blastr(.)com/2017-4-18/sexuality-sells-hollywood-capitalizing-lgbtq-characters-better-or-worse I love t100 getting dragged a year & 6 weeks later.
Bless this entire fucking article. This isn’t really about The 1OO, this is about the problem with media rep that I’ve been talking about for YEARS now and how y’all keep falling for the crumbs of rep every damn fucking time.
…This, in and of itself, is not an issue. In fact, it’s a very good thing that creators are taking the opportunity to update older stories to fit a more modern view of the world.
The problem is that the sexuality of these characters is being used for marketing and not much else.
When a TV show or a movie introduces a gay character, two things happen without fail: there is a lot of press, and there is a core audience who will tune in, no matter what. LGBTQ+ audiences, generally, will see anything that shows even the slightest inkling of being a little bit gay.
There’s a particular way that LGBTQ+ audiences interact with media. It’s a kind of desperate need of representation akin to an abused animal. We want and need to feel like the media we consume cares about us and wants to represent us truthfully and compassionately. At the same time, we’re extremely well aware of the fact that that same media has mistreated us horribly in the past and continues to do so. If there’s a gay character on TV, you can bet that character has a legion of loyal fans simultaneously cheering them on and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will the character be evil? Die? Both?
It’s that deep need and deeper fear that makes LGBTQ+ viewers some of the most passionate: perfect to market to, and dangerous to cross….
and fucking this…
Characters who happen to be gay have become a brand new form of tokenism. They are not, themselves, token characters - their characterization exists outside of their gayness - but they are being used to appeal to a certain demographic. Rather than serving the role of traditional token characters, Trini and LeFou do not support tired stereotypes or to allow the creators an out for borderline jokes at their expense. But, much like their token predecessors, these characters also do not exist because said creators think representation is important or meaningful. They get butts in seats, they stir up controversy, but they are inoffensive. You cannot rightfully fear them because they don’t do or say anything scary. You cannot hate them because they don’t actually do any of the things you hate.
But at the same time, you can’t really champion them, because they aren’t really doing or saying anything at all.
Read this article, then read it again thirty more times or until you understand that they’re literally playing you and that thankfully I’m not the only one pointing it out anymore. Every studio, every network, every showrunner. They are using you for ratings, money, and publicity without doing the work and you keep giving it to them. Stop falling for it.