have now talked to two (three, including myself) people who watched the Raimi movies without ever noticing that Curt Connors was missing an arm even though it’s very much visible, and he’s, like, shown closing a bottle with his teeth and using a hands-free headset to talk on the phone. Movies are so rarely Normal about physically disabled supporting characters that it doesn’t even blip the radar when done reasonably
There’s 2000s movie series by a famously body-horrory director, and there’s a 2010s movie series by a romcom director. Guess which one handled discussion of the antagonists’ physical and mental state with more nuance and compassion. Go on, guess.
“The Independent , based on research from Preply , revealed that there has been a 250% increase in inquiries about learning sign language after the debut of Marvel Studios’ Eternals .
Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, who is deaf in real life, communicated entirely using ASL in the movie, and searches for her personally have increased by 550% since early November.”
[SuperheroesInColor linktr.ee / FB / IG / Twitter / Twitch / Support ]
A story about teeth
Netflix have responded to the Dave Chappelle transphobia on their platform with the statement, “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” So if I may, I would like to take a minute to talk about…sharks.
Peter Benchley wrote the novel Jaws in 1974 and helped write the film adaption. Jaws the movie is a FANTASTIC horror film, there’s a reason it went down in history. It made me so scared of sharks that as a child I avoided the deep end of swimming pools just in case there was a shark lurking down there. It made everyone scared of sharks.
And, because content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm, people who had seen Jaws reacted by going out and killing sharks. The director of the Florida Program for Shark Research told the BBC in 2015,
“A collective testosterone rush certainly swept through the east coast of the US. Thousands of fishers set out to catch trophy sharks after seeing Jaws. It was good blue collar fishing. You didn’t have to have a fancy boat or gear – an average Joe could catch big fish, and there was no remorse, since there was this mindset that they were man-killers.”
Yep, the impact of Jaws was still being talked about in 2015! Because ya guessed it, content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm.
The effect Jaws had on real-life sharks is still being discussed right now even! Conservation psychology researcher Brianna Le Busque told the Mercury News in July,
“Since Jaws, we’ve seen a proliferation of monster shark movies — ‘Open Water,’ ‘The Meg,’ ’47 Meters Down,’ ‘Sharknado’ — all of which overtly present sharks as terrifying creatures with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. This is just not true. Sharks are at much greater risk of harm from humans, than humans from sharks, with global shark populations in rapid decline, and many species at risk of extinction.”
“Exacerbating a fear of sharks that’s disproportionate to their actual threat damages conservation efforts, often influencing people to support potentially harmful mitigation strategies. There’s no doubt that the legacy of Jaws persists, but we must be mindful of how films portray sharks to capture movie-goers. This is an important step to debunk shark myths and build shark conservation.”
We don’t know how many sharks were killed by hunters who hated and feared them, but it was certainly enough. Shark populations, already in danger due to people killing them for food, plummeted. And Peter Benchley, who knew by this point that content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm, was horrified. In fact, he spent a good portion of the rest of his life trying to make up for what he’d unwittingly unleashed. He became an ocean activist and once said that if he was to write the book again the shark, “would have to be written as the victim, for, worldwide, sharks are much more the oppressed than the oppressors.” He used his own money from Jaws to fund conversation efforts.
Sharks numbers are apparently growing now and generally humans have learned they’re just animals, not vengeful child-killing monsters. Yet still the amount of sharks killed because of that one movie is incalculable. So, forgive me, but Netflix’s response to what they’ve done here, promoting hate against groups who cannot defend themselves on their home turf nearly as well as sharks, it all seems extremely…
Joaquin Phoenix at BAFTAs: ‘We Have to Do the Hard Work’ to Dismantle Racism — Variety
Joaquin Phoenix called on his peers to help dismantle racism in the film industry during a rallying acceptance speech for his best actor award at the 2020 BAFTAs. During a ceremony that was short on controversy, the “Joker” star was the only industry figure to discuss the ongoing issue in the film business, claiming that […]Joaquin Phoenix at BAFTAs: ‘We Have to Do the Hard Work’ to Dismantle Racism — Variety
I’m so pleased I saw his speech live. As far as I can tell, he did a pretty good job explaining the problem.
Ah, I see #NotMyAriel is trending on Twitter… *goes to check* Yeah, that’s pretty much what I expected. Ridiculous. I, uh, tend not to applaud Disney for many things but I DO applaud them for casting a black actress as Ariel. She’s a mermaid. Her skin colour (and even her hair colour really) is totally irrelevant.
I’m really curious how this will work with regards to the Disney Princess merchandise and the face characters at the parks, though. Are they going to phase out original Ariel? I hope whatever they do end up doing, they have someone play the new dark-skinned Ariel at the parks, because it would really suck for black children if they come to Disneyland hoping to see the princess mermaid who looks like them and not getting it.
