I really didn’t wanna talk about Steven Universe again. This show may as well be dead to me, because from day one it has constantly failed at nearly everything it tried to achieve. However, this “human zoo” thing is too much for me to ignore, because this is an all new low for this series. The “human zoo” thing is genuinely unacceptable.
It should be very clear that the mere inclusion of a “human zoo” in Steven Universe is horrendously tactless on the part of Crewniverse. Human zoos (comprised of non-white people from European colonies) were a very real occurrence and most people are blissfully ignorant of their history. The oversimplified version of a human zoo presented in Steven Universe only emphasizes this ignorance. Here I thought “Coach Steven” was the epitome of racial insensitivity, but Pink Diamond’s “human zoo” definitely usurps it in terms of negligence regarding the brutal, dehumanizing history of racism and colonization.
The insertion of a “human zoo” into the framework of the series could have been easily avoided, so there’s no excuse for this nonsense. From a story telling standpoint, it’s uncalled for and shoehorned in with very little consideration. The term human zoo has a lot of historical baggage attached to it and Crewniverse did not take that baggage into account. Furthermore, Crewniverse should have known better, because all it takes is a quick Google search to become acquainted with the atrocities of human zoos. By evoking the image of a literal human zoo, Crewniverse has disgraced all those who had been stripped of their humanity by white colonizers. While the influx of SU fans rationalizing and justifying Crewniverse’s disregard toward people victimized by colonialism is unnerving, it creates a rather telling portrait of how many people truly feel about colonization.
UPDATE: By representing the humans as happy, unburdened, and innocent without a care in the world, Creniverse really undermined why human zoos are so heinous. The captive humans portrayed in Steven Universe satisfy the stereotypes perpetuated by the white colonizers who spearheaded human zoos.
I had a bunch of ideas for how to make this episode better, along with a redesign of Sugilite, so I’ll start out my rewrites with this one, because I feel the episodes before it are fine. I’ll be rewriting a bunch of other Steven Universe episodes, too.
so, obviously there’s a LOT to fix here… but if you guys were to fix SU, what would you change or where would you rewrite it from? here’s a tentative list i have in no particular order of importance:
MAKE IT NOT ENTIRELY FROM STEVEN’S PERSPECTIVE JFC
nitpicky but?? i wanted Peedee to be there more often, i want him to be constantly doing a protest against the capitalist hellscape he lives in and go on a campaign to end child labor in Beach City against Mayor Dewey (make this an on-going thing throughout the series)
make Pearl a villain; i think that she could “get away” with having this horrible abusive stuff she’s doing, if it was more clear that she isn’t right– i would make her ambiguous at first and then reveal other characters are uncomfortable with her actions, reveal Pearl as the abuser she is
change Sugilite’s design to better reflect Garnet and Amethyst and then make Coach Steven sympathize with her
less Pearl-centered episodes, more Garnet ones– she’s essentially the leader, i want to see more arcs of her like how Teen Titans focused on how mysterious Robin was as a leader
KEEP BISMUTH!! make Bismuth a main-stay character who lives in the forge and serves as a foil to the idolatry the CGs place on Rose, someone to say “it’s not that simple"
focus more on Amethyst’s jealousy and issues of comparison and then resolve that by making Bismuth her mentor
change up the dynamics: first off? have Amethyst leave the CGs and fuse with Jasper, it’s a much more cohesive abuse narrative that way– i envision it being a spiritual successor to the Terra Arc of the Teen Titans
i don’t want Lapis to be a terraformer, i actually like the idea that she was a reporter trapped on Earth in the mirror– i want PEARL to be the one who traumatized her and kept her there– i 100% want to change her design, i did design what i would do if she was a terraformer but i think it fits better if she was a reporter/data analyst working under BD
make it so that Rose wasn’t ready to go after the Diamonds, not that she didn’t want to, but that she was afraid of them retaliating
CHANGE SOME OF THE DESIGNS??? Rose, Sugilite, Lapis, Peridot, Rainbow Quartz, Famethyst, a buuunch of designs I’d change
make Uncle Andy a guy who is upset about not being close to his family anymore because he’s gotten older and doesn’t have kids of his own, and resentful of Greg for that?? instead of a racist?? make him feel jealous that Greg’s made a new family and feel like he’s not important to him, a much more internal struggle about wanting to be close to someone but not knowing how to be
i think it would be cool if Connie was half japanese
i’m barely scratching the surface of what i’d personally do here, but there’s some changes that i’d make, feel free to reblog with your own! if you have any episode ideas or designs or anything like that, i wanna know!