Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters

by Guest Contributor RVC Bard, originally posted at Ars Marginal

What do Martha Jones, Tara Thornton, Guinevere, and Mercedes Jones have in common?

  • If you answered that they are major supporting characters in hit TV shows, give yourself 1 point.
  • If you answered that they are among the few fictional representations of Black women on major network television shows, give yourself 2 points.
  • If you answered that fandom, for some mysterious reason, hates the shit out of them, give yourself 5 points.
  • If you answered that fandom’s hatred of these characters are particularly gendered and racialized along stereotypes about Black women, hand yourself the internet.

The level of hatred spewed at these characters sometimes even manages to spill over onto the actors who portray them. Poor Rutina Wesley can’t do anything right in True Blood fandom. And according to some Merlin fans, Angel Coulby is probably the Antichrist. OK, I exaggerate. But not by much.

If you watch Merlin or True Blood, you’d know that some of the more melanin-challenged characters deserve that sort of vitriol waaaaaaay more than the characters it’s directed at, particularly if you consider reckless endangerment of innocent lives to be morally reprehensible. These are the same people who swoon over Franklin – a psychopathic vampire kidnapper/rapist/murderer – but wish all sorts of hellfire and brimstone onto Tara Thornton. Let’s not talk about how, in the eyes of Doctor Who fandom, Martha Jones’ chief flaw is not being someone else*. Gleeks seem to hate Mercedes just because she’s competition for Rachel. And Merlin fandom seems to believe that Morgana’s treacherous magical White girl ass is a more empowering role model for women than Guinevere’s steady, quiet strength**.

What’s so wrong with these characters according to fandom? Hm, let’s see:

  • They have an attitude problem.
  • They’re lazy.
  • They’re mean.
  • They’re stupid.
  • They’re ungrateful.
  • They’re selfish.
  • They’re sluts.

Why do I feel like I need to puke and take a shower every time some of this shit shows up on my Tumblr, my LJ, or some other social media? Oh yeah, because this shit ain’t new, and it makes me sick.

I’m not going to break down the history of stereotypes against Black women because, hello, Google is your friend (until it enslaves us all to its will). This is Ars Marginal. We’re beyond that 101-level bullshit. Instead, we’re going to talk about how it affects real Black women in the real world. You know, the Black women you live with, work with, play with, love with, and so on.

When I see fandom reacting to fictional Black women this way, I wonder what they’re saying about real Black women while our backs are turned.

  • If we react angrily to being repeatedly ignored, disrespected, and/or abused, will our White co-workers say we have an attitude problem?
  • If we are open about seeking and enjoying sex, will our White friends call us slutty?
  • If we demand recognition of our talents and gifts, will our White counterparts say that we’re looking for a handout or are getting too uppity?
  • If we achieve better results with less work, will the White people in our lives call us lazy?
  • If we speak our truth without apology, will White people call us mean?
  • If we take care of ourselves, will we be called selfish?
  • If we act, speak, or think without prior White approval, will we always be seen as stepping out of line?

What about you? When you see fandom talking about Black women characters in certain ways, how does that make you feel? How do you deal with it? What do you say (if anything)? What would you like to see change about this?

(*This reminds me way too much of The Color Purple, where Celie reveals that Mister beats her because she’s not Shug. Ugh.)

(**Funnily enough, this sort of subtle fortitude is something that I only see Black and Brown actresses pull off.)

  • Camán

    I must have missed something here, or not. Apart from not watching Glee, those character you mention i see as those that really make the show for me, especially Tara Thornton. I see the characters as intelligent and strong with a endless way to fix the problems facing them. On top of it all the actors that play them are the most beautiful women in their shows and up there with the best performance as well. Being European (Irish/Norwegian) I don’t look at it from the same angle as ye Americans, but mind you, I still keep an sensitive eye out for any racial “put downs”. Apart from my son is black I am a strong defender of equal right and totally against any kind of racism and such vominations. I can Never tolerate that shit. (by the way, Tara was charmed/glimmered or what ever they call it. Thus under a spell and not acting her true self)

  • http://twitter.com/tsarita Carla Prada

    You do not understand how angry this topic makes me. I feel like smashing my computer screen. The only show I really follow is True Blood and the hate projected at Tara is ridiculous. It’s so racist! One of the worst online fandom offenders is Sookieverse.

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  • Guest

     Joy Bryant has been relegated to the stock villain on Parenthood.  All the words above have been mentioned to describe her on various blogs and Parenthood’s facebook page by the fan base.
    Bonnie on Vampire Diaries is another one who gets savaged by the fan base.
    The black characters never get fleshed out and always end up being disposable.

  • Guest

     Joy Bryant has been relegated to the stock villain on Parenthood.  All the words above have been mentioned to describe her on various blogs and Parenthood’s facebook page by the fan base.
    Bonnie on Vampire Diaries is another one who gets savaged by the fan base.
    The black characters never get fleshed out and always end up being disposable.

  • Karak

    Oh, oh my god. Martha Jones was an AMAZING Companion, and my only real problem with her is that the Doctor, I felt, used her intelligence and strength without every really expressing gratitude and appreciation. Rose couldn’t hold it together for FIVE MINUTES. Martha spend a year in a hell-universe completing a mission the Doctor sent her on—which was a ONE SENTENCE command!

    Honestly, the best part of Martha was when she walked out on him because he treated her like second-rate, despite being the most intelligence, clever, and devoted Companion.

    I <3 Martha Jones! Fuck Rose, she's dumb as a box of rocks.

  • Mickey

    Well, I’ve noticed that when person looks good and someone else may see them differently, they resort to calling the person “plain” or “alright” in appearance. It’s like they know that the person is not ugly, so they can’t say that, but they do not want to give the person any credit for whatever amount of attractiveness they possess, so they resort to the “plain” label. I’ve even seen where Black women will say this about another Black woman who is good-looking, but that clearly stems from jealousy and/or insecurity. But in this case, it’s obviously someone who is brainwashed into believing that only certain types of women are good-looking.

  • Mickey

    Well, I’ve noticed that when person looks good and someone else may see them differently, they resort to calling the person “plain” or “alright” in appearance. It’s like they know that the person is not ugly, so they can’t say that, but they do not want to give the person any credit for whatever amount of attractiveness they possess, so they resort to the “plain” label. I’ve even seen where Black women will say this about another Black woman who is good-looking, but that clearly stems from jealousy and/or insecurity. But in this case, it’s obviously someone who is brainwashed into believing that only certain types of women are good-looking.

  • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

    “it’s as plain as the nose on Martha Jones’ face.”

    I hear/use that phrase quite a bit when the point being made is patently obvious. “Plain” here meaning obvious, not “lacking beauty,” hence its relation to the nose on the face, not the entire face.

  • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

    “it’s as plain as the nose on Martha Jones’ face.”

    I hear/use that phrase quite a bit when the point being made is patently obvious. “Plain” here meaning obvious, not “lacking beauty,” hence its relation to the nose on the face, not the entire face.

  • Anonymous

    Well this makes sense since the UK has a higher interracial marriage/couple rate. I think almost 50% of Black British men marry white women. 

  • Anonymous

    Well this makes sense since the UK has a higher interracial marriage/couple rate. I think almost 50% of Black British men marry white women. 

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what I shared on the Ars Marginal site, where the article was originally posted:

    Yes, it is glaringly obvious the kind of mental acrobatics certain
    aspects of those fandoms go through to justify their hatred. I find
    their response to UK’s Being Human and Misfits particularly fascinating.
    With BH, Annie is so undeniably charismatic and sweet, and her
    chemistry with Mitchell is so off the charts, that the best that the
    undercover racists could come up with is “she’s annoying” or “Mitchell
    and George’s bromance is way better.” As for Misfits, I actually haven’t
    seen much hate toward Alisha, but rather ignoring her, or begrudgingly
    acknowledging that she’s “cute” or saying how she’s soooo lucky that
    Simon would choose to date HER (imagine that! Or as Nathan would say,
    “In what kind of f***ed up world would that be allowed to happen?”),
    when the show makes it quite clear that HE is the one who feels so lucky
    to be with this drop-dead gorgeous woman.

    The Gwen hate is the most appalling to me. Merlin has been on for 3
    seasons now. It’s quite clear that the producers intentionally made the
    show ahistorical, fantastical and allegorical – and they intend to keep
    it that way, so why keep complaining about their casting choices? Do
    they really think Merlin is gonna pull a Fresh Prince and abruptly cast a
    new Gwen with a paler actress? (BTW, Fresh Prince gets a permanent side
    eye for that. I remember being so confused when they replaced the
    original Vivian with no explanation). Talking dragons and goblins and
    6th century sandwiches, clothing dye and bunsen burners are acceptable,
    but a black Guinevere makes their heads explode? FOH.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what I shared on the Ars Marginal site, where the article was originally posted:

    Yes, it is glaringly obvious the kind of mental acrobatics certain
    aspects of those fandoms go through to justify their hatred. I find
    their response to UK’s Being Human and Misfits particularly fascinating.
    With BH, Annie is so undeniably charismatic and sweet, and her
    chemistry with Mitchell is so off the charts, that the best that the
    undercover racists could come up with is “she’s annoying” or “Mitchell
    and George’s bromance is way better.” As for Misfits, I actually haven’t
    seen much hate toward Alisha, but rather ignoring her, or begrudgingly
    acknowledging that she’s “cute” or saying how she’s soooo lucky that
    Simon would choose to date HER (imagine that! Or as Nathan would say,
    “In what kind of f***ed up world would that be allowed to happen?”),
    when the show makes it quite clear that HE is the one who feels so lucky
    to be with this drop-dead gorgeous woman.

