Create-Your-Hero is a game of stereotype tic-tac-toe

Note from Carmen: This post is about Heroes’ new online promo, Create-Your-Hero and is a critique of Week 1’s choices

by guest contributor Elton

What pathetic attempts at corporate creativity have resulted from the writers’ strike. New characters are now being created from a grid of four variables: Gender (male/female), Place of birth (Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas), Appearance (drop dead gorgeous, blends into a crowd, exotic, and rugged), and Body Type (small, medium, large, extra large). The game’s similarity to a t-shirt order form is almost too absurdly comical. It does make me wonder if characters and stories in Hollywood are really decided by a game of stereotype tic-tac-toe, because as we Racialicious readers know, it often seems that way.

The appearance categories really bother me – why must a character fall into one and only one of these bizarre descriptions? Exotic? EXOTIC?! The female icon for “exotic” is a decidedly “Oriental” eye behind a fan and some flowers. The male counterpart is the ornately tattooed face of some tribal-type. A “rugged” male is symbolized by one of those beards I can’t grow, and a “rugged” female is… the seat of a pair of pants. Heroism, indeed. And why can’t a character be both “exotic” and “gorgeous,” or any other combination thereof? More importantly, why is the act of creating a character picking from an awkwardly-described set of appearance characteristics? Shouldn’t it be “hero is as hero does,” not where he was born or what she looks like?

Another note from Carmen: Speaking of problematic race stuff with Heroes, check out the web site Save Heroes, created by The Angry Black Woman:

We need to write a detailed critique of the plot, character, race and gender elements of Heroes. We need to have one place where the producers and writers of Heroes can come and find what fandom has to say on these issues.

That’s the purpose of this website. We don’t need to Save Heroes from cancellation or network misuse, we need to Save Heroes from itself. Because it’s not a lost cause. It’s still capable of being the amazing show it was in season one. No, it’s capable of being even better.

How can you help Save Heroes? Easy. Just give your opinion on the Plot and Characters or Race and Gender issues in the show. We’re inviting all fans to contribute to a collaborative document in which we provide constructive, respectful criticism of the current season. Whether you offer your original thoughts or point to existing posts on the Internet, all ideas are welcome. Once we have enough contributions to create a coherent document, we’ll put it together in total and digitally sign it.

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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