I reckon this tweet I found sums my feelings up best, though I am not a natural redhead:
Anyway! Dudes, she is NOT your Ariel because she’s not supposed to be! She can now be your Ariel AND someone else’s! LET IT GO. (Sorry, wrong movie.)
more on writing muslim characters from a hijabi muslim girl
– hijabis get really excited over pretty scarves
– they also like to collect pins and brooches
– we get asked a lot of questions and it can be annoying or it can be amusing, just depends on our mood and personality and how the question is phrased
– common questions include:
– “not even water?” (referring to fasting)
– hijabis hear a lot of “do you sleep in that?” (we don’t) and “where is your hair?” (in a bun or a braid, usually)
– “is it mooze-slim or mozzlem?” (the answer is neither, it’s muslim, with a soft s and accent on the first syllable)
– “ee-slam or iz-lamb?” (it’s iss-laam, accent on the first syllable)
– “hee-job?” (heh-jahb, accent on the second syllable)
– “kor-an?” (no. quran. say it like koor-annn, accent on the second syllable)
– people tend to mess up our names really badly and you just get a sigh and a resigned nod or an awkward smile, maybe a nickname instead
– long hair is easy to hide, short hair is harder to wrap up
– hijab isn’t just covering hair, it’s also showing as little skin as possible with the exception of face, hands, and feet, and not wearing tight/sheer clothing
– that applies to men too, people just don’t like to mention it ( i wonder why)
– henna/mehendi isn’t just for special occasions, you’ll see people wearing it for fun
– henna/mehendi isn’t just for muslims, either, it’s not a religious thing
– henna/mehendi is not just for women, men also wear it, especially on their weddings
– there are big mehendi parties in the couple of nights before eid where people (usually just women and kids) gather and do each other’s mehendi, usually just hands and feet
– five daily prayers
– most muslim kids can stutter through a couple verses of quran in the original arabic text by the age of seven or eight, it does not matter where they live or where they’re from or what language they speak natively
– muslim families tend to have multiple copies of the quran
– there are no “versions” of the quran, there has only ever been one. all muslims follow the exact same book
– muslims have no concept of taking God’s name in vain, we call on God at every little inconvenience
– don’t use islamic phrases if you don’t know what they mean or how to use them. we use them often, inside and outside of religious settings. in islam, it is encouraged to mention God often and we say these things very casually, but we take them very seriously
– Allahu Akbar means “God is Greatest” (often said when something shocks or surprises us, or if we’re scared or daunted, or when something amazing happens, whether it be good or bad; it’s like saying “oh my god”)
– Subhan Allah means “Glory be to God” (i say subhan Allah at the sky, at babies, at trees, whatever strikes me as pleasant, especially if it’s in nature)
– Bismillah means “in the name of God” and it’s just something you say before you start something like eating or doing your homework
– In Shaa Allah means “if God wills” (example: you’ll be famous, in shaa Allah) (it’s a reminder that the future is in God’s hands, so be humble and be hopeful)
– Astaghfirullah means “i seek forgiveness from Allah” and it’s like “god forgive me”
– Alhamdulillah means “all thanks and praise belong to God” and it’s just a little bit more serious than saying “thank god” (example: i passed my exams, alhamdulillah; i made it home okay, alhamdulillah)
– when i say we use them casually, i really mean it
– teacher forgot to assign homework? Alhamdulillah
– our version of “amen” is “ameen”
– muslims greet each other with “assalamu alaikum” which just means “peace be on you” and it’s like saying hi
– the proper response is “walaikum assalam” which means “and on you be peace” and it’s like saying “you too”
As a Muslim this post is so very important and it makes me so happy that it gives the small facts and details that one might be unaware of or confused about.
Update: From Jenny Han’s Opinion piece on New York Times
You get em
If race didn’t “matter”, why were they so quick to wanna change it??????
I went to see Love, Simon today and at the end when I was leaving the theatre there was a big group of LGBTQ kids posing for a photo with the movie poster, and right next to them was a group of Black girls doing the same with Black Panther, and everyone was grinning so big and just looked absolutely invigorated. I don’t think I’m ever going to forget that scene. For so long I have not let myself get my hopes up that I will see representations of myself and my friends and communities on screen. But I’m letting myself hope now, because it’s happening. It’s really happening.
Let me just add some color to the wlw side of tumblr…
There’s one actress in this post who has played a queer character on three… not one not two, three different shows
Did us dirty by not posting the shows but Original Cindy was BAE on Dark Angel.
Tbh I didn’t expect many people to know Original Cindy because half the people on this site weren’t even born when Dark Angel aired lol I made a similar post a while back and someone said they thought she was the “original” actress to play Cindy on OITNB lmao Don’t wanna do yall dirty, here are the shows as promised
Poussey – Orange is the New Black
Chantal – Queen Sugar
Lena – The Fosters
Bette – The L Word
Original Cindy – Dark Angel
Nova – Queen Sugar
Maya – Pretty Little Liars
Christina – 90210
Adele – Teenagers Web Series
Lyria – Shannara Chronicles
Amanita – Sense8
Kelly – Black Mirror (S3E4 San Junipero)
Charlie – Army Wives
Tyra – Emily Owens M.D.