    The Gwen hate is the most appalling to me. Merlin has been on for 3
    seasons now. It’s quite clear that the producers intentionally made the
    show ahistorical, fantastical and allegorical – and they intend to keep
    it that way, so why keep complaining about their casting choices? Do
    they really think Merlin is gonna pull a Fresh Prince and abruptly cast a
    new Gwen with a paler actress? (BTW, Fresh Prince gets a permanent side
    eye for that. I remember being so confused when they replaced the
    original Vivian with no explanation). Talking dragons and goblins and
    6th century sandwiches, clothing dye and bunsen burners are acceptable,
    but a black Guinevere makes their heads explode? FOH.

  • Elle Rodd

    I’m about to get it in up to my elbow. First, thanks GC for this post. This must be the month of everybody being real.
    Sorry can’t relate to the sci-fi nerd herd (i say with love), but there are tons of mainstream shows that are guilty as sin.
    Buffy the VS. Oh Buff, how could you? There is an episode among the last seasons where Buff has to fight some type of First Slayer. Oh my! A black woman made up to look like a pre-historic hot mess! What I haven’t seen in over 200 comments is someone taking the actors to task, Black and white. SMG, I like you. I liked you back when you were Kendall 1.0. Why would you agree to act opposite such a degrading character. It’s your name on the marquee, so to speak. Prehistoric lady, I know you gotta eat, but…

    Oh goodness, Alias. The entire Francie storyline. Her man cheats ( she’s too dumb to know it), her clone loves white men and has a fresh mouth. Why Dungy, why? Fine, white people can write it, but you don’t have to agree to do it. 

    Fandom? I’ll stick to these two shows. For the most part folks seem to just overlook the Black characters. “SMG rocks!”, “Jenn Garner is so pretty.” I can’t remember a lot of venom, but isn’t ignoring Black women also a problem?

     Even my fav the defunct, Lost was light on the mocha maiden. Some how BWs ruin everything, best to build fantasy worlds where they don’t exist.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B22CR2WTERUURDZCAAU2SYAQKU Lady Catrin

    Have you heard the one yet where people say Angel is the easiest to replace, because in Arthurian legend there are sometimes actually three Guineveres?  

    I could actually see the producers bringing in another Guinevere thinking it was funny to mess with the audiences’ collective heads.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

     I am glad that they added the other larger student on the show, but they could have as you said explored the way that both females have to deal with people’s (wrong) perception of them.
    Yes the black guy transferred but I do not think he ever said anything, he mostly back-up danced and sang.
    The do need more diversity on that show.

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  • Mega

    On the video game front, add Rochelle from Left 4 Dead to this list.

    • Anonymous

      For real? Why would they hate Rochelle?

      (My friends are hugely into L4D, but since they have Xboxes and I have PS3, I have fairly limited experience.)

      • Mega

        I’m not that big of a player of the game, but mainly because she’s “uninteresting” and she replaces the white, geeky chick from L4D1.

  • Anonymous

    Why does it matter that the male characters connected to Bailey are never white??? 

    • Julia

      What matters is that the white male characters do not appear to consider Bailey attractive…but it’s worse than that–it’s like she’s invisible to them as a potential partner. This is in striking contrast to how the white male characters respond to the white female characters (and, sometimes, to Christina, Sandra Oh’s character).

      It’s this erasure of Bailey as a woman and as a sexual being that bothers me. And that the show does nothing to challenge this narrative, as if we should all take for granted that, of course, Bailey is only attractive to black men, I mean duh! /sarcasm

      • Anonymous

        Well Bailey is older and fatter. I imagine if she was younger they would hook her up with the white male cast. However I understand why you are concerned that her sexuality is being “erased.” However,  I also have a problem in the way people use white men as the arbiter of acceptance. Sometimes people think one isn’t desirable unless they are desired by white men?? That is how it sounds sometimes. 

      • Anonymous

        Well Bailey is older and fatter. I imagine if she was younger they would hook her up with the white male cast. However I understand why you are concerned that her sexuality is being “erased.” However,  I also have a problem in the way people use white men as the arbiter of acceptance. Sometimes people think one isn’t desirable unless they are desired by white men?? That is how it sounds sometimes. 

  • Ada

    I’m only familiar with Martha Jones and Guin so… I am so shocked that fandom could not embrace both of these characters (and their actresses). Well, not shocked, but gobsmacked. Because they’re brilliant. And I think Guin’s actress has to put up with some seriously shitty, horrible writing. Guin deserves way better than Arthur. I also think she’s beautiful but that’s secondary to her talent as an actor.
    And Martha Jones! Who is such a smart character, and witty and likable. And… frankly a lot better than Rose and I loved Rose because she grew up poor and a “chav” and she still went out and saw the universe and did some great things (take that, UK social hierarchy). 

    I resent the way Morganna was turned into a villain, I think she and Guin should’ve run off together (away from the camelot social hierarchy).   

  • Lyla-div

    Tara has been my favorite since I read the first Sookie Stackhouse book in sixth grade, I think Angel COulby is very pretty, Mercedes attitude makes me smile, unfortunately I know nothing of Martha. I don’t like Gwen because she has the thing with Lancelot, and I know the Arthurian legends, I know what she’s going to do to Arthur. But the rest of these ladies are just fine, I think they’re all incredibly beautiful and wonderful actresses, by the way I’m a white girl. Not ever white girl hates them.

  • tang

    I LOVE Martha and Tara, it pisses me off so much when people bitch about them. They stick up for themselves, it’s how I wish I was. 

  • Anonymous

    Um, is the character on Glee portrayed as “lazy” or is that just your own perception of large women?  
    B/c hopefully not everyone draws the same association that you do.  You must realize that while some do, not everyone does.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      no that is not my perception of large women.
      that is not what I said.
      you obviously did not read what I wrote, which was this:

      It is bad enough as it is that they think (ie: white people) we are ugly, bitchy,asexual,or slutty, and now they can add overweight and lazy to that the stupid list.

      i wrote this reference what has been said of black female characters by mostly ( i would wager) white people.
      try not to jump to conclusions please.

      And sadly yes they do portray Mercedes as lazy on Glee or it is at least implied.

  • Mickey

     You can counter-argue that it’s stupid to have white people always playing Egyptian characters, especially when Egyptians were/are not all white.

  • Mickey

    I don’t watch this show, but there is a large white woman who is the main character on “Drop Dead Diva”. She was a skinny, white woman who died and comes back as an overweight woman.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      oh yes! I forgot about that show but then I have never watched it either.
      I have heard that it is a good show but it is a conflict with something else that I watch and no there is not Tivo in Canada as yet. : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=806562 Nonso Christian Ugbode

    Some great reaction here. I’ve been waiting to see some reaction on this for a while. I find the fandom vitriol toward Tara most disconcerting. I think it does take its cues somewhat from the show itself; Sookie’s smart mouth is often the source of some kind of pride from those around her, look at that saucy little white girl, while Tara’s wit is often written as not only more acidic in the way it is received, it also seems to bring all sorts of hellfire with it – rape, hedonistic ancient creatures, etc. And now they’ve finally shot the poor girl in the head. Sookie’s smart mouth only really gets her hot vampires. I think the trend extends even to the way the media covers the show, Sookie is always naked on some Rolling Stone cover surrounded by adoring men, and Tara is completely invisible.

  • Dawnsalome

     think one of the main problems is that fandom is cruel to female characters in general, and Gwen and Martha (the only ones whose shows I’ve watched) are really under utilized in their shows. Martha was supposed to be awesome and a doctor herself, and instead they had her follow the Doctor around lovestruck and helpless. Gwen only gets scenes when she’s have a Overblown Romantic Moment with Arthur or being the Moral Compass. Which is no way Angel’s fault, I love her and wish they’d give her more scenes and *things to do* but Merlin doesn’t know what to do with girls except make them pretty and either evil sorceresses or the guiding angel.

  • Lyonside

    TWOP and LJ are also wonderful (snerk) places to find lots of hate directed at actors and characters of color, especially women.

  • Lyonside

    TWOP and LJ are also wonderful (snerk) places to find lots of hate directed at actors and characters of color, especially women.

  • Lyonside

    TWOP and LJ are also wonderful (snerk) places to find lots of hate directed at actors and characters of color, especially women.

