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Is diversity in the media really necessary?

JUSTSOMEALIN

Well-known member
#1
Lately we've all been seeing a rise in diversity inside of the likes of Comic Books, video games, movies, and novels alike. This crave for diversity seems to have all stemmed from a lot of outlash that there are not enough female/black/Asian *insert minority here* characters out there in fiction. And yet, there seems to be just as much outlash on all of these media fronts when they DO add these new races/genders into the mix. The question then becomes:
Why?

Why add diversity into comics and other such media? What for? Is it because people want to identify with a character? Because the idea that this is to be done with a gender/skin color is quite surface level. It would be something if people were to create a black/asian character who was being racially mistreated/forced to adapt to a culture they did not understand, and their arc NEEDED them to be of this other race or color. But if the background would have nothing to do with the character's origin, than it seems the diversity is often added for no reason other than to look progressive. Mind you that I do enjoy watching a diverse cast, but if a character is black in the middle ages, they also have to have a reason for being there and act like a black person in the middle ages would.

If someone is added in for only the idea of diversity (as if often the case nowadays), doesn't that ruin a potential for a good character...?
 

Morphile

Active member
#4
As I've said before, there wouldn't be a backlash against Comics if they'd repeated what they did with the X-Men and sequestered a given type of political commentary to one subset of the continuity. If we'd gotten a spinoff with Mutants, or one of the other fictional minority groups, having to deal with the sort of treatment the leftists think is everywhere, something of a street-level series that focuses on the politics that get glossed over in the wider lines, possibly largely focused on detective work to actually get actionable evidence of various sorts of illegal bias, then the audience wouldn't endlessly hurl shit at Marvel.

Some elements of the audience would doubtlessly sling shit at that particular line due to being politics/interpretation of facts they don't agree with, but if it's well written? Most of the audience would buy it. If it were poorly written, most of the criticism would be about poor writing choices (which is the vast majority of shit slung at Riri Williams) rather than a hate for diversity.
 

JUSTSOMEALIN

Well-known member
#5
As I've said before, there wouldn't be a backlash against Comics if they'd repeated what they did with the X-Men and sequestered a given type of political commentary to one subset of the continuity. If we'd gotten a spinoff with Mutants, or one of the other fictional minority groups, having to deal with the sort of treatment the leftists think is everywhere, something of a street-level series that focuses on the politics that get glossed over in the wider lines, possibly largely focused on detective work to actually get actionable evidence of various sorts of illegal bias, then the audience wouldn't endlessly hurl shit at Marvel.

Some elements of the audience would doubtlessly sling shit at that particular line due to being politics/interpretation of facts they don't agree with, but if it's well written? Most of the audience would buy it. If it were poorly written, most of the criticism would be about poor writing choices (which is the vast majority of shit slung at Riri Williams) rather than a hate for diversity.
I have a question. What makes Riri Williams so hateable that Miles Morales does not have?
 

JUSTSOMEALIN

Well-known member
#8
I already watched Comic Drake's video, and he didn't really answer my question on why so many people hate her while Miles is loved. Weren't they basically inserted for the same reason, pandering? And yet, one is now renowned as one of the greatest spider man characters and the other as a horribly written one?

What exactly is different and mary sue-ish about her?
 

Realmfighter

Well-known member
#9
I thought this thread was gonna be bitching about news media being biased against righties.

We can all come together in our belief that the other guys should get fucked.
 
#12
What exactly is different and mary sue-ish about her?
Did you check Diversity and Comics' video? That covers a lot of the shitty writing that makes Riri really bad at the political message component of her character, while also touching on things she's done. The Big Thing is something that actually requires multiple paragraphs to properly explain how horseshit it is, mostly covered in the first six minutes. Though a one-liner that gets the issue with the incident, currently listed as the top comment on the aforementioned video (for some reason. It has under a tenth the likes of the next comment...), is as follows:

SHE WANTS TO BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST!
 

Q99

Active member
#13
Lately we've all been seeing a rise in diversity inside of the likes of Comic Books, video games, movies, and novels alike. This crave for diversity seems to have all stemmed from a lot of outlash that there are not enough female/black/Asian *insert minority here* characters out there in fiction. And yet, there seems to be just as much outlash on all of these media fronts when they DO add these new races/genders into the mix. The question then becomes:
Why?

Why add diversity into comics and other such media? What for? Is it because people want to identify with a character? Because the idea that this is to be done with a gender/skin color is quite surface level. It would be something if people were to create a black/asian character who was being racially mistreated/forced to adapt to a culture they did not understand, and their arc NEEDED them to be of this other race or color. But if the background would have nothing to do with the character's origin, than it seems the diversity is often added for no reason other than to look progressive. Mind you that I do enjoy watching a diverse cast, but if a character is black in the middle ages, they also have to have a reason for being there and act like a black person in the middle ages would.
Because people want it, and because the amount of diversity is artificially low.

