Showing posts tagged with “media representation”

There are so many writers of color out there, and often what they get when they bring their books to their editors, they say, ‘We don’t relate to the character.’ Well it’s not for you to relate to! And why can’t you expand yourself so you can relate to the humanity of a character as opposed to the color of what they are?

Anika Noni Rose in Vanity Fair, via this excellent Buzzfeed article on diversity in publishing. (via leeandlow)

this really is an excellent article, y’all should read it.

elloellenoh:

awesome-everyday:

KERRY I <3 YOU GIRL

"If I succeed I create the opportunity for more people to succeed…" — This

(Source: kerrybearw)

Lupita Nyong’o Delivers Moving ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Acceptance Speech

midniwithmaddy:

"I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me. 

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened. 

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be. 

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away. 

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. 

There is no shame in Black beauty.”

intersectionalfeminism:

I think I’ve posted about this before, but I can never get over how amazing “Out of the Box” actually was. If you’re looking for a truly feminist children’s show, this is my #1 recommendation.

For starters, the two main characters (who are seen in the gif) are both from marginalised groups but are not stereotypes even a little bit. And as I recall, there was even an episode where they both shared their culture with the children is a positive light.

Secondly, the show is very anti-classist. The premise of the show is that the two main characters are taking care of the children after school until their parents get home from work. They do things such as arts and crafts, and rely heavily on cheap products that can usually be found around the home.

Thirdly, the show was pretty progressive when it came to gender roles and gender expression. As I recall, there was one episode in which the children wanted to do a play about a princess and a dragon. They decided to make puppets by drawing on lunch bags with markers. One of the children, who appeared to be a cis girl, declared that she wanted to be a strong and scary dragon. Another one of the children, who appeared to be a cis boy, declared that he wanted to be a beautiful princess. There was no shaming for this, and no talk about “proper gender roles”. Instead, the two main characters simply applauded the children for the creativity and helped them create their puppets.

I actually might watch all of the episode again one day (if I can find them) and create a full list of reasons why people should watch Out of the Box. But for now, I’ll just leave you with the episodes that I remember.

(Source: 2000ish)

angelophile:



You could argue comic books have little importance in the grander scheme of things. But comic books make a big statement in a small way. We won’t have blockbuster movies about a Muslim superhero until we can all be excited about a comic book portraying one. When Marvel created Khan, it took a shot at breaking the typical paradigm of superheroes. While it’s a small gesture when measured up to the entire comic book world, it’s another step in the movement for equality in entertainment.
For the larger part of the decade, there was a potent cloud of racism and hatred towards Muslim people. Today, the fact we can portray young Muslim girls as superheroes is a beacon of hope for what is to come. Sure, a lot of people will say “it’s just a comic book.” But I’d like to think somewhere out there, it’s making a difference in a young Muslim girl’s life. And even if the message gets lost and Khan’s character doesn’t sell well, at least a young girl could have her own superhero to look up to.

Global Thinking: Kamala Khan Marvel launches female Muslim Superhero by Kavahn Mansouri.

angelophile:

You could argue comic books have little importance in the grander scheme of things. But comic books make a big statement in a small way. We won’t have blockbuster movies about a Muslim superhero until we can all be excited about a comic book portraying one. When Marvel created Khan, it took a shot at breaking the typical paradigm of superheroes. While it’s a small gesture when measured up to the entire comic book world, it’s another step in the movement for equality in entertainment.

For the larger part of the decade, there was a potent cloud of racism and hatred towards Muslim people. Today, the fact we can portray young Muslim girls as superheroes is a beacon of hope for what is to come. Sure, a lot of people will say “it’s just a comic book.” But I’d like to think somewhere out there, it’s making a difference in a young Muslim girl’s life. And even if the message gets lost and Khan’s character doesn’t sell well, at least a young girl could have her own superhero to look up to.

