OK, we know BBC’s Sherlock is important to a lot of people. Definitely important enough to inspire the online equivalent of a riot when tickets went on sale for a preview screening of the latest episode. But enough for the UK Prime Minister to make a public statement about the lengthy wait for a new season?
During an official visit to China this week, Prime Minister David Cameron set up a profile on China’s most popular social media site, Sina Weibo, and asked members of the public to submit their questions. Naturally, most of the questions were related to politics or diplomacy, but one stood out: “Please urge Sherlock crew to be quick! They have had us waiting for two years for every season!” [READ MORE]
The other day, we were watching the extras for The Hobbit, and we saw the bit about local New Zealanders being cast as Hobbit extras. My BIL suggested that I should move to New Zealand and get cast as a Hobbit in the next film because I am such a Hobbit in all the ways that count.
I allowed myself a moment to fantasize that this is a thing that could actually happen before I went back to reality and said, “Can’t. Hobbits don’t look like me.”
Not, ‘Can’t afford it’ or ‘I don’t have any acting skills’, just ‘Hobbits are white, and I’m not, so this can never happen.’
All the people of color in these movies are either behind the scenes or under 50 pounds of make-up, playing goblins and orcs and Uruk-Hai. No Hobbits look like me, no elves look like me, no wizards will ever be brown or black or Asian or anything other than white. We’re only villains, only ugly and broken and untrustyworthy, and we never get to be the heroes of these stories, whether it’s in the books or in the movies.
And I can’t even let myself have the fantasy that I’m a Hobbit because the fandom fights so hard for its white, male-centric stories that even non-speaking background characters being cast with PoC led to a racist backlash. A white woman being cast as an elf has led to such hysterical reactions that I can’t even begin to imagine what would’ve happened to the Tolkien fandom if they’d cast a black woman as Tauriel. The earth would’ve probably ripped asunder from the outraged fan shrieking.
People who look like me aren’t allowed to even exist in these stories as background characters, let alone be the heroes, to be the elves and Hobbits and Dwarves and wizards that everyone knows and loves.
And as much as I love these stories and these movies, I am always fully, terribly aware that I will never be the hero, only the villain, and that my fantasies of being someone like Bilbo or Bofur or Tauriel will only ever be fantasies, and even then, I might not get those because people are vocally fighting to keep their representation white, which impacts negatively on my secret yearning to be a Hobbit.
It’s hard to think of yourself as a Hobbit when people are screaming in your face that the characters are white because of tradition, and any other casting would just ruin the franchises. It’s hard to fantasize about being the hero when people are constantly telling you that your skin color looks wrong on heroic characters, never mind that being white is not an intrinsic characteristic of any of the Tolkien characters.
It’s hard to love these stories and be in this fandom when you’re constantly told you don’t belong here.
The problem with people giving me book vouchers/card/amazon vouchers for the Kindle is that I understand it’s much easier for them trying to find something I’d like but honestly it’s the recommendation of “you might like this” that I’m looking for almost as much as the money.
Lies Big Bang have told us.
You know, I’d really been hopeful that I wouldn’t have to write about Big Bang Press again. I said my piece last time and I stand by it, and in a perfect world that would’ve been that.
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and, over the last few days, I’ve come to doubt my last post’s basic assumption. Specifically, that the people involved in Big Bang were well-meaning but naive.
I don’t think that any more. Now, I think they’re intentionally misleading and exploiting fandom—and, more importantly, fan authors—in order to turn themselves a profit. And that I do have a problem with. Not the “turning a profit” part, mind; Big Bang is setting up a business, businesses (hopefully) make money. I myself live a comfortable upper-middle-class lifestyle thanks to the proceeds of business, so it would be hypocritical for me to deny anyone else the same. But the way Big Bang is going about it, by outright lying to fandom, is objectionable.
Hence this post. And no, I’m not the only person saying these things (check the reblogs on the original post). So think of this as a signal boost, if you will.
(Massive tl;dr ahead. Consider yourselves warned…)
[… lots of info, snipped for length, but that I encourage people to read…]
As someone who pledged, this is a bucket of ice cold water
So I’ve been kinda sitting on the fence about whether to say anything about this for a few days, and I’m sure I’ll regret it later… but I’m a sucker so here goes.