The reason a lot of the books, movies, etc.. with more diverse casts do well is because it's an underserved area.

Here's a study done by a casting agency

There’s been little debate over the moral arguments behind increasing diversity on- and off-screen in Hollywood, but the economic arguments haven’t always been so clear.​
While women, people of color, LGBTQ folk and other historically marginalized communities in Hollywood continue to insist “diversity pays,” the box office success of films with diverse casts such as “Hidden Figures” ($230.1 million worldwide) and “Get Out” ($251.2 million worldwide) is inevitably deemed a “surprise.”​
A new study and database crafted by Creative Artists Agency, however, is aiming to take some of the surprise out of box office performance, noting that across every budget level a film with a diverse cast outperforms a release not so diversified.
Additionally, the data, to be released during a private leadership conference dubbed Amplify on Wednesday in Laguna Beach, demonstrates that the average opening weekend for a film that attracts a diverse audience, often the result of having a diverse cast, is nearly three times on average a film with non-diverse audiences.​

CAA examined 413 theatrical films released from January 2014 through December 2016, detailing cast ethnicity for the top 10 billed actors per movie, a total of 2,800 people. They found that for the top 10 grossing movies in 2016, 47% of the opening weekend audience (and 45% in 2015) were people of color. Moreover, seven of the 10 highest-grossing movies from 2016 (and four from 2015’s top 10) delivered opening weekend audiences that were more than 50% non-white.
From there, the study notes that at every budget level, a film with a cast that is at least 30% non-white — CAA’s definition of a “truly diverse” film — outperforms a release that is not truly diverse in opening weekend box office. And on the audience side of things, the average opening weekend for a film that has a “truly diverse” audience, pegged at 38% to 70% non-white, is $31 million versus $12 million for films with non-diverse audiences.
That shows there is a stupid lack of diversity vs the demand, people are actively shooting themselves in the foot to cast more-white, and showing that the current lack of diversity is highly artificial.

And are these more-white movies better for it? Generally not! The Ghost in the Shell remake was trash, and, well, if you want a mostly-white piece of media your options are so overfull anyway that yet another barely adds to your selection, while proportionally there's more people who want other types of people who speak to them.



And to answer this specifically:
If someone is added in for only the idea of diversity (as if often the case nowadays), doesn't that ruin a potential for a good character...?
No. Here's a fun thing about characters: Every character without exception is made for their role in the story.

"I'm only adding them because I thought they'd add X aspect to the story,"- why Sherlock Holmes and Watson exist. Why Korra and Aang exist. Why Superman and Black Panther exist. Why the X-men exist.

And... we see when multiple are added, we get much more rich portrayals than back in the day when you'd have a single token member.


Plus, it basically results in This, where you have people sit around and... make characters artificially white. Yay? The idea that you can only make diverse characters if you're not thinking about doing it for that reason, when every part of a story is something someone things about, is a weird one.
 

Q99

Active member
#14
Did you check Diversity and Comics' video? That covers a lot of the shitty writing that makes Riri really bad at the political message component of her character, while also touching on things she's done. The Big Thing is something that actually requires multiple paragraphs to properly explain how horseshit it is, mostly covered in the first six minutes. Though a one-liner that gets the issue with the incident, currently listed as the top comment on the aforementioned video (for some reason. It has under a tenth the likes of the next comment...), is as follows:
Also? Not a good source to cite. They're prime movers in a harassment movement, who's known for attacking creators for being women, harassing stores for not caring their books, and in general most of the industry has stood up to call them out on just how horrible they're being. A lot of stuff they say is flat BS. They aren't well informed on comics and are overtly pushing an anti-diversity agenda and using harassment.


Interesting on the wide-scale, Marvel's diversity-push sold above average compared to non-diverse books Marvel put out at the time. Did they all work? No, but the idea that you need 100% success rate or near it to do diversity while non-diverse comics, which fail all the time, don't, is I think one that is dumb for various obvious reasons. On the whole, Marvel's diversity push payed off and got us a lot of good characters and books for them, more-so than the new white-male-lead books in the same period (they had a Star Lord- as in Guardians of the Galaxy- solo book come out at the same period. It had known, solid writers. It was intended to be an indefinite ongoing. It did so poorly it lasted 6 issues. The Foolkiller and Solo books didn't light up the charts either). The sales data suggests the logical next move is probably another diversity push.


