I am a self professed geek. While I’m not a big as one as Andi Marquette or Lise Mactague, I’m somewhere in the middle. I watch Syfy movies more than I read the books. I used to be a comic buff but now I lean more toward TV shows that range from animated to live action and blockbuster movies to get my fix.
There’s something that has always troubled me. POC are still members of a minority group in every given sense including power, visibility, and so on even though there are so many of us with brown and yellow skin that geek out. That is to say, why are there so few brown and yellow skinned people in Syfy? In blockbuster hero movies? In those geeky TV shows?
Oh pish, KD it’s just a reflection of the way the world works!
Uh huh, yeah. Okay.
Let’s go back to Star Wars episodes 4-6. Remember all those brown skinned people that fought in the rebellion? Yeah, me either. The only stand out was Lando that I can remember. And wow when Rey and Finn came along a lot of white men’s heads exploded. A white man saves the world. A white man leads the charge. Everyone knows that!
Apparently brown people and heroic women don’t really exist in space unless they wear a metal bikini or are the token in an all white cast.
Let’s not forget what happened to Kelly Marie Tran.
I’ll give you another example, The Walking Dead. They had a rotating door of black men but never more than one at a time it seems. Yes, the show has strong women. Yes, there is some diversity but the black man, an endangered and dangerous species according to many was never around for long and neither are the LGBTQI characters.
White men save the day. It’s a trope we’re all familiar with. It’s a trope we’ve cheered and it’s a trope that some just don’t see as problematic. It’s better known as white savior narrative. It’s inundated in a lot of major movies including some Oscar Winners such as 12 Years a Slave, The Green Book, The Blind Side, Free State of Jones, Glory, Gran Torino, The Help, Hidden Figures, etc. Oh, let’s not forget The Great Wall where Matt Damon and buddy show up in ancient China to save everyone. Furthermore, he was also the man arguing with a black woman about inclusion.
Yeah, that guy.
I could go on and on. Every advancement of the POC or other minorities in these movies was tied to a whiteness. Some would say that was just using privilege the right way. That would be great if it was always the case, but let’s be real.
It was not.
When Black Panther came along there was documented attempts to derail its success from white people posting on Twitter how they were assaulted for trying to watch the movie or turned away. There were many calling it racist because of the all black cast in front and behind the camera. There was even an attempt as misinformation during filming with reports of squabbling behind the camera because you know, ‘black people can’t get along.’
There was no white savior.
Now, let’s look at Captain Marvel. She’s white, but she just wasn’t the right sex. Plus, the actor who plays her refused to pander to toxic fandom or be some empty shell that just smiled, nodded and outline how lucky she was to get such a role. She stood up and scared some people. They swore to make the movie sink. They swore no men were gonna go see it. They swore blah blah blah yakkity yakkity and when that didn’t work and the movie made a billion dollars they tried to change the narrative.
There was a white savior but he was a she.
The bottom line is that women, LGBTQI people, POC can be heroes. They can save the day. Hell, we do it for ourselves at times on every fucking level. We can survive the apocalypse. We can be a part of a space fairing race. We can lead a rebellion.
We can do all that shit. Just get out the way and let us.
I bet people from all walks of life would come and watch.