Summary of TAZ discourse today
(Let me be clear I am likely to come across as defensive of taz in this)
Here’s the primary source of the controversy. Originally, preview images of the comic adaptation of the adventure zone showed it was going to portray all three main characters as white. New preview pages of the comic with revised designs were released today. (For the record, I am not 100% sure how much the Mcelroys are actually involved in the comic making process?)
So now we have; one pale skinned character, one dark skinned character and one character with non-human skin color. The brothers have made it clear that these design are not canon and there are no “canon” appearances for the characters (If you feel like that is also a bit of a cop out, thats fair tbh). A lot of people were unhappy for several reasons.
- There still could be more poc representation.
- “We wanted dark skinned Taako and you give us blue??? wtf is this??” (Again, I can see why people read this as a lame cop out)
- Some people feel really strongly that Taako needs to be canonically Latinx because of the running gag of his name sounding like taco which has grown into him having some connection to inventing tacos. (Griffin has discussed his anxiety about this, and I think he is in a lose-lose situation. Having Latinx characters named taco and chalupa would probably create even more backlash)
- A lot of people have decided that giving Taako blue/green skin makes the design anti-semitic. (It takes some deep ass digging to figure out why green skin is antisemitic? But apparently the green skin+long nose+pointy hat look came from anti semitic stereotypes back in ye olde europe)
And then there are a couple things from the newest episode.
-There is a long-ish romantic scene were Barry Bluejeans and Lup become an official romantic pair. Some people aren’t happy about a straight relationship getting a lot of time, or think that the lgbtq relationships in the show didnt get a comparable amount of time. (For the record, Lup is a trans woman so Blupjeans is straight, but arguably still lgbtq representation)
-At one point Justin does a bit where Taako is reciting inspirational quotes from famous people and attributing them to himself. During this, Coco Chanel gets quoted and some people are pissed on account of Coco Chanel being a MEGA-Problematic person in a number of ways. (I am anticipating that Justin will figured out he goofed and publicly apologize bout that)
IDK what I am even going on about tho… I think for me the bottom line is its totally okay to be disappointed about some of this stuff. BUT there has been a lot of black and white “if the Mcelboys arent saints then they must be VILLIANS” stuff going around and??? Yeah they have made mistakes out of ignorance but have always shown a desire and willingness to take criticism and improve themselves. I mean, maybe they only act like they care about representation for the sake of pleasing there primary audience. But if someone seems to be trying as hard as Griffin is to do right by minority groups, I really think we should try to maintain our civility when they mess up and give them a chance to improve themselves.
But hey, then again, I could just be cutting them too much slack cause I enjoy TAZ. That not implausible.