Just like with movies, the amount of diversity in comics is artificially low, beneath demand, and more "Ooooh, that's awesome, I really want that!" examples are coming out from diversifying than not. Which is... really something that should be intuitively straightforward, right? Serve more audiences > serving less audience, whether talking quality (if in range of types of quality if nothing else) or profit.
 
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#15
Also? Not a good source to cite
He backs his criticism with an on screen copy of the comic he's criticizing. So go watch it, to get the view of why it's bad, according to a major voice in the movement of people who think it's bad. If you're going to refuse to watch his take on it purely because of the politics you think he has, then you're the one being much more prejudiced. He's hating on the diversity push because it's a diversity push. The character's races are chosen specifically to have a character of that race for the purpose of representation. That's tokenism. That's pandering. That is a bad thing. The entire reason for the opposition is that it's forcing diversity, rather than making characters that happen to be X race. This is Marvel Comics fans, they had Storm decades ago and rose no fuss about it. They'll sling shit at giving Blade a cameo because it's solely a cameo referring to a comic they actually liked.

Comicsgate is about hating on pushing for diversity instead of just writing a diverse cast. They hate that the point of the characters being minorities is to have minority characters, rather than just making a character a minority because there's no reason not to and it doesn't impact the story right now. These are not racist bigots, otherwise they'd not be into Marvel Comic's real, unforced diversity from decades ago. As in the fucking 1960s, when the Civil Rights movement was still going on.

They're prime movers in a harassment movement
Comicsgate has firmly moved to "opposing subindustry" at this point, as they've literally gone and set up their own distributing and hide who's printing their stuff because the last lot got shit slung at them by the established industry, leading to them needing to find new printers/distributors because the last ones were bullied out of the deal. Also, it's hardly harassment to relentlessly nitpick actual writing flaws like the shitshow of Riri Williams, as most of Comicsgate actually spends its time doing. Constantly slinging shit at authors for telling bad stories, as decided by their (former) customers, is ruthless criticism, not harassment.

harassing stores for not caring their books
He pointed out that stores were refusing to carry their books and criticized the fact that the stores were refusing product that, by all appearances, was going to sell well, for ideological reasons. He didn't hammer it relentlessly, as is needed to qualify as harassment. Seriously, he did, like, two videos on it, using their own tweets to show it was about politics, rather than economics or personal likes.

They aren't well informed on comics
...You fucking what? Dude, these are people who have been reading comics for d e c a d e s. Some of them have fucking 80s issues they bought new. These are Marvel's long term fans doing this criticism and being driven off by being handed things they do not like in replacement of what they did like.

Which is... really something that should be intuitively straightforward, right? Serve more audiences > serving less audience, whether talking quality (if in range of types of quality if nothing else) or profit.
What this statement forgets is that white men were (and probably still are) over 80% of the consumer base, while also being about 30% of the population of the primary market space. Europe has white men be around 40% of the population. And they're removing the old audience appeal, rather than introducing new lines. As I said, these people would not have a problem with a full progressive message soaked line focusing on all the biases those people think society has en mass if it was just a new line. Their issue is that every line is being warped to fit this single message and forcefully push diversity.

The entire racial minority population of the United States is only a third or so larger than white men. And Marvel's done a whole lot to anger than demographic by taking away their representation, if you insist on that being needed, and on pure principal of nostalgia, these long-term fans have reasonable cause to despise the way Marvel's going because of rampant character replacement, however temporary. Bruce Banner got replaced by an Asian man with little-to-no forewarning, Iron Man got replaced by a black chick who's justifications are fucking racialized spite, Peter Parker's replacement was at least written well enough to draw them back, but there was quite the spike of hate built on "They got rid of Peter Parker in the Ultimate lineup"...

Marvel's driving away its existing audience while trying to seek one that is considerably economically smaller and not much larger in population than their previous one, presuming the previous target audience was white men instead of Americans in general. It's bad business to replace your current lineup to seek a poorer, smaller audience. Poor minorities are a terrible target audience, economically, so if this was actually a reasoned business decision, then they'd have left the existing lineup untouched to retain the old audience as they tried to bring in a new one. But no, they're politically motivated, and this time, the politics are intersectional, demanding everything be tied together into a single message.

And the existing customers want nothing to do with this, because they're mostly liberal white men. There are literally hundreds of racial minority superheroes predating the turn of the millennium. Black Panther debuted in 1966, with nobody raising a fuss about it. And, quite notably, he became popular enough for the MCU. You don't see characters like Blade there (oh, and by the way, Blade had three movies, all in the top 50 selling of their year, before Obama was President. Not a fucking word about race was spoken in serious critique, and those movies are often considered responsible for the success of Superhero films going forwards. And Blade is, like, a C-lister, his primary presence in popular culture is the films).

