I spent most of the past 36 hours researching and thinking about Harry Potter fandom and the barely still-around documentation of the racism that fandom enacted about characters of color – especially Blaise Zabini. They’ll be turned into organized thoughts eventually, but for now… thread collection:
Harry Potter fandom really has been openly racist for ages because they sure did ship Blaise with Draco and/or Hermione right up until the reveal he was Black and then, after the in-fandom rioting, he got the treatment that most Black characters get and his fanworks/ships went 📉
Mosley isn’t the first to be harassed because people in a given fandom assumed she was replacing a white actress (Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder on Batwoman) or because she was playing a racebent version of a “historically white” character (Anna Diop’s Starfire on Titans). And she won’t be the last, because fandom is not a space that protects Black women from misogynoir. Misogynoir, a form of anti-Black misogyny present in the ways that Black women and femmes are rewritten and dehumanized in order to excuse the way we are treated (no matter how much power we have), is alive and well in fandom spaces across the internet.
I write a lot about misogynoir in fandom. It’s something i feel strongly about because of how much it affects a wide range of fans in fandom, Black women and femmes who aren’t seen as part of these spaces. Fan entitlement is huge and we know that aggressive fans truly don’t know an end to their nonsense… but there’s a very specific way that these fans will attack Black women (fans, celebs, and journalists) that needs to stop.
There’s nothing on this earth that can excuse how iCarly fans treated Laci Mosely or how different superhero fans have treated Candice Patton and Anna Diop over the past few years. Black women deserve better treatment in fandom and from fandom.
In my latest Fan Service column for Teen Vogue, I got downright celebratory! We’re talking about seeing yourself in fandom and how fans have made fandom a place where they can see themselves – give or take a few issues of representation that do crop up.
Please feel free to share the link with interested folks as I can’t hype it up on Twitter the way I usually would since I’m still locked on main because of harassment over the last column (and my general existence, they really don’t like that)!
Anyway: I’m looking forward to continuing to bring y’all quality commentary on media and fandom in March’s installments of Fan Service!
Last year, I said I wasn’t going to do this again.
I made a whole thing about it.
I was going to pretend that y’all were capable of seeing a racebent character – usually played by a Black character – and not going into a frothy rage. Y’all were going to pretend that it’s not about race, but that redheads/blonds/people with freckles all deserved representation that couldn’t come from a Black person in a wig or with a stellar dye job playing them.
Abstract Recent adaptations of popular comic book series have taken the step of diversifying their original storylines by racebending (Gaston and Reid 2012) key characters – for example Iris West (played by Candice Patton) on DC Comics and The CW’s The Flash television series and Mary Jane Watson (rumored to be played by Zendaya) in […]
Every year since 2015, I’ve written a post about fandom’s backlash against and racist responses to racebending – where “historically white” characters are reimagined as characters of color in media. Every year, I watch the months tick by as I hope fandom will, for once, not be full of turds that think the response to racebending – especially when a Black woman is involved – or any sort of representation for people of color, is to go full fucking racist over it.
Abuse tweeted at the performer and anyone that defends them.
Seriously, it’s exhausting to watch these temper tantrums play out by folks that’ll then turn around and accuse anyone who points out how ridiculous they are, of being “sensitive snowflakes”.
I’ve been sitting on my thoughts about the future of Superman’s presence in the DCEU for a while, but I’m done being introspective so it’s time for me to talk about these rumors.
Rumors that Henry Cavill might be exiting the DCEU have been swirling around for a while (and none of us nerds are quite sure what’s actually happening), but what’s new and interesting are rumors floating around that Michael B. Jordan’s star is shining so brightly that he’s actually a possible top contender for the role when they eventually return to a Superman-focused franchise.
I love Henry Cavill like I love naps – endlessly, deeply, and can I have some more – and while I’ll actually miss him as Superman because I genuinely liked Man of Steel and Justice League, I’m so cool with the cape going to a performer of color the next time they reboot the franchise.Read More »
Now it’s 2017 and I’ve got at least four different posts on racebending under my belt because nerds still don’t know how to behave.
This is an ongoing project looking at the continuing state of fandom’s reaction to racebending following my first piece on how badly comic fans respond to racebending in the works that they love and three years in, people are still cutting up about racebending while claiming not to be racist.