  • Lyonside

    To be fair, Sam (kind of) tried… but got rebuffed a bit. Probably BECAUSE aside from her own issues, Tara knows that Sam’s had a thing for her best friend, so it’s squicky. I can totally relate.

    If TB were a better written, more nuanced show, the fact that Jason seemed to finally SEE Tara when high on V (First season) and then throws that away in the garbage (literally) right after and can’t seem to recall any of it once sober would be an acknowledgement of how social prejudices keep you from seeing a person, seeing beauty, etc. But of course it was only played for laughs. Very, very frustrating.

  • Lyonside

    To be fair, Sam (kind of) tried… but got rebuffed a bit. Probably BECAUSE aside from her own issues, Tara knows that Sam’s had a thing for her best friend, so it’s squicky. I can totally relate.

    If TB were a better written, more nuanced show, the fact that Jason seemed to finally SEE Tara when high on V (First season) and then throws that away in the garbage (literally) right after and can’t seem to recall any of it once sober would be an acknowledgement of how social prejudices keep you from seeing a person, seeing beauty, etc. But of course it was only played for laughs. Very, very frustrating.

    • Anonymous

      Or you could say that he tried to use Tara as the rebound when Sookie wasn’t having it. Trying after you get turned down by your first choice isn’t much in my opinion.
      So whether it was her friend or not, his desire for Sookie was pretty obvious so anyone in that circle would know that they are playing sloppy seconds in a way that should make them rebuff his advances.  
      I guess I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would sympathize with Sam for the move he made on Tara.  He still got to sleep with her. 

      • Lyonside

        Point. I’m not sympathizing with Sam, really, as I find him pretty incoherently written. But he gets backstory later that of course explains his half-assedness approach, because he does everything with relationships of any kind half-assed.

        And of course, beyond her mother, we don’t get to understand Tara’s backstory in a meaningful way, like what happened to her father, and was he ever in the picture? And hells, yeah, that’s problematic and racist – and it makes it s way into fandom, where once again everyone cares about AWC (angsty white cock) over anyone else.

    • Lolo

      The AV club does recaps for Buffy the vampire slayer and Angel. Gina Torres who is featured in season 4 of Angel was recently getting called ugly in the comments. 

      • Lyonside

        Sheesh, Gina Torres was the reason I KEPT watching Angel in Season 4, because otherwise it was a trainwreck of monstrous proportions. I cannot imagine a world where Gina Torres is considered ugly, but – and oh yeah, back to that – I don’t have one warped Eurocentric standard of beauty in my head to which all people must conform. But it’s pretty obvious other people do.

        • Lolo

          It bothered me so much. I kept thinking how is Gina Torres ugly? One of the comments said that the storyline wasn’t believable because she wasn’t attractive enough to be this goddess that everyone worshiped.

        • Lolo

          I always wondered if that show would have gone down the Angel/Cordelia road if Bianca Lawson(who was also up for the part) had been cast.

  • https://plus.google.com/107572627310356681692/posts alea

    julia, i wrote about astrid back in may [http://www.racialicious.com/2011/05/04/i-went-to-quantico-for-this-on-astrid-farnsworth-and-black-queer-nerddom-tv-correspondent-tryout/].  while her character development has happened rather slowly, i think that she is a more fully formed character than just being walter’s kind minder.  i’ve always wondered if she’s super discreet about her private life because she’s hiding something personal or nefarious.  when walter shows up to her apartment, she doesn’t invite him in and her body language keeps him on the other side of the door frame.  there’s no word on whether astrid is queer, but she could be hiding a romantic partner.  though i kind of don’t want her to have a Love Interest, i could see something happening with lee, but all sci-fi love interests post-mulder and scully just seem get on my effing nerves.  

    because they’re both brilliant in stem fields, altrid’s autism is the perfect juxtaposition to astrid’s warmth, adaptability, and capacity to have deep emotional connections with peter, walter, and olivia [three people who have trouble maintaining those connections between themselves].  i’m hopeful about her being out in the field more often this season — because i, too, would like to see her be more than the empathic/”normal” center of a group of flawed people — but i definitely don’t find her role to be problematic in the ways that tara’s is.  or, rather, fringe has never made me want to dropkick my laptop after watching an episode.

    • Julia

      alea,
      thanks for that perspective. I’d never thought about the discretion as being intentional, as in developing a character who is supposed to be secretive. Interesting. And, yes, it’s probably true that the problematic-ness doesn’t approach (it doesn’t sound like–I haven’t watched true blood etc) that of other shows

  • Shahed

    Wow that’s so interesting to read. I’m a huge fan of Merlin and have been watching it since the beginning. I love Gwen’s character probably because she is the only woman of color on that show and not to mention she’s amazing and beautiful. I don’t really follow the stats on who appears where but I’m really surprised that the actress isn’t promoted more. I mean, she’s a regular on the show and her character is pivotal to Arthur’s story…

    I do find her continued purpose on the show to be  is to educated, inspire and service the white man to be racist.

  • JordanWho

    I ABSOLUTELY LOATHE MARTHA JONES HATERS. Martha Jones was a STAR. Not only did she put up with The Doctor’s crap all season about missing Rose, not only did her intelligence and resourcefulness get routinely ignored by everyone, but she was also WRITTEN TO BE HOPELESSLY INFATUATED WITH THE DOCTOR. The fact that The Doctor is white aside, the character was set up to fail from the get-go simply because of her feelings for The Doctor. The fandom was always going to feel like she was encroaching on Rose’s territory. Everyone likes to forget that The Doctor was basically a jerk all season, and that Martha had to endure the grinding humiliation of working as a servant to The Doctor and other privileged white males (SHE WAS STUDYING TO BE A DOCTOR) while also enduring early 20th century racism FOR MONTHS, and when everything went back to normal, she got no appreciation for that. And then remember when she covertly travelled all over the entire world for A YEAR while her family was in mortal danger in order to save the world? And remember when she had the strength to do what no companion had the strength to do? Remember when she WALKED AWAY FROM ALL OF IT?? Remember when Martha Jones was so wonderful and amazing IT HURT???? 

    Sorry, I have all the feelings about Martha Jones, apparently.

  • JordanWho

    I ABSOLUTELY LOATHE MARTHA JONES HATERS. Martha Jones was a STAR. Not only did she put up with The Doctor’s crap all season about missing Rose, not only did her intelligence and resourcefulness get routinely ignored by everyone, but she was also WRITTEN TO BE HOPELESSLY INFATUATED WITH THE DOCTOR. The fact that The Doctor is white aside, the character was set up to fail from the get-go simply because of her feelings for The Doctor. The fandom was always going to feel like she was encroaching on Rose’s territory. Everyone likes to forget that The Doctor was basically a jerk all season, and that Martha had to endure the grinding humiliation of working as a servant to The Doctor and other privileged white males (SHE WAS STUDYING TO BE A DOCTOR) while also enduring early 20th century racism FOR MONTHS, and when everything went back to normal, she got no appreciation for that. And then remember when she covertly travelled all over the entire world for A YEAR while her family was in mortal danger in order to save the world? And remember when she had the strength to do what no companion had the strength to do? Remember when she WALKED AWAY FROM ALL OF IT?? Remember when Martha Jones was so wonderful and amazing IT HURT???? 

    Sorry, I have all the feelings about Martha Jones, apparently.

  • JordanWho

    I ABSOLUTELY LOATHE MARTHA JONES HATERS. Martha Jones was a STAR. Not only did she put up with The Doctor’s crap all season about missing Rose, not only did her intelligence and resourcefulness get routinely ignored by everyone, but she was also WRITTEN TO BE HOPELESSLY INFATUATED WITH THE DOCTOR. The fact that The Doctor is white aside, the character was set up to fail from the get-go simply because of her feelings for The Doctor. The fandom was always going to feel like she was encroaching on Rose’s territory. Everyone likes to forget that The Doctor was basically a jerk all season, and that Martha had to endure the grinding humiliation of working as a servant to The Doctor and other privileged white males (SHE WAS STUDYING TO BE A DOCTOR) while also enduring early 20th century racism FOR MONTHS, and when everything went back to normal, she got no appreciation for that. And then remember when she covertly travelled all over the entire world for A YEAR while her family was in mortal danger in order to save the world? And remember when she had the strength to do what no companion had the strength to do? Remember when she WALKED AWAY FROM ALL OF IT?? Remember when Martha Jones was so wonderful and amazing IT HURT???? 

    Sorry, I have all the feelings about Martha Jones, apparently.

    • Roz Mosis

      This. I loved Martha, I really don’t get what everyone’s problem is either, but you sum it all up a lot better than I can.

  • Andrea

    Isn’t the actress who plays her gay? That might have something to do with her not being a Peter love interest if the actress doesn’t feel comfortable playing that or if the character is supposed to be gay too. They’re doing more with her this season. She’s going out into the field with Walter a lot.