Race alone is not a problem to Marvel Comics fans. They've had diversity for the last 70 years or more, and never complained about it unless it was actively pushed. Hell, even with some of the pushed diversity, they were perfectly accepting. Ever heard of Iceman? The complaints about him being gay, when it first happened, were largely centered on the fact he was quite explicitly heterosexual in previous issues, rather than anything about hating gays. The fans were grumpy about a retcon for the sake of inclusivity, not the inclusivity itself. The modern homosexual characters get shit slung at them because their stories focus far too heavily on their sexuality for the fans' liking. They're perfectly fine with having those characters, but it's Marvel comics, they're in it for action, not a fucking soap opera romance fairly transparently done for the sake of pushing diversity.
 
#16
Marvel's case is that they completely and utterly shit the bed with having a founding character who was created to be anathema to Nazism going "Hail Hydra!". X-Men also shit the bed, while the final nail was hammered into Fantastic Four's Coffin. If anything, this is a textbook example of the Glass Cliff, where imperilled companies front women and minorities so when things come crashing down, they have a convenient scapegoat.
 
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JUSTSOMEALIN

Well-known member
#17
No. Here's a fun thing about characters: Every character without exception is made for their role in the story.
Yes, no shit. But in nowaday's age, people seem to misunderstand this for "These characters need to be this color or this gender in order to make sure that we are a diverse movie" which is in itself a bad way to start creating characters. Characters are there to play a role in the story, and the role of "the asian one, the black one, the female one" creates the very tokenism that we all strife so badly against.

Good example? Battlefield 5, a game about World War 2 which features a white woman with a prostethic arm in the front. Something which does not make sense in any way at all, and something which the developers claim to be a "realistic untold world war 2 story". Fuck off, please, you wanted this woman to pander to women and mostly feminists, not to tell a realistic (this bitch jumped out of a second story window and hid under a tank that rode over her, and uses a fucking baseball bat to kill squads-) untold story of world war 2.
 

Q99

Active member
#19
He backs his criticism with an on screen copy of the comic he's criticizing. So go watch it, to get the view of why it's bad, according to a major voice in the movement of people who think it's bad. If you're going to refuse to watch his take on it purely because of the politics you think he has, then you're the one being much more prejudiced. He's hating on the diversity push because it's a diversity push. The character's races are chosen specifically to have a character of that race for the purpose of representation. That's tokenism. That's pandering. That is a bad thing. The entire reason for the opposition is that it's forcing diversity, rather than making characters that happen to be X race. This is Marvel Comics fans, they had Storm decades ago and rose no fuss about it. They'll sling shit at giving Blade a cameo because it's solely a cameo referring to a comic they actually liked.
You know, I don't think you get why Tokenism is bad. It's because people who couldn't actually be bothered to do flesh-in diverse casts would just put a character in as a bland representative. It also isn't bad when there's one example and they're actually fleshed out.

Want to know how you don't have tokenism? You put in three or more characters, so they cease to be tokens and become a spectrum. The movie survey? Said the butter zone was 30-70%. The problem with your tokenism is it's not enough, and you're treating it like a ceiling.


And yea, he's hating on a diversity push because it's a diversity push. Do you know what else gets pushes in comics at various times? Teen book pushes. Retro pushes. Non-comics-people-who-do-weird-things pushes. Mutant pushes. Avengers pushes. Different art style pushes. Companies push things, that's how it works. Hating on the idea that you can push diversity singles it out as a specific exception that alone is gatekeeped as something they can't push unlike everything else.

He's hating on diversity pushes- and harassing to the point of being kicked out of Antarctic Press, one of the least-caring-about-what-creators-do companies there is- specifically because he wants to gatekeep who is in it to keep people he doesn't like out of the industry and doesn't think people he doesn't like should be able to make books for people not like him.

And the people who've called out how BS it is? Bill Sienkiewicz. Kurt Busiek. Neil Gaiman (who specifically noted the idea that minority hires are getting favoritism as claimed by EVS is BS and how he had effectively no credits when he was hired, and nor did a lot of other popular big-names now). Joe Quesada. Gail Simone. You know, the actual comics industry.

Race alone is not a problem to Marvel Comics fans. They've had diversity for the last 70 years or more, and never complained about it unless it was actively pushed.

Hah! "It's ok if it exists, but only if they don't, y'know, try and cater to an audience." Because Kirby forbid that a comic company try and cater to various audiences!

Also? People complained heavily about the 'All New All Different' lineup- you know, the one that introduced Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus to the team- on exactly the same grounds. It was in the letters columns at the time.



