I can’t stand how people keep complaining about a perfectly good show/movie/game that has really decent representation not standing up to their near-impossible-to-achieve benchmark of representation? Like no media will ever be perfect and have an accurate representation of every tiny thing you lot expect to be in a singular entity? That’s not how the world works. Even the most progressive media will be problematic (an example I saw tonight on Overwatch, the Native American-styled skin for Pharah. She’s Egyptian. Little on the nose there.), but if you tear into developers and producers and writers for not living up to every single one of your expectations, we won’t get this sort of media AT ALL. It’s that simple.
Imagine you make this awesome film with a strong, well-rounded female character who is played by an actor from the Middle East, with all of the strongest characters and support being played by women, people of colour, and/or both. It addresses racism, slavery (briefly), and PTSD. The lead doesn’t take any shit from the white men who think they’re running the show. The lead is in charge, and all the men in the vicinity follow her lead because they respect her. She saves the world with the power of love. The romantic interest is subverted to being a white male, who is polite, respectful, and doesn’t try to take over from the lead because he’s not a dick. The camerawork is fantastic, with no mention of the male gaze. It’s incredibly popular, and breaks records. It inspires an entire generation of kids, and shows girls that they can kick ass and take names while still being soft and feminine and caring.
Now imagine you get bitched at by a bunch of people who are pitting this incredible movie against one slated to come out the year after, that has a heap of POC/WOC in the trailer because it’s literally based in Africa, and hasn’t actually been released for criticism. How bloody exhausted would you feel after having faceless critics yell at you for not making a movie that is utterly flawless in its representation?
I’m using this whole Wonder Woman/Black Panther discourse as an example, but it can be applied to most media that is trying to do diversity as best as they can. If there’s a genuine problematic thing, contact the person in charge, and bring it up respectfully. If they dismiss it, then you get angry.
But if you’re complaining about, ugh I don’t know, not having an equal 50/50 of white/white-passing and POC in a cast, or having a white, straight male anywhere near the central plot, or not having a trans character in a show that ticks the box for everything else, you need to fucking chill. You can’t have everything you want. You never will. Creators are trying their fucking best to promote diversity in media, and it’s fucking admirable. Could it be better? Of course! But they can’t make a story that includes literally everybody. It’s impractical, you’ll find something to complain about anyway, and it’s highly unlikely to make it into the mass market because we know what media gatekeepers are like.
So stop fucking needlessly complaining, support diverse media, and campaign intelligently for what you want to see next.
Tl:dr- stop bashing diverse media because you didn’t see your left toenail in it