Memo To Tim Kring: You Are Who You Work With

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

Board1

If you think that Racism and Sexism are thematically integrated in HEROES then you may want to check your intelligence before worrying about it being insulted.
- Jim Martin, Heroes writer and assistant to Tim Kring, on a (since-deleted) tumblr post

Dear Mr. Kring,

It’s been about a month since I stopped watching your program. As you’re no doubt aware, my friends and fellow reviewers at this site and myself are far from the only ones who have left Heroes behind; just look at the ratings, right?

But I’m not writing to gloat about your commercial and critical misfortune. I’m writing to suggest that your staff isn’t helping the problem. Consider the statement from Mr. Martin’s tumblr. Sure, he deleted it, but you know us sneaky internet people – we’ll save things when you’re not looking and remember them, and share them.

So consider this a tip for your future endeavors (because Heroes is almost assuredly ending this season, isn’t it?): You want to continue engendering good will from your fanbase? How about you work with people who won’t issue statements like this:

* Anyone who thinks they can do better… I dare you. Go ahead. :) I’d love to see it.
* Look up the diversity programs for writers in tv. Ask anyone in the tv world. There is a distinct disadvantage to be a white male when trying to be a staff writer.
* I’m fully aware of what you are referencing, but I don’t think its a problem on Heroes and I don’t think white privilege is an issue in Hollywood at this point.

Clearly, Mr. Martin hasn’t been reading Fade In Magazine. But his lack of understanding pales in comparison to the rantings of your coordinating producer, Foz McDermott. In the interest of full discretion, I’m posting this entry from his tumblr in its’ entirety, starting with the quote he’s responding to from a thread on Mr. Martin’s page.

The idea that white privilege isn’t a problem in Hollywood at this point is an idea coming from a privileged standpoint.”

Holy crap lady… if you are indeed a lady… that is hilarious. In a business that is scared of and run by pussy organizations that are so scared of being sued about everything, being OVERLY PC is the actual problem. Being a white male in the business of Hollywood is NOT easy. There are programs and incentives to help everyone except white males.

certain projects, films, movies, corporations will actually get money paid back to them if they hire a woman, a minority, hell double jackpot if you hire a female minority… that’s twice the money!!

that is an extreme case. But they do happen, I have seen it. Now… there are rules in place where some places require you to have a certain ammount of minorities on staff at all times. There are set up and funded “diversity programs” that are put in place as well.

Let me be clear: I have no real problem with helping anyone. I think that certain people and groups have been crapped on for a long time, and making ways to help people were necessary…at one time. I don’t personally believe in it at all now. I actually think it has gone too far. Like when you have to fill a position and you have 3 candidates and the best person is the best for the job, and the one that is not the best fit is forced upon you because of diversity quotas and not their skill. that actually makes me sick. It is nothing BUT racism. Not reverse racism, that term doesn’t even exist. making a choice and hiring anyone for any reason BECAUSE of their race IS racism.

I am from South Philadelphia, where I come from, I AM the minority. I am not saying that equals being a slave or coming from a family that had a generation that survived or worse… didn’t survive the holocaust, I am just saying that I WASNT picked for things BECAUSE I am white. It made ME work harder. It is a small scale, but i can relate a bit…. A BIT… I never thought I was deserving of something because I am white. That is bullshit. But what I have done is talk to my friends about it, a lot of whom are of color, and most are sane and have something to the effect of “ya, its fucked up, but I’ll take it.” Yes! I agree! take it!! I am not mad at anyone that can take advantage of a flawed system. Go For It…hell if there was an italian discount on Ferraris, I would be doing it.

The only comment that I hear is that irks me is the (and it is seldom) “hey, you guys kept us down for so long, its only fair you are paying for it now.” woah…really? #1 “us” is definitely not you, you grew up with Nintendo and Hot Pockets, nobody ever owned you…. and “You guys” is absolutely not me… THATS RACIST! the oldest person I can trace my heritage to in this country on either side of my family is 1948. My mother is first generation here kids… My ancestors never owned a slave, never lived the high life, and most certainly never “kept anyone down” in fact when My grandfather came here they were treated like 2nd class citizens… pretty fucking bad actually…

All I am saying is: “Where is MY diversity program?”

In Mr. McDermott’s defense, at least he was happy when Masi Oka won a diversity award. Mr. McDermott might be better-served skipping the diversity program in favor of some anger-management counseling, given both that screed and this rant against Kristin Dos Santos.

I will also commend Mr. McDermott’s loyalty to you and the show; how else to explain this post, which answers a number of legitimate complaints about the show’s direction with a pithy, “The idiocy of some people really makes me sad sometimes”? Or should we file that post and this statement under “it’s just the f-cking internet”:

Note to Actresses coming in for auditions: Wear clothes. if you look like a whore, you will be treated like one.

I ask you, Mr. Kring, because, since these are members of your staff, they’re representing you and the program – whether they accept that responsibility or not – when they make these kinds of statements. Compare the statements by Mr. McDermott and Mr. Martin to, say, Greg Grunberg’s Twitter. And try as I might, I can’t spot any instances where people who worked on, say, Dollhouse or Battlestar Galactica tossed about the word “whores” as a prejorative. Funny thing, though – even if the former was recently cancelled and the latter is off the air, those shows didn’t antagonize its’ fanbase the way Heroes has.

And, Mr. Kring, as you are the man in charge of Heroes, and these are the people who work for you, then you’re the one responsible for them. You’re the one who has presumably signed off on their sentiments, if not their statements. And the character breakdown in the chart provided above has progressed under your watch.

And under your watch, you have noted that the cast has “gotten too big,” even as you’ve introduced more and more new characters each season, with a, shall we say, curious preponderance of blonde white females. And under your watch, we’ve gotten to see The Haitian go three whole seasons before he was identified by an actual name. And your questionable statement that the series was really all about the characters we know here as the Benetrellis. And losing, then getting back, then losing Bryan Fuller. And, one word: Usutu. As you’re probably aware, these are not the only reasons viewers have left your show. And they’re not the only reasons several readers of this site are not coming back. Your staff isn’t helping.