  • Andrea

    Isn’t the actress who plays her gay? That might have something to do with her not being a Peter love interest if the actress doesn’t feel comfortable playing that or if the character is supposed to be gay too. They’re doing more with her this season. She’s going out into the field with Walter a lot.

  • Brandon Pilcher

    Here’s an experiment Hollywood ought to try: cast a black woman as Bella in the next Twilight movie. I would LOVE to see the white female reaction to a black woman being Edward Cullen’s new GF.

  • Brandon Pilcher

    Here’s an experiment Hollywood ought to try: cast a black woman as Bella in the next Twilight movie. I would LOVE to see the white female reaction to a black woman being Edward Cullen’s new GF.

  • Brandon Pilcher

    Here’s an experiment Hollywood ought to try: cast a black woman as Bella in the next Twilight movie. I would LOVE to see the white female reaction to a black woman being Edward Cullen’s new GF.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

    Zoe was primarily a badass black woman, which sometimes gets a pass. Her relationship with her husband was largely played off as a fetish. If she was an unmarried black women who could have competition for Malcolm Reynolds, the hate would have flowed. For example, there were no black women cast on Dollhouse, not even as extras. The idea of black women being the epitome of  male desire, simply slipped his mind. I commend Joss Whedon for casting women of color, I just wish he could make them a little more three dimensional. 

  • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

    Zoe was primarily a badass black woman, which sometimes gets a pass. Her relationship with her husband was largely played off as a fetish. If she was an unmarried black women who could have competition for Malcolm Reynolds, the hate would have flowed. For example, there were no black women cast on Dollhouse, not even as extras. The idea of black women being the epitome of  male desire, simply slipped his mind. I commend Joss Whedon for casting women of color, I just wish he could make them a little more three dimensional. 

    • http://twitter.com/starfishncoffee starfishncoffee

      Not to be picky, but there were black women extras cast in Dollhouse. One was my friend, she actually had a small speaking role. She is lighter skinned but she is black. 
      Also in the first season episode where Echo joins a singing group, the woman she is protecting, the singer, is black. I did wish there were more black women on that show. 

      I agree that Zoe in Firefly wasn’t seen as a threat because of her marriage to Wash, but I don’t think that their marriage was fetishized. They were intensely in love, but I don’t read a racial fetish into it at all. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Tara’s character is alive in the books.  I’ve been in the True Blood fandom and I’ve even read comments saying that they would have preferred the original Tara (who wasn’t nearly as good of an actress) because she’s prettier…as in not as dark and nicer…as in weaker.  The blatant hate had her pegged as public enemy #1, forget all that her character has suffered through.  Why not evolve a character past their anger? Just axe them because it’s what the audience can’t understand.  I don’t understand Sookie’s dumbass choices, but you don’t see anybody having nearly as much of a fit.  No, there are Sookie/Eric banners all over the place.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Honestly, I don’t like LaGuerta but it has nothing to do with race.  She’s just a backstabbing bitch.  That particular actress is Puerto Rican I believe.  I liked her on Oz and New York Undercover, so it’s not the actress at all.

  • Matters2me

     When Martha was traveling with the Doctor she had not yet finished her education and it would have been unusual to call her doctor. When Martha reappeared for her guest spots on Who and Torchwood she had received credit for her experiences around the universe and was then a doctor. They call her Doctor Jones lots.

  • Matters2me

     When Martha was traveling with the Doctor she had not yet finished her education and it would have been unusual to call her doctor. When Martha reappeared for her guest spots on Who and Torchwood she had received credit for her experiences around the universe and was then a doctor. They call her Doctor Jones lots.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Honestly, I don’t like LaGuerta but it has nothing to do with race.  She’s just a backstabbing bitch.  That particular actress is Puerto Rican I believe.  I liked her on Oz and New York Undercover, so it’s not the actress at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Honestly, I don’t like LaGuerta but it has nothing to do with race.  She’s just a backstabbing bitch.  That particular actress is Puerto Rican I believe.  I liked her on Oz and New York Undercover, so it’s not the actress at all.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

    Don’t  forget  Kendra, the slayer on Buffy and Jasmine on Angel. The only time that black women get unconditional l love in Sci Fi/Fantasy or in any other genre is when they devote their lives to the white characters. They cannot have any kind of personal life and always  sacrifice any attempt at one for the white cast mate. Tara did die saving Sookie’s life, there is no way Sookie would do the same. The most popular characterization of black women throughout the history of film and television has been the maid and the recent popularity of The Help just shows the need for many whites to see black women as extensions of own desires and not fully viable human beings.  Narcissism  is one of the attributes of whiteness.  The fact that whites can write these characters with such little knowledge or interaction with black women,  the fact that fans with same background feel free to hate on them and the fact that many simply ignore and dismiss the assertions of black women about this phenomenon are examples of what I call racial sociopathy. Racial sociopathy is the inability to see  POC as human’s unless they fulfill white needs and desires, the inability to empathize with the experiences of POC and the compulsion to degrade and dismiss POC of color for their own pleasure. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1287911750 Thomas Rand

      It is a shame that black women envoke a sense of pitiful empathy, while the black man stands alone like an island. Why did these boundaries become so apparent?

  • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

    Don’t  forget  Kendra, the slayer on Buffy and Jasmine on Angel. The only time that black women get unconditional l love in Sci Fi/Fantasy or in any other genre is when they devote their lives to the white characters. They cannot have any kind of personal life and always  sacrifice any attempt at one for the white cast mate. Tara did die saving Sookie’s life, there is no way Sookie would do the same. The most popular characterization of black women throughout the history of film and television has been the maid and the recent popularity of The Help just shows the need for many whites to see black women as extensions of own desires and not fully viable human beings.  Narcissism  is one of the attributes of whiteness.  The fact that whites can write these characters with such little knowledge or interaction with black women,  the fact that fans with same background feel free to hate on them and the fact that many simply ignore and dismiss the assertions of black women about this phenomenon are examples of what I call racial sociopathy. Racial sociopathy is the inability to see  POC as human’s unless they fulfill white needs and desires, the inability to empathize with the experiences of POC and the compulsion to degrade and dismiss POC of color for their own pleasure. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    I have been saying this for a while now, especially when it comes to True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.  I decided to drop the latter, but the fandom hate for Bonnie made absolutely no sense at all.  Characters like Bonnie and Tara have been through a lot of stuff, so to me their animosity is understandable.  Bonnie hates a vampire that has killed innocent people and yet SHE is the bad guy?!  Same for Tara and she was even worse off since one even went as far as raping her. 

    Bonnie was really the only reason I would watch TVD because she was the only one that was interesting.  Now that she’s been thrown together with Elena’s brother to get her out of the way, I just found it nausea-inducing.   In the books she and Damon actually have a lot going on and I was wondering if the writers would go there, but I don’t think they will because of the fandom outrage.  No way could a guy as sexy as Damon be with that one, right?!  Elena’s boring and I don’t even understand the vampire brothers fawning over her like they do.  Caroline’s stupid and shallow.  So with all of the characters having flaws, I myself can only think it goes back to race. 

    No, people won’t admit that it’s a racial thing and I think on the surface they may not even realize it (it may very well be subconscious), but to me it’s beyond obvious. 

    Just take a look at the top black female celebrities.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Halle Berry (half-black) and Zoe Saldana (also multi-racial) have become huge mainstream successes? This is just a case of “if you’re light, you’re alright!” About the only darker-skinned celebrity I have seen that seems to be accepted is Gabrielle Union, and MAYBE Taraji P. Henson.  But most black women will only find steady work in contrived Tyler Perry movies, which are all pretty much the same thing.

    • Anonymous

      Just for the record, Zoe Saldana is “multi-racial” the same way that most black Americans are “multi-racial.”  She has two black parents whose ethnicity and nationality makes them Latinos.  Black Latinos are not a different species than Black Americans.  She’s also no lighter than Taraji Henson, and her features are broader than Taraji’s.  Her hair is processed.  Now, you can talk about how both whites AND blacks seem to differentiate between the blackness of black Latinos(so using “white” Latinos as her parents in Columbiana) and the blackness of black Americans, because that is something I see over and over again.  I’m not sure why knowing her ethnicity makes people from both groups see her as “almost white” when her physical features, hair, and skin color don’t match that ideal at all.  The thing that to me makes Zoe Saldana the most palatable to the white mainstream would be her extremely thin physique.  She’s a size that white women in Hollywood most definitely covet and seek to achieve.  
      And in recent history, Whoopi Goldberg and Angela Bassett were very big stars and neither of them is light skinned(although to be accurate, if you want to say it matters, she has rather delicate features).  I’m not sure I’d call Gabrielle Union and major or crossover star.  Don’t use selection bias to confirm a point that isn’t entirely accurate.

      • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

        When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, “¿Qué te consideras, dominicana o americana?” (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don’t understand it, and it’s the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, “Yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”) [They go,] “Oh, no, tú eres trigueñita.” (“Oh no, you are ‘dark skinned’”) I’m like, “No! Let’s get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”) — Zoe Saldana

      • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

        When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, “¿Qué te consideras, dominicana o americana?” (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don’t understand it, and it’s the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, “Yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”) [They go,] “Oh, no, tú eres trigueñita.” (“Oh no, you are ‘dark skinned’”) I’m like, “No! Let’s get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”) — Zoe Saldana

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

        Whoopie Goldberg and Angela Bassett are not sex symbols.  They’re just respected.  And I was using Gabrielle Union as a point to say that’s about as crossover as it gets which is still not at the level of Beyonce, Rihanna, Halle Berry, etc. 

        I do agree that Zoe’s thinness (she didn’t used to be that thin) is probably what makes her cross over easier, but her hair doesn’t look processed to me.  She’s certainly not sporting a fro, which is fine, but I think it’s her multiracial look that helps a lot.  She wouldn’t be in the same roles otherwise.

        • Mickey

           Especially since she bears a slight resemblance to Thandie Newton (biracial British actress.)

      • Anonymous

        Yes the insistence that Zoe Saldana is not really black is weird and frustrating. Nonetheless, Zoe has an appeal to white (male) audiences because of her appearance- in spite of actually not being biracial like Halle Berry. Part of it is that she is so thin, and her facial features are black but not as stereotypically black as someone black women. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    I have been saying this for a while now, especially when it comes to True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.  I decided to drop the latter, but the fandom hate for Bonnie made absolutely no sense at all.  Characters like Bonnie and Tara have been through a lot of stuff, so to me their animosity is understandable.  Bonnie hates a vampire that has killed innocent people and yet SHE is the bad guy?!  Same for Tara and she was even worse off since one even went as far as raping her. 

    Bonnie was really the only reason I would watch TVD because she was the only one that was interesting.  Now that she’s been thrown together with Elena’s brother to get her out of the way, I just found it nausea-inducing.   In the books she and Damon actually have a lot going on and I was wondering if the writers would go there, but I don’t think they will because of the fandom outrage.  No way could a guy as sexy as Damon be with that one, right?!  Elena’s boring and I don’t even understand the vampire brothers fawning over her like they do.  Caroline’s stupid and shallow.  So with all of the characters having flaws, I myself can only think it goes back to race. 

    No, people won’t admit that it’s a racial thing and I think on the surface they may not even realize it (it may very well be subconscious), but to me it’s beyond obvious. 

    Just take a look at the top black female celebrities.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Halle Berry (half-black) and Zoe Saldana (also multi-racial) have become huge mainstream successes? This is just a case of “if you’re light, you’re alright!” About the only darker-skinned celebrity I have seen that seems to be accepted is Gabrielle Union, and MAYBE Taraji P. Henson.  But most black women will only find steady work in contrived Tyler Perry movies, which are all pretty much the same thing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Well the actress who plays Rue is only half-black.  Let us not forget the unspoken but obvious “if you’re light, you’re alright!”  motto. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7N55J35WBRB46XRHERILPLO7VI erika

    Well the actress who plays Rue is only half-black.  Let us not forget the unspoken but obvious “if you’re light, you’re alright!”  motto. 

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I thought the way some of the fans saw Rue was really strange. One person even said he saw her as a red-haired girl! I guess white is the default in their minds (much like Hollywood)

    • Sandbalance

      She was dark brown in the book. So I’m not sure why they thought she had red hair. That said, I didn’t read her as black and I look for black characters. I did think she, like Katnis was ethnic. Honestly, I imagined her as Indian-American.

    • Sandbalance

      She was dark brown in the book. So I’m not sure why they thought she had red hair. That said, I didn’t read her as black and I look for black characters. I did think she, like Katnis was ethnic. Honestly, I imagined her as Indian-American.

  • Anonymous

    No one is denying that many of these characters are poorly written by white people. But not all of them are poorly written. In the case of Gwen she is one of the most exemplary characters on the show but she gets a lot of hate.

    But rarely do people criticize the writing, they just go for blood.

  • Anonymous

    No one is denying that many of these characters are poorly written by white people. But not all of them are poorly written. In the case of Gwen she is one of the most exemplary characters on the show but she gets a lot of hate.

    But rarely do people criticize the writing, they just go for blood.

  • Anonymous

    But at the same time they have been changing the narrative throughout the story. For instance, with the . . . you know what . . . happening to Lancelot. But I don’t question that it is suspect for her importance as Queen of Legend to come only once the white king decides to marry her. But I feel I’ve seen evidence that she will demonstrate her merit, especially this season.

  • Anonymous

    Why does she need a white love interest? If only to compare her to the other women of color like Sandra Oh’s character I really don’t see the point. Or have the other characters also participated in interracial (which does not always involve a POC and white couple) relationships but not her?

    • Anonymous

      But I think the point is that a black woman is never treated like a female character that men of all races would find attractive, but white women on TV are frequently paired or pursued by black men.  I see this as an issue of parity…why have black male characters paired with and pursuing non-black women but not the other way around?  I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, but aren’t most or all of the male characters white?  So in this context, it is either black or white men.  But the original commenter would have to say if this jibes with her original post, b/c that was how I interpreted it-not that anyone “needed” a white man, but that they have no problem making the black men options for the other women so why isn’t the reverse true?
       And you figure, Sandra Oh’s character was ENGAGED to the black doctor who was on the show, and I thought that the wedding didn’t occur b/c he was fired for his scuffle with the gay actor.

    • Anonymous

      But I think the point is that a black woman is never treated like a female character that men of all races would find attractive, but white women on TV are frequently paired or pursued by black men.  I see this as an issue of parity…why have black male characters paired with and pursuing non-black women but not the other way around?  I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, but aren’t most or all of the male characters white?  So in this context, it is either black or white men.  But the original commenter would have to say if this jibes with her original post, b/c that was how I interpreted it-not that anyone “needed” a white man, but that they have no problem making the black men options for the other women so why isn’t the reverse true?
       And you figure, Sandra Oh’s character was ENGAGED to the black doctor who was on the show, and I thought that the wedding didn’t occur b/c he was fired for his scuffle with the gay actor.

      • Julia

        Yes, nicthommi, that’s closer to what I meant.  It’s not that she needs a white love interest; it’s that no white male characters on the show ever have interest in her, but they’re falling all over the white women. It’s a pretty stark contrast. I’d say she’s invisible to them as a sexual being (I mentioned, above, Derek’s (white guy) surprise at her being married, which seemed to me to indicate that he didn’t see her as having a personal life, much less a sex life). 

        And there have been interracial relationships, but among the core cast, only (I think?) involving Sandra Oh’s character. She was with a black doctor, whose name is escaping me, and now is with a white doctor. (Oh, although I guess there is the now-ancient-history relationship between the chief (black) and Meredith’s mother (white)….)

        “And you figure, Sandra Oh’s character was ENGAGED to the black doctor who was on the show, and I thought that the wedding didn’t occur b/c he was fired for his scuffle with the gay actor.”

        I didn’t know that. But that makes a lot more sense than the plot they cooked up to explain his disappearance.     

        • Anonymous

          Good…didn’t want to put words in your mouth but that was how I read your comment.
          And why am I supposed to believe that Sandra Oh can be appealing to white and black men but that Bailey cannot?  Let’s just go old school and have everyone on TV dating people of their race instead of setting up this hierarchy in which everyone wants to be with white or Asian women but no one wants to be with black women. 
          This kind of thing irks me to no end, and trust me, it bleeds into real life when people are incredulous when they see attractive non-black men with black women.  

  • UntarnishedSOUL

    Thank you for writing this article! It speaks the truth, and is full of outrage righteousness which I concur with~

    I do think though that we have to distingush between fandom’s hatred for the character/person because of the way they are written (and responsibility falls more to the writers?) and hatred for the character because they exist?
     
    I can understand why fans would dislike the characters inspite of their skin colour, and perhaps not all of the fans are being subtly influenced by rascism. I get that some of them are definitely biased (i’ve seen instances where they hate Gwen because she’s ugly and i think, maybe you have your own taste, but seriously?! ugly? angel coulby?) but we can’t really assume it. I mean some people just simply don’t like the way they are written, e.g. do not like it when the writers lose continuity in Glee have Mercedes oscillating between being half diva and half not, for Merlin fans who prefer merthur or something (and don’t see Gwen often), and for Doctor Who ship rose/doctor  (who even hard-hearted people have to admit had a painful separation, and we don’t realllly know if anyone who followed her after, white or no, who had a one-sided crush on the doctor immediately after Rose, would have gotten hate as well- and i think she would have actually).

    Thus their dislike of the character which translates often to utilisaton of careless worlds in extremist-like language and comments which is how people often just write on the net, just because they can. People usually get intensed and polarised online on their ships in rejection of all others because of net culture i suppose. Basically what I’m saying is that the hate comments are really mindless and may or may not be underscored by rascism and everyone is just going to get even more protective when attacked.