Carolyn – Under the Dome
Sophia – Orange is the New Black
Tiana – Empire
Snoop – The Wire
Camilla – Empire
Annalise – How to Get Away with Murder
Tasha – The L Word
Kima – The Wire
Ramona – American Horror Story: Hotel
Tara – True Blood
Angela – American Housewife
Pippy – Rosewood
Cassie – Rosewood
Naeemah – Lipstick the web series
Roz – Guilt
Tabitha – Gotham
Zora – Shannara Chronicles
Max – Black Sails
Kat – The Bold Type
Bird – Finding Carter
Millzz – Women of Atlanta web series
Shana – Pretty Little Liars
Caz – Coronation Street
Suzanne – Orange is the New Black
Rivers – Lipstick the web series
Simone – Passions
Kate – Last Tango in Halifax
Keelin – The Originals
Laura – Underemployed
Roberta – Shameless
Violet – Harlots
Rachel – Family Time
Denise – Master of None
Clementine – Hemlock Grove
Annelise – Grandfathered
Bethany – Blindspot
Sharon – Black-ish
Tasha – APB
Kay – Marry Me
Dr. Jean Fishman – The Mindy Project
Mary Charles – Survivor’s Remose
Alisha – The Last Ship
Billie – Cold Case (S2E22 Best Friends)
Toni – Riverdale
Anissa – Black Lightning
Chenoa – Black Lightning
Neika – Dear White People
Daria – Dominion
Bill – Doctor Who
Moira – The Handmaid’s Tale
Diana – White Collar
Cheryl – The Wire
Diamond – Dark Angel
Veronica – Shameless
(Wasn’t included because it’s Raven Symone bitch ass) Rhonda – Black-ish
Added after the post was made…
Tegan – How to Get Away with Murder
Henrietta – 9-1-1
Karen – 9-1-1
Feel free to add more black wlw characters, I know I didn’t get all of them
Erica Dundee from The Last Man on Earth, played by Cleopatra Coleman!
When Diversity Is Bad
Sometimes, a work relies on having the privileged group as certain members of the cast. Diversifying those works/roles? A terrible idea.
Lord of the Flies is a critique on the assumption rich white boys are the panicle of civilized behaviour. Rebooting it with an all-female cast misses the point.
Heathers is a story of how a clique of rich white girls run a school. Rebooting it with an all-marginalized group of Heathers misses the point.
While my list of works that are super bad ideas is short, since 1- Hollywood has only recently decided to expand their cast away from white bread (let me know if you have more!) and 2- I tend to try and forget bad examples, these ideas point to a very, very troubling trend:
Taking works whose whole point is lampooning privilege and assuming they’d work the same way if you removed the core concept.
If we actually reached parity between marginalized representation and privileged representation, those types of reboots might be safe ground to tread on. But right now marginalized people are still very much marginalized, and as a result their cultural systems are different from the privileged group.
Rich white people have a wildly different frame of reference from rich black people. A rich black person will usually have a living relative who wasn’t allowed to own a house in a certain area because of skin colour, or whose parents weren’t allowed to. Meanwhile, even a new-money white person doesn’t have the recent historical racist barriers that actively tried to prevent their upward mobility.
The two groups are going to think about money differently. While both can flaunt it for the same reasons— it’s new, and they want to show it off— the sheer amount of ex-legal baggage a black person is carrying around is something I can’t speak about, but know is there.
If you’re starting to think about tossing in a little diversity into your cast, look very hard at the social structures you’ve put in place. Are the villains relying on wealth? Social power? How about the ability to act with impunity? All of those are highly tied to privilege— the type of privilege somebody marginalized simply would not have.
It’s different if you’re doing a single-marginalized-group cast. Black Panther doesn’t suffer from having rich and power-hungry black people as villains because there’s a bunch of rich heroic black people as protagonists, to name one example. In those situations, you’re dealing with equals. The same thing would apply in a secondary world fantasy where everyone in the cast is of the same or similar ethnic groups, or if you had a group of characters who all shared the same axis of oppression in general.
It’s also different if the power structures don’t rely on privilege. All female Ghostbusters? Awesome, because Ghostbusters was primarily about stopping ghosts. The amount of black girls and women in A Wrinkle in Time? Lovely, because we need more stories where the important figures are not white.
But if you’re recreating any sort of power imbalance where one group relies on privilege, and you have multiple ethnic groups in the cast ? Take a good hard look at making too many villains marginalized, especially if they’re kingpins within the organization. Also consider what they can get away with, and if they have to use different tactics from the privileged villains; chances are, they’ll have to.
This applies for both works set in the real world and in secondary world fantasy. Because secondary world fantasy is still read in the real world, and you can reinforce some extremely toxic ideals if you recreate real world marginalization.
Sometimes, diversity is a very bad thing. Keep that in mind when deciding what group plays what role.
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