238 Comments
Removed (Banned)Sep 13, 2022
Comment removed
Expand full comment
deletedSep 13, 2022·edited Sep 13, 2022
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment
Removed (Banned)Sep 13, 2022
Comment removed
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Tokenism, how does it work?

Expand full comment

The big part you’re missing here is that diversity casting (and crew) now allows for multiple waves of marketing through accusing anyone critiquing the product as bigots/racists. Disney pioneered it and Amazon is embracing it.

Expand full comment

My own personal suspicions dovetail with Freddie's- at some point, the symbolic wins of diverse casting became such low-hanging fruit to the point of solipsism, and the thrill of winning skirmishes in the war of pop culture engagement and triggering the cons became the high fructose corn syrup to the vegetables of closing the black white wealth and education gaps.

At the risk of being ungenerous to people I've never met on the internet, I almost suspect that if given the choice between a world in which the racial wealth gap quietly vanished and a world in which the next 30 Marvel movies had no white male actors, a lot of people would choose the latter because a world with no racial wealth gap wouldn't get engagement and trigger republicans on twitter.

Expand full comment

There is one way we could fix this which no one seems brave enough to advocate for: total and complete destruction of the data centers that host social media servers. There would be a withdrawal. But eventually like any addiction slowly people's brains might come back to normal.

Expand full comment

This doesn't exactly defeat your (excellent) point, but since you hold it up as evidence: the Peggy Olson gif comes from S7, E12 "Lost Horizon," in which Peggy is moving into McCann for good—you're conflating this with the storyline where she moves to Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough for a few episodes before CGC merges with Sterling Cooper.

But also: "It's definitely something that has taken on a life of its own that I feel slightly removed from, but I'm proud of," Moss added.

https://www.eonline.com/news/1047717/elisabeth-moss-on-her-mad-men-meme-i-m-proud-peggy-walks-has-taken-on-a-life-of-its-own

Expand full comment

Cathartic as always, sir. It's become painfully obvious to me in recent years that major studios are totally leveraging the culture war so that we don't notice things like the death of mainstream entertainment for, you know, actual adults. Who can read. And who don't give a shit about comic books.

Expand full comment

Also, as long as the movie frame defines you according to your position on the putative (non)existence of an a-pre-historical dwarf of colour, nobody is noticing that Lenny Henry is still a really shit actor.

Expand full comment

I do have to say, I do have an issue with the sort of lazy multicultural casting choices we see in a lot of modern fantasy shows...like for example Amazon's new Rings of Power show.

I have no problem with the idea of black dwarves, black elves, black hobbits, etc. It's great. But I do have a major issue with just sprinkling actors of various races down randomly with no thought as to what it means for worldbuilding.

For example, on the new LOTR show, there's a hobbit analogue (the Harfoots) who seem to have a nomadic gathering society - a tribe of 150 people or so. There are black Harfoots and white Harfoots, but oddly not really many racially ambiguous ones. This...makes no sense at all...because in a race-blind society that small everyone would blend together within a few generations even if there was some original differences. At first I thought maybe the casting choices were supposed to be ignored by the audience (like when family members have different accents), but the show explicitly told us the black mother of the white lead Harfoot is a stepmother, so we're clearly not supposed to think that.

The thing is, they could have done representation just fine by making all the Harfoots black. There's even some basis for this within Tolkien, because by the time of LOTR the Harfoots are a hobbit clan noted for darker skin than the rest. So they could have had representational casting, realistic worldbuilding, and maybe used the casting to make some sort of statement regarding indigenous peoples.

Other examples abound too. Like the humans from the Southland are shown as a mix of white/black. Why not make them all POC, since it's explicitly noted within the show they were under elven occupation for centuries, and it's a way to reference real-world colonialism visually? They could have made all of the dwarves black and added some real-world representation while making the traditional distrust between elves and dwarves have more real-world heft. By just sprinkling people of color everywhere, they completely ignore the power that casting choices can make, and it's very frustating.

Expand full comment

Well it actually may help the “black/ white wealth gap” discrepancy refers to the top 10% of black and white earner’s

In essence WE👏🏾 NEED 👏🏾MORE 👏🏾BLACK 👏🏾BILLIONAIRES👏🏾

Expand full comment

God bless you, Freddie. It's nice to be seen. If I didn't have young children, I wouldn't turn on the TV anymore. I'd certainly unsubscribe to Disney+. Jesus f-ing Christ, the utter political *schlock* masquerading as entertainment media. When the kids demand to watch this stuff, I sit there with my face half turned away, teeth on edge, just waiting for it. Turn on the propaganda hose, people, turn it on and take it full in the face.

Expand full comment