    And just wanted to say about Merlin, which is currently my obsession (at which i refresh the tumbr page almost every minute) there is hatred for Gwen about her indecision in the love triangle (which COULD be an excuse for racism) but I think there’s a lot of love for her out there too, and reading the comments i just got quite annoyed  seeing someone say that she is just a servant with no real powers and had to get a white guy to pull her up to rank, and using it to jusify why black women are discriminated against. Firstly, that’s anger against the writing, not the fandom hate. And secondly, it’s a reinterpretation! what’s wrong with her being a servant (like the titular character Merlin is, actually) and being one with the people, and the reason Arthur falls in love with her is because she tells him off twice in a glorious way. I mean, come on. not too much.

    BUT GO ALL THE BLACK WOMEN AS SUPPORTING CHARACTERS. I love Coulby and Freema and Mercedes when she sings (because the writers of Glee have no plot in their lives and stereotype as hell)

  • Przora

    I also notice this about British tv–and I loved the characters of Elaine and Amber. I found it hard to imagine similar casting choices in the U.S.

  • Przora

    I also notice this about British tv–and I loved the characters of Elaine and Amber. I found it hard to imagine similar casting choices in the U.S.

  • Przora

    I also notice this about British tv–and I loved the characters of Elaine and Amber. I found it hard to imagine similar casting choices in the U.S.

  • Przora

    I also notice this about British tv–and I loved the characters of Elaine and Amber. I found it hard to imagine similar casting choices in the U.S.

  • Nicki J

    I hate how Tara Thornton’s character  is portrayed verses Sookie. I hate the shit out out of Sookie just on GP because she’s portrayed (as usual) as the be all to end all of virtue, power, sweetness, humility, etc. Why can’t Tara be portrayed in this way? Why must Tara be an angry as hell, dysfunctional, bad choice making, victim of all kinds of abuse (rape/torture & physical/emotional/verbal abuse by her mother) , ignorant as hell black female? Tara’s character is every single stereotype white folks have ever believed and that pisses me off. On the other hand, I like how Tara is no-nonsense at times, I like that she’s self-empowered at times, I like that she is a fighter, I like that she goes for what she wants and makes no apologies, etc. It’s one of the reasons I hate True Blood…and yet, I love True Blood. I need them to do do better at how they depict melanated folks though…I know they won’t, but I wish they would. I hope this is close enough to the topic at hand.

  • Nicki J

    I hate how Tara Thornton’s character  is portrayed verses Sookie. I hate the shit out out of Sookie just on GP because she’s portrayed (as usual) as the be all to end all of virtue, power, sweetness, humility, etc. Why can’t Tara be portrayed in this way? Why must Tara be an angry as hell, dysfunctional, bad choice making, victim of all kinds of abuse (rape/torture & physical/emotional/verbal abuse by her mother) , ignorant as hell black female? Tara’s character is every single stereotype white folks have ever believed and that pisses me off. On the other hand, I like how Tara is no-nonsense at times, I like that she’s self-empowered at times, I like that she is a fighter, I like that she goes for what she wants and makes no apologies, etc. It’s one of the reasons I hate True Blood…and yet, I love True Blood. I need them to do do better at how they depict melanated folks though…I know they won’t, but I wish they would. I hope this is close enough to the topic at hand.

    • Anonymous

      Sookie is completely insufferable. She’s such a Mary Sue and the only reason that her life doesn’t look just like Tara is that her magical white girl virtue saves her increasingly implausibly from the logical conclusions to her choices. If anything Sookie’s choices are worst than Tara’s, it just looks less stupid when things that usually get you murdered just get you more boyfriends. If Tara had told Franklin that she was in love with another man he would have ripped her to a million pieces, because he’s a crazy vampire. But somehow the crazy vampires magically go from the sorts of people that would walk right past a guy trying to murder Tara and save her. Whatever writers.

    • Mickey

      “Why must Tara be an angry as hell, dysfunctional, bad choice making,
      victim of all kinds of abuse (rape/torture &
      physical/emotional/verbal abuse by her mother) , ignorant as hell black
      female?” 

      Welcome to Sapphire 2.0.

      http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/sapphire/

  • Nicki J

    I hate how Tara Thornton’s character  is portrayed verses Sookie. I hate the shit out out of Sookie just on GP because she’s portrayed (as usual) as the be all to end all of virtue, power, sweetness, humility, etc. Why can’t Tara be portrayed in this way? Why must Tara be an angry as hell, dysfunctional, bad choice making, victim of all kinds of abuse (rape/torture & physical/emotional/verbal abuse by her mother) , ignorant as hell black female? Tara’s character is every single stereotype white folks have ever believed and that pisses me off. On the other hand, I like how Tara is no-nonsense at times, I like that she’s self-empowered at times, I like that she is a fighter, I like that she goes for what she wants and makes no apologies, etc. It’s one of the reasons I hate True Blood…and yet, I love True Blood. I need them to do do better at how they depict melanated folks though…I know they won’t, but I wish they would. I hope this is close enough to the topic at hand.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes I LOVED Martha Jones!
    I started watching the new Dr. Who because of Christopher Eccleston ( he is one of my favourite actors0 and I like Billie Piper. I was sad when Eccleston left after one season but I kept watching because of Rose, the actor who took over who’s name I can’t and do not really care to recall is not a favourite actor of mine, but when Rose left and Martha took over I WAS IN BLISS TOWN!
    Finally a companion of colour, a smart and resourceful one, and a she was a doctor in training too! I love Rose’s time as a companion but what I did not like is that they made it so obvious that the Doctor did not love her at all and she had to accept that. I found that rather lame to be honest. After Rose left I stopped watching Dr. Who because I often find the show tries too hard to clever and I do not find that entertaining at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes I LOVED Martha Jones!
    I started watching the new Dr. Who because of Christopher Eccleston ( he is one of my favourite actors0 and I like Billie Piper. I was sad when Eccleston left after one season but I kept watching because of Rose, the actor who took over who’s name I can’t and do not really care to recall is not a favourite actor of mine, but when Rose left and Martha took over I WAS IN BLISS TOWN!
    Finally a companion of colour, a smart and resourceful one, and a she was a doctor in training too! I love Rose’s time as a companion but what I did not like is that they made it so obvious that the Doctor did not love her at all and she had to accept that. I found that rather lame to be honest. After Rose left I stopped watching Dr. Who because I often find the show tries too hard to clever and I do not find that entertaining at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes I LOVED Martha Jones!
    I started watching the new Dr. Who because of Christopher Eccleston ( he is one of my favourite actors0 and I like Billie Piper. I was sad when Eccleston left after one season but I kept watching because of Rose, the actor who took over who’s name I can’t and do not really care to recall is not a favourite actor of mine, but when Rose left and Martha took over I WAS IN BLISS TOWN!
    Finally a companion of colour, a smart and resourceful one, and a she was a doctor in training too! I love Rose’s time as a companion but what I did not like is that they made it so obvious that the Doctor did not love her at all and she had to accept that. I found that rather lame to be honest. After Rose left I stopped watching Dr. Who because I often find the show tries too hard to clever and I do not find that entertaining at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes I LOVED Martha Jones!
    I started watching the new Dr. Who because of Christopher Eccleston ( he is one of my favourite actors0 and I like Billie Piper. I was sad when Eccleston left after one season but I kept watching because of Rose, the actor who took over who’s name I can’t and do not really care to recall is not a favourite actor of mine, but when Rose left and Martha took over I WAS IN BLISS TOWN!
    Finally a companion of colour, a smart and resourceful one, and a she was a doctor in training too! I love Rose’s time as a companion but what I did not like is that they made it so obvious that the Doctor did not love her at all and she had to accept that. I found that rather lame to be honest. After Rose left I stopped watching Dr. Who because I often find the show tries too hard to clever and I do not find that entertaining at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes I LOVED Martha Jones!
    I started watching the new Dr. Who because of Christopher Eccleston ( he is one of my favourite actors0 and I like Billie Piper. I was sad when Eccleston left after one season but I kept watching because of Rose, the actor who took over who’s name I can’t and do not really care to recall is not a favourite actor of mine, but when Rose left and Martha took over I WAS IN BLISS TOWN!
    Finally a companion of colour, a smart and resourceful one, and a she was a doctor in training too! I love Rose’s time as a companion but what I did not like is that they made it so obvious that the Doctor did not love her at all and she had to accept that. I found that rather lame to be honest. After Rose left I stopped watching Dr. Who because I often find the show tries too hard to clever and I do not find that entertaining at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Akins/694459632 Kim Akins

    Let’s call it Michelle Obamaphobia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Akins/694459632 Kim Akins

    Let’s call it Michelle Obamaphobia.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FOQTA5WYVUMONQCWWEBXZVLBSI morethanthisifistay

      This. I’ve felt the backlash against black women increased with the introduction of Mrs. Obama to the world.  She is everything they swear black women aren’t and could never be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Akins/694459632 Kim Akins

    Let’s call it Michelle Obamaphobia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Akins/694459632 Kim Akins

    Let’s call it Michelle Obamaphobia.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes they are wonderful Mickey but they were all black actors on blacks shows. 
    It is when the cast is multiracial that black women get short shrift.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes they are wonderful Mickey but they were all black actors on blacks shows. 
    It is when the cast is multiracial that black women get short shrift.