They’re not racist, they claim in comment sections across the internet, but the idea of Black women being cast as aliens, goddesses, and the iconic love interest of the Fastest Man Alive, still sends them into literal conniptions. They assume that racebending is Social Justice Gone Wild, not the best actor/actress being chosen for the role. At multiple points, I’ve seen them claim that white redheads are being erased from popular culture.
Of course, these same people screaming about authenticity and sticking to the source material stay silent in the face of whitewashing (as in the case of Deadpool actor Ed Skrein initially being tapped to play a Japanese character in the upcoming Hellboy remake).Read More »
They crowd into my mentions or any comment field they can get a hold of, trying to shout down my commentary by insisting that they’ve finally found the one way to get one over on supporters of racebending.
It’s supposed to be the kind of comment that leaves Black comic fans stumbling around in a haze formed by our hypocrisy (because if we don’t want characters of color whitewashed, we shouldn’t keep pushing for white characters to be racebent).
Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis is a new fan-made series that looks at Hermione’s life post-Hogwarts. It’s incredible, relatable, and funny as hell for the most part (but don’t let your guard down like I did because HGatQLC will hit you in the feels before the first episode is done).
This first episode has me super excited to see what they’ll do next! The series has a racebent Black Hermione Granger, a Draco Malfoy that I kinda don’t want to fight, and some really well-written characters that I’m excited to see more of and the potential for incredible tension.
If, like me and many others, you were disappointed with Rowling’s nigh unbroken focus on white characters and the fact that everyone’s life goal was to be married off in neat M/F packages with babies on the way, give this webseries a try because it embodies the fandom mantra of “Epilogue? What Epilogue?”
To find out more about this series, check out the first episode and follow the awesome creative team on:
Note: This post contains spoilers for Invincible Iron Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, and Marte Gracia.
Earlier today, Marvel Comics’ writer Brian Michael Bendis made a bad judgement call.
With people all over the world reeling from the fact of a Trump presidency, Bendis decided that there was no time but the present to do one thing: ply his comic, the upcoming Invincible Iron-Man #2, as a distant distraction.Read More »
I’m not going to call myself a James Bond expert or anything so very trite, but I did spend most of last year (and a huge chunk of this year) both having intense opinions on the James Bond film franchise to anyone that would listen and writing an in-depth article series for The Mary Sue about the movies. It’s pretty fair to say that I get the film franchise better than the average non-Bond blogger.
That’s why I’m pretty uninterested in the idea of casting yet another vaguely attractive white guy in the role.
My big issue with all of this “after the fact diversity” that we’re seeing around JR Rowling and the Harry Potter series is that she’s getting so much credit for doing basically nothing with regard to representation.Read More »
This is part one of a hybrid essay-rant series focusing on fandom (the collective community) and its intense race/racism problems. If you’re new to my blog and to this project, start here with the introduction post. Make sure to click the links and read the content because they’ll add further nuance to the essay here.
In addition to talking about race and racism, this post also mentions incest (with regard to how fandom interprets familial relationships to suit their shipping needs).
One thing that becomes overwhelmingly clear when it comes to the treatment of characters of color is the lengths that fandom is willing to go to in order to get them out of the way of their favorite white character ships. There are so many techniques that we could tackle, many of them framed subtly enough that it’s difficult to combat them, but for the purposes of this post we’re going to look at five of the most popular:
Willful misinterpretation of relationships
Theorizing that a character of color is really evil (and therefore shouldn’t be shipped/the relationship should be placed under suspicion)
Deciding that a character of color in a POC/White Fandom Darling ship is actually asexual and/or a “strong [race/ethnicity] man/woman/non-binary person that don’t need no significant other”
POC reduced to an agony aunt character to get white characters together
Way to prove my point, fellow comic fans. How weird is it that the majority of the people that have sent me nasty tweets or left rude comments on my blog (the majority of which have probably been eaten by my spam filter because it’s super strict) are people who have gotten so angry about racebending and my calling out racism, that they need to react angrily to them?
It’s like they read my post, didn’t register anything, and decided to behave in such a way that validated my comments on fandom’s racist reactions to people wanting or working on more diversity in comic canon or superhero media.
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