You throwing a hissy fit when creators cater to people who aren't you isn't new, it's not special, it's just you having an issue that not everything is for you. If this was 1976, you'd be one of the people hating on Storm- because that's what you're doing now, and you say that no-one raised a fuss back then, but they did. They raised a fuss when Captain America punched Hitler too, in case you're wondering. Note that comics were started by a lot of Jewish creators at a time when antisematism was strong. Superman was a social crusader in Action Comics #1.

The All New All Different X-men lineup was an active push for diversity, you trying to use it as a defense is ironic, you only give it a pass because it's already part of the landscape, but it was very much a move to expand the landscape of the literal exact same kind that you're angry about today.


Again, the diversity push was highly successful- in terms of both commercial success and critical acclaim. It brought more characters to prominence and popularity than most pushes (just ask the Inhumans push, who's success stories... only succeeded when they were also part of the diversity push). So I guess we'll just have to add 'hates capitalism,' 'hates good reviews,' and 'hates success' to your list, eh?

Where do you think new Storms come from if not new pushes?

Yes, no shit. But in nowaday's age, people seem to misunderstand this for "These characters need to be this color or this gender in order to make sure that we are a diverse movie" which is in itself a bad way to start creating characters. Characters are there to play a role in the story, and the role of "the asian one, the black one, the female one" creates the very tokenism that we all strife so badly against.
Pfffhehe. Tell that to all the stories where it's "and let's shove a white lead in, because that's what sells/is universal!" movies that flop. And you're making the assumption that having a diverse cast automatically makes them flat. Why do you think writers inherently lose their writing skill when they do so? Or that there's only one of each as if that's the upper limit? And note- going by the movie audience and where they go, the overwhelming desire is more diversity is exactly what they want to see, not this fear of tokenism you speak of.

In short, the tokenism line is a dumb argument and you should prooobably feel bad for making it.




Good example? Battlefield 5, a game about World War 2 which features a white woman with a prostethic arm in the front. Something which does not make sense in any way at all, and something which the developers claim to be a "realistic untold world war 2 story". Fuck off, please, you wanted this woman to pander to women and mostly feminists, not to tell a realistic (this bitch jumped out of a second story window and hid under a tank that rode over her, and uses a fucking baseball bat to kill squads-) untold story of world war 2.
Yea, because all the other Battlefield games are sooo realistic (Hint: They ain't).

Is it something that happened? No. Does it sound like a fun game, that's getting reviews for it's fun? Yes. Does this sound like something that makes it stand out and be more interesting than generic WW2 soldier number two hundred forty? Yes. But ironically, people who are complaining about diversity say "games shouldn't be about (X), they should just be fun!" don't really care if people find takes like this fun, at least if it's people other than them.


Note you pick cherrypicked panels, I pick industry statics, history, comic professionals... hey, fun fact: That Thor run was one of the higher selling Thor runs (not the highest, but top three or so, and there's a lot of competition, plenty of which sold very middling numbers), and maintained sales for multiple years- while also outselling a book with Thor Odinson as the lead (also of note: While Tony Stark was out, there were two replacement 'Ironman' books, one had a newish black woman the other an established white male lead. CG complains about the black woman and talks about how diversity is killing comics. Guess which one actually sold better? Yep, black woman. Neither was the level of success of JaneThor, but one held her own better). So yea, your 'why aren't comics selling well any more? This!' includes a book that sold well for it's entire run and told the entire intended arc that was planned from day 1.

Just because you freak out at a page doesn't make it a bad comic, y'know? It doesn't even mean that's representative of that comic. But that's really par for the course, finding something you don't like, holding it up as an example of why it's killing (X), and not paying any attention to any of the context or whether it's remotely true. Was JaneThor actually bad, or are you relying on second-hand information that gives you a misleading impression, and then generalizing that out to literally a dozen books? You certainly don't know, but it doesn't stop you from getting angry about it and throwing multiple internet tantrums when you (ScreenXSurfer) aren't even a comic fan, judging by how little you know about it.

That's another irony of the movements- the complainers are often fake geeks who don't even know what they're talking about, trying to push out people who are invested in the mediums.


The short of it is how baaaasically several of you are getting loud and angry over a history of comics which isn't true based on current statistics about diversity killing comics (movies etc.) which isn't true based on other people telling you contextless details which aren't true based on things being aimed at people who aren't you- and in ScreenXSurfer calling it a great cultural war at that. It's all just petty gatekeeping with a side of harassment, y'know? Stuff being made for others will not make stuff aimed at you go away, you don't need to feel so threatened by it!
 
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