    • Anonymous

      More like “multiracial” but predominantly white.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Yes they are wonderful Mickey but they were all black actors on blacks shows. 
    It is when the cast is multiracial that black women get short shrift.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Oh and please do not forget the vile hatred thrusted upon Lt. Nyota Uhura because of her relationship with Commander Spock in the new film franchise. It was just insane and sickening to read what some “fans” said about the character and the actress Zoe Saldana who played the role.
    “Oh she is a bitch because she makes Spock put her on the Enterprise!” 
    “She FORCED herself on him when obviously does not like her and wished to be alone when he went into the lift.”  
    “She is getting in the way of Spock and Kirk being together! ( Something which was created by and inferred by the fans in their slash fan fiction not necessarily Gene Rodnenberry, he wanted their to be something between Spock and Uhura but this was the 60′s and the tv executives wanted Uhura off the show because a black woman would NEVER be on the bridge!!! Rodenberry had to fight for the character’s inclusion but he had to essentially lose the relationship and made it a unrequited love for Nurse Chapel, but I ask you out of all of them who did Spock teach to play the Vulcan lyre?)
    Martha, Guinevere, Tara and Mercedes ALL get treated like crap because  the public have a big problem with black women being the love interest/desired one/ the leader/the chosen above the others because we are not supposed to be in their eyes anything but beneath them.
    What do I do about this when I read this jank? I call them out ont it because I am SICK of it and it has got to stop!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

    Oh and please do not forget the vile hatred thrusted upon Lt. Nyota Uhura because of her relationship with Commander Spock in the new film franchise. It was just insane and sickening to read what some “fans” said about the character and the actress Zoe Saldana who played the role.
    “Oh she is a bitch because she makes Spock put her on the Enterprise!” 
    “She FORCED herself on him when obviously does not like her and wished to be alone when he went into the lift.”  
    “She is getting in the way of Spock and Kirk being together! ( Something which was created by and inferred by the fans in their slash fan fiction not necessarily Gene Rodnenberry, he wanted their to be something between Spock and Uhura but this was the 60′s and the tv executives wanted Uhura off the show because a black woman would NEVER be on the bridge!!! Rodenberry had to fight for the character’s inclusion but he had to essentially lose the relationship and made it a unrequited love for Nurse Chapel, but I ask you out of all of them who did Spock teach to play the Vulcan lyre?)
    Martha, Guinevere, Tara and Mercedes ALL get treated like crap because  the public have a big problem with black women being the love interest/desired one/ the leader/the chosen above the others because we are not supposed to be in their eyes anything but beneath them.
    What do I do about this when I read this jank? I call them out ont it because I am SICK of it and it has got to stop!

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. If not for TV executives Spock and Uhura would already be canon. And there were other hints throughout TOS, however subtle some of them were. Like their musical duet in one episode with her singing and him playing the Vulcan lyre. And they were supposed to be the first interracial kiss but Kirk’s actor, the diva that he is, insisted that it be him.

  • Khia213

    I think that Shondra Rimes, the producer, voices herself through Bailey, which may be why she appears to have good common sense. But until recently, Bailey was pretty much neutered.  She was married but not passionate and there was no great love story associated with her.  And probably like Shondra, Bailey keeps her racial opinions to herself in order to get along.  That’s the upside.  On the flip side, Rimes has never cast a black woman like Michael Michelle or Sanaa Latham as a great beauty who drives all the boys wild.   Of course, that would mean she’s have to interact with white men on the show, so I’m guessing that’s out.

  • Khia213

    I think that Shondra Rimes, the producer, voices herself through Bailey, which may be why she appears to have good common sense. But until recently, Bailey was pretty much neutered.  She was married but not passionate and there was no great love story associated with her.  And probably like Shondra, Bailey keeps her racial opinions to herself in order to get along.  That’s the upside.  On the flip side, Rimes has never cast a black woman like Michael Michelle or Sanaa Latham as a great beauty who drives all the boys wild.   Of course, that would mean she’s have to interact with white men on the show, so I’m guessing that’s out.

  • Isistheblogger

    This is a great example of the tomfoolery of some of these fandoms…not quite a full stab but a stab anyway

  • http://teaoli.livejournal.com TeaOli

    While I agree with much of what you have to say here, I can’t help but take exception to the comparison of Black women to “mainstream women.” If we Black women are considered to be not mainstream by either ourselves, others or both, then the idea that we must be portrayed as Others, and often inferior Others, will continue to prevail.

  • http://teaoli.livejournal.com TeaOli

    While I agree with much of what you have to say here, I can’t help but take exception to the comparison of Black women to “mainstream women.” If we Black women are considered to be not mainstream by either ourselves, others or both, then the idea that we must be portrayed as Others, and often inferior Others, will continue to prevail.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cullars/100000096143598 Sharon Cullars

      “Mainstream” is my personal code word for “white” which is basically a cop-out on my part. As for my own beliefs, I consider black woman equal with all other races of women, esp. white women, but in the Romance literature community of which I’m a part, black heroines are basically treated at “others.” My observations aren’t an echo of my sentiments as much as it is of the reality of both literature and other media. We’ve had years of telling the world we are like any other race and yet the world pushes back especially when it comes to black women (check some of the recent, horrible commercials of sassy talking black women, a throwback to earlier stereotypes that I thought were dead but have unfortunately been resurrected). This pushback against black women is also  evidenced in the anecdote I cited of  romance writer/reader on a message board who likened an I/R pairing of a BW/WM to that of a werewolf/human. Talk about “othering.”

      I believe all women, no matter their color,  should be considered equal, in both humanity and desirability. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. Even if I refuse to consider myself “other” there are those in the media who try to say otherwise. Unfortunately, it is an idea that has prevailed despite individual and collective protest.

      • Mickey

         ”This pushback against black women is also  evidenced in the anecdote I
        cited of  romance writer/reader on a message board who likened an I/R
        pairing of a BW/WM to that of a werewolf/human. Talk about “othering.”

        You should have told her that a same race pairing is similar to inbreeding in your eyes. And is this just in regards to BW? What about other races of women?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cullars/100000096143598 Sharon Cullars

          In the thread she noted the rise in I/R stories featuring BW/WM and thought it was a “fad” and hoped that the market didn’t become rife with stories as had happened with the many werewolf /human stories. My answer was that the stories of two human beings who just happened to be of different races was in no way an outlier genre but reflected actual relationships – unlike the fantasy pairings of werewolves and humans. I felt insulted that she saw BW/WM as something “other than” normal.

  • Hunter

    I’m a fan-fiction writer and I penned a fiction where Martha Jones/Smith refuses to allow the Doctor to take her and Mickey’s children for a fun trip to the past, and tells him frankly that he is incapable of taking care of them spiritually. The response went from furious from mostly white readers to very positive.
    And I get strange reaction when I suggest that Who writers exploited Martha’s complexion to deny the struggle of Women of color against racism, enslavement, oppression in instances in episodes like the Shakespeare Code, where the Doctor denies the existence of the slave trade, and diminishes any possibility of racism to ‘Political Correctness gone mad’. For a writer to use a Person of Color to make a dismissive, “that’s the way things were” statement, neglects the struggle for freedom, equality, normalcy, and human rights that should be the focus of representing any character of color in the past.

    • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

      I would love to read your story. I was so tired of Mickey swooning over Rose Tyler. In my fantasies there is a spin off show with Martha and Mickey, but a British drama were black people are in love will happen when palm tree start growing spontaneously in Trafalgar Square

      • Matters2me

         In my fantasies, that Martha and Mickey pairing never happened. It smacked so much of Davies not having any real interest in either character. Neither one of them were good enough for the Doctor or the sainted Rose so it just seemed like a consolation prize. Not to mention Martha was allegedly married to someone else. What happened to Tom?

        • Anonymous

          I don’t pay much attention to the fan reactions to characters on Who, so I can’t speak on that, but as someone who has watched every episode of Who, Torchwood, Misfits, Being Human, Luther, etc., etc. a gazillion times, I think some of the criticism of the romantic pairings are unfair. Sure, Martha ended up with Mickey, but she was in love with The Doctor (white), hit on by Jack Harkness (white), and engaged to that one doctor (white). I find the creators of British television to be a lot more color blind than their U.S. counterparts.

        • Hunter

          I like the pairing and rather than Davies having no interest in the characters,  consider that Davies knew of the friendship between the actors.  These were the only two characters who GREW in the series, and I get chills when people suggest that Davies threw Martha and Mickey together just because they were black–as if putting two, attractive, sexy people of color together is bad thing.  No one says they threw 10.5 and Rose together because they were white– and now, if you think about it that was slightly insulting to Rose.  You can’t have me, but here take a substitute, and the poor clone gets no say in the matter at all.

