This makes me genuinely angry. Look, I know first hand how important representation is. Fuck, as a queer person, I wish we had MUCH better representation for queer character, women, and people who aren’t typical white straight men. I fucking THIRST for more shows I can watch without them dropping a “tr*nny” joke, making bi/pansexual people out to be sexy sex objects for male consumption, and reducing queer people and non-white/Western people to ridiculous stereotypes.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, COMPARING ART AND MEDIA TO A GOODS AND SERVICE IS THE MOST ENTITLED THING I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE DAMN LIFE.
Art and media creators do not owe their audience anything. Yes, creators SHOULD put in more representation. They SHOULD think before writing something hurtful and offensive that upholds harmful stereotypes, and they SHOULD own up and apologize when they cross the line. But they are not obligated to tailor their creation to you.
I don’t think concerns should be dismissed offhand with “go make one yourself,” but at the same time, I do heavily encourage people with liberal views to make their own art because as I said earlier, I want to see more good solid representation of what this kaleidoscope world of sexuality, gender, and real people actually looks like. Hell, it’s half the reason why I’m getting into a media field.
But art - and film and media is art, damn it - is fundamentally different from selling couches. A lot of art is personal expression - a writer sits down to plot a story, a painter sits down to paint. Yes, sometimes that personal expression is going to be really shitty, and if it’s something you really care about that sucks, but it’s entitled as hell to think that an artist should tailor their personal expression down to something that checks all the boxes of what you find acceptable, or worth watching. Especially since everyone has a bunch of boxes of their own.
NO PIECE OF ART IS GOING TO BE EXACTLY PERFECT FOR YOU. This is why creating your own is often what creators say, I’m sure with the best of intentions, to people with multiple concerns. Clearly you have a good solid vision of what you want if you’re able to write essays on why such and such a plot point was offensive and hurtful to you, so build from there. If you don’t feel you have the drive to do it on your own, find a partner. Talk about it. Create.
And I hope people do, you know. I hope to see many more shows and books that I can pick up and feel satisfied reading.
But guess what? There are always going to be people who aren’t satisfied with what I think is satisfying and wonderful. And it would break my heart if a piece of media I’ve fallen in love with changes to suit someone else’s vision in an effort to please everyone. And I bet it would break yours, too.
So unless you think you have the absolute most perfect handle on what makes a show or book or movie worth consuming, that EVERYONE is going to find unproblematic and wonderful and enjoyable, then please park your ego and accept that the world is not going to change itself to suit how you think it should look. And maybe think about how it’s a little scary that you think it should.
Snow: Bam, thank you.