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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 10 January 2020 at 5:34pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

As someone from a non-white background raised in a 99% white environment when I was growing up, I'm not sure if people realise it's actually more insulting to have token "diverse" characters thrown at you as scraps from the table. We're not idiots. It's like playing "one of these things is not like the others" on Sesame Street - anyone with an IQ higher than 85 can see that the diverse characters are being shoehorned into roles where they don't fit.

Focus on making cool, interesting characters with historically plausible, appropriate backgrounds (so no, a female and/or black James Bond is not going to work), and you will serve a diverse audience well.

Again, that's if you actually want to do the right thing by people from various backgrounds, as opposed to simply maximising revenue.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 10 January 2020 at 6:19pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

As someone from a non-white background raised in a 99% white environment when I was growing up, I'm not sure if people realise it's actually more insulting to have token "diverse" characters thrown at you as scraps from the table. 

-----

As someone from a non-white background raised in an environment that wasn't 99% white while growing up, I find all this talk about "natural diversity" a bunch of bullshit. Media is only just /now/ starting to represent how diverse my high school was in the 90s. I lived in the Westside of Los Angeles, which is predominantly white, but it was still never as white as it was depicted in media. There is a difference between tokenism and representation, and the continued attempts to equate the two is a crock.

"Natural" is inertia, and inertia has been the underrepresentation of minorities. I find tokenism insulting. Trying to include more perspectives and being more inclusive is not tokenism. Far from it.

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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 7:17am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The counter-argument to that is if you do it "unnaturally", you will not only get resistance, you will often get a complete backlash. Like Trumpism, and the rise of the white man as the wronged endangered minority.

Also, it's not Hollywood's job to pursue social justice. Their job is, and always has been, to pursue profits. Which they're still doing, under the guise of social justice.

Fortunately, in today's world, the tools for creating your own diverse character(s) and distributing them, are readily and cheaply available. Make the story interesting enough, and I don't think it will particularly matter what race or gender they are.

When I first saw Alien for example, I didn't spend all of my time wondering why the protagonist was female. It was done right, it suited the story, so it just worked naturally.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I watched first hand as Hollywood made its first stumbling steps toward diversity--at least, a diversity that did not require non-White characters to be servants or comedy relief.

Bill Cosby as a lead on I SPY, for instance. Greg Morris on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. And the big breakthru, Diana Carrol as the lead on JULIA.

Still, there was a long way to go. I've mentioned before that TV GUIDE noted a huge step having been made--and they were not being sarcastic--when a Black family was featured in a deodorant commercial. Black people on TV had been cardboard cutouts, perfect human specimens. Now they were being allowed to SWEAT!

Today, as I have noted, I still see the greatest inroads to "normalizing" diversity coming thru commercials. Mixed race couples abound. Single gender couples buy toilet paper and life insurance.

As one who has spent almost fifty years "casting" minorities in important roles--cops, doctors, judges, mayors, etc--I think it's GREAT!

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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 5 post reply


Tony Murcheson is my favorite character in NEXT MEN, and
she was created as a lead character long before mainstream
publishers, networks and movie studios were showing
diversity in their leads.

I like that you did this right when you got total control
of an independent title, JB. Tony is an essential
character - she keeps us grounded in a world where noth8ng
is what it seems when we arrived!! (and that's a good
thing!)


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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 1:24pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply


 QUOTE:
Tony Murcheson is my favorite character in NEXT MEN...


Tim, thanks for giving me an excuse to say again that Tony Murcheson is the strongest w̶o̶m̶a̶n̶ person to appear in any comic book I've ever read!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Tony was someone who almost made me believe the old saw that “the characters write themselves.” She sure seemed to know who she was!
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply


 QUOTE:
The counter-argument to that is if you do it "unnaturally", you will not only get resistance, you will often get a complete backlash. Like Trumpism, and the rise of the white man as the wronged endangered minority.

Sure. That's why the civil rights movement and desegregation were wrong. Because it freaked out the white man.


 QUOTE:
Also, it's not Hollywood's job to pursue social justice. Their job is, and always has been, to pursue profits. Which they're still doing, under the guise of social justice.

So if they are doing their job (pursuing profits), what's the issue? Despite the cries of the toxic man-baby crowd, audiences are still responding to increasingly diverse media. Instead of trying to be the arbiter of what forms of inclusion are appropriate and what's not, trust the audiences to consume what they feel is authentic.

I mean sure, if someone tries to make a movie about a black lesbian in a 1950s all-boys boarding school catering to upper-class white families, call that shit out. But when we are talking about non-white, non-male, non-heteronormative faces in a modern urban setting, complaints about what is or is not "natural" ring false.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"As one who has spent almost fifty years "casting" minorities in important roles--cops, doctors, judges, mayors, etc--I think it's GREAT!"

...

I've often wondered who made decisions on the race of new or one time characters when there was a different artist and writer.

JB, who's idea was it to have Equinox and his mother Black in that Marvel Team-Up story?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Mine.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 12 January 2020 at 10:12pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Who would play Tony in the TV show?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 January 2020 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Haven’t found her.
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