Actually it is a jar full of chocolate covered raisins on top of a dirty TV tray. But pretend the raisins are interesting and well rounded fictional characters with significant roles in their stories.
We’re sharing these raisins at a party for Western Storytelling, so we get out two bowls.
Then we start filling the bowls. And at first we only fill the one on the left.
This doesn’t last forever though. Eventually we do start putting raisins in the bowl on the right. But for every raisin we put in the bowl on the right, we just keep adding to the bowl on the left.
And the thing about these bowls is, they don’t ever reset. We don’t get to empty them and start over. While we might lose some raisins to lost records or the stories becoming unpopular, but we never get to just restart. So even when we start putting raisins in the bowl on the right, we’re still way behind from the bowl on the left.
And time goes on and the bowl on the left gets raisins much faster than the bowl on the right.
Until these are the bowls.
Now you get to move and distribute more raisins. You can add raisins or take away raisins entirely, or you can move them from one bowl to the other.
This is the bowl on the left. I might have changed the number of raisins from one picture to the next. Can you tell me, did I add or remove raisins? How many? Did I leave the number the same?
You can’t tell for certain, can you? Adding or removing a raisin over here doesn’t seem to make much of a change to this bowl.
This is the bowl on the right. I might have changed the number of raisins from one picture to the next. Can you tell me, did I add or remove raisins? How many? Did I leave the number the same?
When there are so few raisins to start, any change made is really easy to spot, and makes a really significant difference.
This is why it is bad, even despicable, to take a character who was originally a character of color and make them white. But why it can be positive to take a character who was originally white and make them a character of color.
The white characters bowl is already so full that any change in number is almost meaningless (and is bound to be undone in mere minutes anyway, with the amount of new story creation going on), while the characters of color bowl changes hugely with each addition or subtraction, and any subtraction is a major loss.
This is also something to take in consideration when creating new characters. When you create a white character you have already, by the context of the larger culture, created a character with at least one feature that is not going to make a difference to the narratives at large. But every time you create a new character of color, you are changing something in our world.
I mean, imagine your party guests arrive
Oh my god they are adorable!
And they see their bowls
But before you hand them out you look right into the little black girls’s eyes and take two of her seven raisins and put them in the little white girl’s bowl.
I think she’d be totally justified in crying or leaving and yelling at you. Because how could you do that to a little girl? You were already giving the white girl so much more, and her so little, why would you do that? How could you justify yourself?
But on the other hand if you took two raisins from the white girl’s bowl and moved them over to the black girl’s bowl and the white girl looked at her bowl still full to the brim and decided your moving those raisins was unfair and she stomped and cried and yelled, well then she is a spoiled and entitled brat.
And if you are adding new raisins, it seems more important to add them to the bowl on the right. I mean, even if we added the both bowls at the same speed from now on (and we don’t) it would still take a long time before the numbers got big enough to make the difference we’ve already established insignificant.
And that’s the difference between whitewashing POC characters and making previously white characters POC. And that’s why every time a character’s race is ambiguous and we make them white, we’ve lost an opportunity.
*goes off to eat her chocolate covered raisins, which are no longer metaphors just snacks*
Zendaya has been cast to play Mary Jane Waston aka love interest of Peter Parker who is known to be white and have red hair. This is her:
But Peter won’t be interested in her, oh no, he’ll be crushing on another girl, his classmate Liz Allan, also traditionally white and has blonde hair in the comics, who is being played by Laura Harrier:
cue the sound of butt hurt comic book fans in an uproar and wanting the actresses to look like the characters and ‘staying true to the comics’. Meanwhile black girls are winning and I’m like
I want a movie about an Asian guy. An actual Asian or Asian American actor.
He goes to Texas, America to learn the secrets of the ranch hand. He learns the strange and mystic way of the cowboy. All the older cowpokes serenely quote Walt Whitman and reject him. A pretty white girl shows him how to be one with the herd, the cattle and nature. She’s the best damn shooter in town too.
But a rival comes in- a white dude who’s only into ranching for the money and he wants to take the land,. The Asian cowboy gets into a highly choreographed shootout. Whitey shoots his left arm, grabs his girl (who is now suddenly helpless) and makes a disparaging remark or two.
Now the Eastern Cowboy (Jesus that’s the title) has to become the best hand in the west by engaging in a lot of stereotypically white activities- cooking steak, line dancing, voting Republican. All while taking down the army of John Wayne look-alikes flanking him at every turn.
Daniel Wu as Jon Snow, Michelle Yeoh as Catelyn Stark, Zhou Xun as Daenerys Targaryen, Suzuka Ogo as Arya Stark, Andy Lau as Stannis Baratheon, Liu Yifei as Sansa stark, Chow Yun Fat as Tywin Lannister, Gong Li as Cersei Lannister, Chang Chen as Jaime Lannister, Zhang Ziyi as Margaery Tyrell, Huang Xiaoming as Robb Stark, Ken Watanabe as Ned Stark
(( So this week I decided to try something a little different. :) I saw some beautiful “race-bent” Disney a while ago and wanted to try it out, so here’s some of our ladies. :D (There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to my choices, I just started fiddling with the images and these happened.) :P I’m going to go back to doing genderbent stuff, but I think I’ll do some of these every once in a while if you guys would like to see more. :) ))
max’s semblance allows him to take others negative emotions and is able to use their energy in fighting. flaw is that he can absorb too much negativity, which affects his mood, sometimes to the point of attracting grimm.
Some of the black British actresses suggested for Lara Croft following casting announcements for the 2018 Tomb Raider film. The character was inspired by Afro-Swedish singerNeneh Cherry, yet no adaptation has featured Lara as a black British woman and the film missed the opportunity to do so.