ran for over a decade and managed to become one of the only successful female-centric superhero brands launched in recent history. That is a measurable and important contribution to the issue of diversity of representation in a medium notorious for being awful at it, but we should discount it because forty years ago, this person was invented as a guy's sidekick? I should automatically approach her with disdain as a concept? How is that useful?

    As I said, yes, I acknowledge and agree with the idea that female characters should not be created as variations on or responses to male characters. But aggressively dismissing some of the most iconic women in a story based on a single aspect of their origin is equally destructive and restrictive. Everything's a work in progress, perfection doesn't fall out of the sky.
  17. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    lol
    Contessa and TrakNar like this.
  18. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Clearly your much more educated about the comic book world than I, and a much bigger fan than I am.

    I'll totally give you that I must be wrong about Catwoman in some ways. Clearly she was iconic enough to get her own film and that should count for a lot. She still doesn't come to mind for me when I think of the Batman franchise. When I say third rate its because I think of her as not as prominate as Joker or Penguin, thus she's in third place.

    I don't see how my opinions are in any way comperable to those who produced Punisher. I wouldn't have tried to make a Punisher film, I wouldn't have tried to make a Daredevil film, I wouldn't have tried to make even a Green Lantern film, all because I don't feel there is enough there to really make those films that interesting, same way I feel about Catwoman, and I already mentioned my views of Hawkeye & Black Widow. I feel even more strongly that the Ant Man film should never get made.

    Clearly my thoughts that Catwoman can't support her own film are completely different than me feeling that Hawkeye can't support his own film. When it comes to Hawkeye, I feel that there isn't an interesting enough story to translate to film - When it comes to Catwoman my reasons must be that its because she is a female character? Right?

    And hey, they can go out there and prove me wrong. They can make a Thor film that was a success when I thought it would tank. Apparently Elektra was a success when I would have thought it wouldn't have been. Maybe someone can do the same thing with Catwoman, or with Punisher, or whoever. I wish them well, but it won't change in general how I feel about the situation.

    I admit I'm curious as to how you would craft a Catwoman film that would work? Do you include Batman in a major role? Or do you make the film without Batman as a part of it? Is there enough there, minus Batman, to make that work? Maybe there is.

    I'd say the same thing about Nick Fury? Is there an interesting enough story, minus the Avengers, to give him his own film? Maybe there is. I'm just not seeing it, but I've been wrong in the past.
    Last edited by Robimus, Dec 6, 2012
  19. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Any character can theoretically produce a good movie. Spider-Man and Iron Man and X-Men owe their success as franchises as much to the people who made those movies as they do to the inherent merits of the characters. Iron Man in particular wasn't exactly a top-tier hero before Favreau and Downey knocked him out of the park - that's why no else else had gotten around to licensing him.
    Mia Mesharad likes this.
  20. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I'm sure they could, doesn't mean I think they will.

    I watched Ironman and thought it was a rather poor film that borrowed a lot from Batman. Though I enjoyed Avengers on a basic level, as fun entertainment.

    Ant Man comes to mind for me as a what the heck are they thinking film. But maybe I'll be wrong and Ant Man will be a huge hit.
  21. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Whoa, whoa, hold on, Elektra wasn't a success, and neither was Green Lantern.

    Box office reciepts are split between the studios and the cinemaplexes, rouhly 50-50. So in order to make it's budget back at the box a film has to gross twice what it cost to produce and market.

    Now, the money made at the box office is, for most films, far from the entirety or even the most important part of the money equation. With the exception of giant blockbusters that rake in hundreds of millions, most films would be overjoyed to make their money back at the box office. The profits come later, in the DVD stage, through merchandising, and any other ways money can be squeezed out (soundtracks, public appearances, disney rides, whatever).

    It's hard to say why anyone chose to green light a new Green Lantern film, it probably has something to do with the giant pile of money Avengers made and a little DC idea called Justice League more than anything else. It may also have much more to do with relatively arcane factors: like how interested Ryan Reynolds is in playing the role - star power, or the perception of the same (no disrespect to Reynolds, but he's not really a star) matters a lot in Hollywood. For example, Denzel Washington can probably pick up any script in the country, say, 'I really want to do this,' and it will turn into a film.

    EDIT: can we not bash on Ant-Man too much? It sounds strange yes, but Ant-Man has been, in his various iterations, one of the mainstays of the whole Avengers concept for decades and in the comics represents probably the most psychologically interesting character they've got. The current trend in superhero films is that the slightly edgy heroes: Batman, Ironman, Spider-Man, who struggle with their identity, have done better than the Thors, Supermans, and Captain Americas who really don't.
    Last edited by Mechalich, Dec 6, 2012
  22. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    DVD sales are another huge consideration. Maybe those did well there. I know that Once Upon a Time in Mexico got specifically made because of how well Desperado did once it was out of the theaters. We could be seeing the same thing there. Hard to say.

    I'm almost completely ignorant of Ant Man, but I just find because Super Hero films have had some success that not every character of any significance - ever - from almost one hundred years of comic books is really a good enough idea for their own standalone film.
    Last edited by Robimus, Dec 6, 2012
  23. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Ant Man is a perfect example of what I was saying in my last post - of the original Avengers, he and Wasp are hands-down the most boring, unoriginal, noncompelling characters. Some cool things have been done with them over the years, but there's just nothing there that fundamentally motivates people to give a **** about them. That said? Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors, and I have every expectation that I'll love what he does with it. Box office is another matter, but again--Tony Stark wasn't too high on peoples' radar five or six years ago.
  24. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Regarding niches and all that: there's only a risk of subdividing into smaller and smaller demographic if we treat the notion of diversified characters as pandering. I don't think people are arguing that we should have a "black Friends" -- it's that a modern situational comedy should probably reflect modern society and how interconnected people are. People don't socialize in ethnically discrete groups anymore, women aren't barred from the workplace anymore, and people are willing to break free of stereotypes with what they enjoy. Something like Modern Family -- though rather on the nose -- reflects the reality on the ground better than Friends.

    Earlier, becca decried the notion of a female lead automatically transforming a film into a "chick flick." That's not what we're asking for and to the extent that it's happening, executives are doing it wrong.
    MarasFire likes this.
  25. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    How did the diversity thread turn into the "Rob doesn't know much about superhero movies but has strong opinions about them" thread? Can we move on?