Global Thinking: Kamala Khan Marvel launches female Muslim Superhero by Kavahn Mansouri.

vile-vixen:

my 3 year old sister of indian heritage already hates the way she looks because she doesn’t look like 99% of the white girls in disney/tv/toys and it breaks my fucking heart. she’s 3 fucking years old and shedding genuine tears because she has dark skin and hair and eyes, so dont dare pull a fucking hissy fit when people actually try to be fucking POC inclusive with something as important as children’s media 

"but it’s an old EUROPEAN fairy tale" yeah suck my dick

yourmediahasproblems:

after making a post about with statistics about black oscar nominees/winners, i was asked to do it for other PoC so here you go, a compilation post  

since the academy awards began in 1929:  

a black man has been nominated for best leading actor 20 times 

  • out of these 20 nominations, there are only 13 different black men who have been nominated  
  • only twice were more than one black actor nominated in the same year 
  • out of these 20 nominations, only four won (not including Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is nominated this year and will hopefully win) 
  • out of these 20 nominations, 16 were for roles that had to be played by black men (i.e. they were based on real people or the storyline called for it) 
  • Out of the mere 4 roles in which the actor being black was not specifically required, only 2 roles could really have realistically been played by an actor of another racewithout it being awkward/unrealistic/changing the story (Denzel Washington in Flight, and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption) 

a black woman has been nominated for the academy award for best leading actress 10 times 

  • only once was more than one black actress nominated in the same year 
  • out of these 10 nominations, only one won 
  • every single role required a black actress 

an asian man has been nominated for best leading actor 3 times 

  • out of those three nominations, two won 
  • only two different asian men have been nominated
  • out of those three nominations, all three had to be played by asian men 
  • there have never been more than one asian man nominated in the same year 
  • the last time an asian man was nominated for best leading actor was 11 years ago 
an asian woman has been nominated for best leading actress 1 time 
  •  no asian woman has ever won the oscar for best leading actress 
  • the role did not require an asian actress 
  • the last time an asian woman was nominated for best leading actress was 79 years ago

a latino or hispanic man (including those born in and outside the US) has been nominated for best leading actor 10 times 

  • of those 10 nominations, only 1 won 
  • of those 10 nominations, only 6 different men were nominated 
  • of those 10 nominations, 4 had to be played by hispanic/latino men
  • at least half of the men nominated have been white-passing (this is not just an opinion: they played specifically white characters such as italians and greeks) 
a latina or hispanic woman (including those born in and outside the US) has been nominated for best leading actress 4 times 
  • no hispanic or latina actress has ever won the oscar for best actress 
  • every role nominated required a hispanic or latina actress 

do you see the problems here?

  1. ridiculously low number of PoC nominees, and even lower number of PoC winners  
  2. lack of opportunities presented to PoC actors: the roles that do not specify a race are overwhelmingly given to white actors, leaving only the PoC-specific roles for PoC actors 
  3. the number of movies starring PoC people or with the cast being a majority PoC, but not about their race, is stunningly low 

yourmediaisproblematic:

since the academy awards began in 1929:  

a black man has been nominated for best leading actor 20 times 

  • out of these 20 nominations, there are only 13 different black men who have been nominated  
  • only once was more than one black actor nominated in the same year 
  • out of these 20 nominations, only four won (not including Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is nominated this year and will hopefully win) 
  • out of these 20 nominations, 16 were for roles that had to be played by black men (i.e. they were based on real people or the storyline called for it) 
  • Out of the mere 4 roles in which the actor being black was not specifically required, only 1 role could really have realistically been played by an actor of another race without it being awkward/unrealistic/changing the story (Denzel Washington in Flight) 

a black woman has been nominated for the academy award for best leading actress 10 times 

  • only once was more than one black actress nominated in the same year 
  • out of these 10 nominations, only one won 
  • every single role required a black actress 

do you see the problem here? for one thing, the ridiculously low number of black nominees is just that— ridiculous. for another, it demonstrates the lack of opportunities presented to black actors: the roles that do not specify a race are overwhelmingly given to white actors, leaving only the black-specific roles for black actors. the number of movies starring black people or with the cast being a majority black, but not about their race, is stunningly low. 

(Source: yourmediahasproblems)

A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books

medievalpoc:

by Ursula K. LeGuin

On Tuesday night, the Sci Fi Channel aired its final installment of Legend of Earthsea, the miniseries based—loosely, as it turns out—on my Earthsea books. The books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, which were published more than 30 years ago, are about two young people finding out what their power, their freedom, and their responsibilities are. I don’t know what the film is about. It’s full of scenes from the story, arranged differently, in an entirely different plot, so that they make no sense. My protagonist is Ged, a boy with red-brown skin. In the film, he’s a petulant white kid. Readers who’ve been wondering why I “let them change the story” may find some answers here.

When I sold the rights to Earthsea a few years ago, my contract gave me the standard status of “consultant”—which means whatever the producers want it to mean, almost always little or nothing. My agency could not improve this clause. But the purchasers talked as though they genuinely meant to respect the books and to ask for my input when planning the film. They said they had already secured Philippa Boyens (who co-wrote the scripts for The Lord of the Rings) as principal script writer. The script was, to me, all-important, so Boyens’ presence was the key factor in my decision to sell this group the option to the film rights.

Months went by. By the time the producers got backing from the Sci Fi Channel for a miniseries—and another producer, Robert Halmi Sr., had come aboard—they had lost Boyens. That was a blow. But I had just seen Halmi’s miniseries DreamKeeper, which had a stunning Native American cast, and I hoped that Halmi might include some of those great actors in Earthsea.

At this point, things began to move very fast. Early on, the filmmakers contacted me in a friendly fashion, and I responded in kind; I asked if they’d like to have a list of name pronunciations; and I said that although I knew that a film must differ greatly from a book, I hoped they were making no unnecessary changes in the plot or to the characters—a dangerous thing to do, since the books have been known to millions of people for decades. They replied that the TV audience is much larger, and entirely different, and would be unlikely to care about changes to the books’ story and characters.

They then sent me several versions of the script—and told me that shooting had already begun. I had been cut out of the process. And just as quickly, race, which had been a crucial element, had been cut out of my stories. In the miniseries, Danny Glover is the only man of color among the main characters (although there are a few others among the spear-carriers). A far cry from the Earthsea I envisioned. When I looked over the script, I realized the producers had no understanding of what the books are about and no interest in finding out. All they intended was to use the name Earthsea, and some of the scenes from the books, in a generic McMagic movie with a meaningless plot based on sex and violence.

Most of the characters in my fantasy and far-future science fiction books are not white. They’re mixed; they’re rainbow. In my first big science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, the only person from Earth is a black man, and everybody else in the book is Inuit (or Tibetan) brown. In the two fantasy novels the miniseries is “based on,” everybody is brown or copper-red or black, except the Kargish people in the East and their descendants in the Archipelago, who are white, with fair or dark hair. The central character Tenar, a Karg, is a white brunette. Ged, an Archipelagan, is red-brown. His friend, Vetch, is black. In the miniseries, Tenar is played by Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk, the only person in the miniseries who looks at all Asian. Ged and Vetch are white.

My color scheme was conscious and deliberate from the start. I didn’t see why everybody in science fiction had to be a honky named Bob or Joe or Bill. I didn’t see why everybody in heroic fantasy had to be white (and why all the leading women had “violet eyes”). It didn’t even make sense. Whites are a minority on Earth now—why wouldn’t they still be either a minority, or just swallowed up in the larger colored gene pool, in the future?

The fantasy tradition I was writing in came from Northern Europe, which is why it was about white people. I’m white, but not European. My people could be any color I liked, and I like red and brown and black. I was a little wily about my color scheme. I figured some white kids (the books were published for “young adults”) might not identify straight off with a brown kid, so I kind of eased the information about skin color in by degrees—hoping that the reader would get “into Ged’s skin” and only then discover it wasn’t a white one.

I was never questioned about this by any editor. No objection was ever raised. I think this is greatly to the credit of my first editors at Parnassus and Atheneum, who bought the books before they had a reputation to carry them.

But I had endless trouble with cover art. Not on the great cover of the first edition—a strong, red-brown profile of Ged—or with Margaret Chodos Irvine’s four fine paintings on the Atheneum hardcover set, but all too often. The first British Wizard was this pallid, droopy, lily-like guy—I screamed at sight of him…

Read the Rest Here

jamesshowlett:

having one minority in a sea of white characters is like putting a teaspoon of sugar in a bowl of salt and telling me that shit gon be sweet.

(Source: thotterfly)