      • Matters2me

         In my fantasies, that Martha and Mickey pairing never happened. It smacked so much of Davies not having any real interest in either character. Neither one of them were good enough for the Doctor or the sainted Rose so it just seemed like a consolation prize. Not to mention Martha was allegedly married to someone else. What happened to Tom?

      • Samia

        Maybe that’s why the Britcom Chef! was so short-lived…

    • http://twitter.com/kaichiturtle Rachel Young

      I completely agree with you the whole “Political Correctness gone mad” quip.  It frustrated me that they never really talked about issues that could have made Martha’s era interesting. The only time was in Family of  Blood episodes and Martha dealing with racism in that all boys school. 

      I was sort of frustrated that they paired Martha and Mickey together. Why pair the only two main black characters together? Did Martha have to be with someone? She could have stayed single. I know this was a way of addressing both Mickey’s and Martha’s lost/unrequited loves but still. Actually I’ve just realize that all the female companions end up with someone at the end of their run. Rose and human Doctor, Martha and Mickey, Donna and random guy at the end, and Amy and Rory (which is different I have to admit).   

      I sorta wish that they cut that whole in love with the doctor thing out. Then Martha would be a great companion. 

    • http://twitter.com/kaichiturtle Rachel Young

      I completely agree with you the whole “Political Correctness gone mad” quip.  It frustrated me that they never really talked about issues that could have made Martha’s era interesting. The only time was in Family of  Blood episodes and Martha dealing with racism in that all boys school. 

      I was sort of frustrated that they paired Martha and Mickey together. Why pair the only two main black characters together? Did Martha have to be with someone? She could have stayed single. I know this was a way of addressing both Mickey’s and Martha’s lost/unrequited loves but still. Actually I’ve just realize that all the female companions end up with someone at the end of their run. Rose and human Doctor, Martha and Mickey, Donna and random guy at the end, and Amy and Rory (which is different I have to admit).   

      I sorta wish that they cut that whole in love with the doctor thing out. Then Martha would be a great companion. 

    • http://twitter.com/kaichiturtle Rachel Young

      I completely agree with you the whole “Political Correctness gone mad” quip.  It frustrated me that they never really talked about issues that could have made Martha’s era interesting. The only time was in Family of  Blood episodes and Martha dealing with racism in that all boys school. 

      I was sort of frustrated that they paired Martha and Mickey together. Why pair the only two main black characters together? Did Martha have to be with someone? She could have stayed single. I know this was a way of addressing both Mickey’s and Martha’s lost/unrequited loves but still. Actually I’ve just realize that all the female companions end up with someone at the end of their run. Rose and human Doctor, Martha and Mickey, Donna and random guy at the end, and Amy and Rory (which is different I have to admit).   

      I sorta wish that they cut that whole in love with the doctor thing out. Then Martha would be a great companion. 

  • Yalegirl03

    All of this is so on point! I don’t watch Glee, but for Merlin and Doctor Who, Gwen and Martha Jones are what made me watch. Finally, a woman who looks something like me is cast in a leading role and she is made of awesome.  Besides Uhura, I had never seen a black female in a starring role in a fantasy or sci-fi show before Merlin and Doctor Who.

    For True Blood, I stopped watching because it got too gory and ridiculous, but the reason I stuck with it for three seasons was Tara Thorton.  I  just try and avoid most of  fandom now and stick to tumblrs or discussions in praise of these characters and the wonderful actresses who play them. The hatred for Uhura in Star Trek showed me the racist and immature side of fandom and the benefits of avoiding it like the plague.  I just get tired of all the rabid love for characters like Rose or Sookie while their more fabulous black counterparts are ripped apart. 

  • Ally

    The people shipping Arthur/Morgana must either have missed a pretty crucial episode, or be seriously into incest. (Then again, that did happen in the original stories – but only to produce Mordred, and seeing as he’s already there in the BBC version…)

    I really like Gwen, but I think she’s not getting enough screen time at the moment. I’m hoping for a Gwen-Morgana showdown soon, though, since the marriage will most likely be coming up.

  • Ally

    The people shipping Arthur/Morgana must either have missed a pretty crucial episode, or be seriously into incest. (Then again, that did happen in the original stories – but only to produce Mordred, and seeing as he’s already there in the BBC version…)

    I really like Gwen, but I think she’s not getting enough screen time at the moment. I’m hoping for a Gwen-Morgana showdown soon, though, since the marriage will most likely be coming up.

  • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

    I am watching it on Netflix and adore it.  When we “met” Gwen, I swooned from happiness at her casting. I LOVE her!

    I am disappointed that so many decisions regarding casting seem to have been made by a group of insular 15 year old boys.

    • Lyonside

      >group of insular 15 year old boys.

      More like, core writing staff sometimes actually ADMITS that they think their core audience IS 15 YO (white, straight) boys. Much to the dismay, knashing of teeth, and general hostility (that led to a boycott! Yay!) of, say, Stargate Atlantis fans, back in the day. There’s a reason SG:U failed miserably, and a lot of it had to do with fangirls.

    • Lyonside

      >group of insular 15 year old boys.

      More like, core writing staff sometimes actually ADMITS that they think their core audience IS 15 YO (white, straight) boys. Much to the dismay, knashing of teeth, and general hostility (that led to a boycott! Yay!) of, say, Stargate Atlantis fans, back in the day. There’s a reason SG:U failed miserably, and a lot of it had to do with fangirls.

  • Ally

    Completely agreed – I loved Martha, and she was a breath of fresh air after bloody Rose (who had her good points, but she was by no means as interesting or wonderful as every other character in the show kept on insisting she was). Only problem with the way she was written was how she kept on pining after the Doctor – but they salvaged that a bit by having her realise and make the decision to get out of a toxic situation. Much better message to send to viewers than the usual one for unrequited love, which is “keep on pining, they’ll notice you one day”.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

  • Berrytree

    First of all, I don’t know where you got the idea that Gwen on Merlin is a hated character. I’m a huge fan of the show and I’ve noticed a lot of people praising her character for being strong and engaging, and Arwen (Arthur and Gwen shipping) have a huge following. The only people I’ve noticed who appear to criticise her are the ones who are jealous about the fact that Angel Coulby gets to snog Bradley James, not them. And if anything, I think she is the single best coloured character on TV. She’s not a stereotype, she’s not there to be the token minority and her inter-racial romance (with an incredibly hot Prince Arthur I might add) is treated the same as any other romance would. Arthur and Gwen’s romance is also really important in the show since they’re the main romantic leads. How often do you see an inter-racial couple as the romantic leads when it’s not a movie or TV show about racism?
    As for Mercedes on Glee, the reason why I don’t like her is because unlike Gwen, she is a badly written token minority. Amber Riley was chosen on Glee to be the black character. It’s like the Glee writers were thinking, ‘Ok, we’re an inclusive show. We need a Jewish character, check, a black character, check.’ Mercedes has many of the stereotypically black traits: she’s sassy, she has an attitude and she sings R’N'B and soul music. Will we ever see Mercedes sing a country song? Of course not! Apart from all that, she dumped her white boyfriend and is now with a token black guy, you know because he’s black, she’s black and that means they’re perfect for each other! Ugh. Damn you Hollywood. Take a lesson from the British and start writing complex, three dimensional characters of colour.

    • Hunter

      To suggest it is tokenism and racist to portray People of color as attracted to each other is in itself suspect.   This is apples and oranges.   We don’t see it often enough, to the point that NAACP still gives an award for loving portrayals of people of color.  Why in the world should her choice of a black male require justification.  People did this with Martha and Mickey too, as if, they were supposed to ignore each other or not recognized how attractive they were because there were white people on the TARDIS with them.    Why shouldn’t Mercedes be attracted to a black male?  Her mother was.

      • http://twitter.com/kaichiturtle Rachel Young

        I don’t think people  have a problem with Martha being attracted to a black male but that it had to be Mickey, the only other main black male character. I personally think that Martha should have stayed single or had prospects and flirtations from various backgrounds not just white or black. 

      • http://twitter.com/kaichiturtle Rachel Young

        I don’t think people  have a problem with Martha being attracted to a black male but that it had to be Mickey, the only other main black male character. I personally think that Martha should have stayed single or had prospects and flirtations from various backgrounds not just white or black. 

      • Jess

        No no, or at least, not for me. My objection to Martha/Mickey was because until that point, Mickey had rarely been portrayed as competent, and, more significantly, Martha HAD a man, whom she seemed to love and be happy with, so suddenly seeing her with Mickey was baffling and felt like they’d just forgotten she had her own love interest and assigned her to the only other black character on the show.

        • Hunter

          I understand as a fan having emotions tied up in a character.  However,  I would say that except for Martha– Mickey Smith is the only character we see grow on the show.  He started out — well even Noel criticizes the first outings, but the character is allowed to grow.  And Martha doesn’t see the old Mickey, just like Mickey doesn’t see the woman who, during her time with the Doctor, turn herself into a doormat.  We NEVER see Martha romantically with Tom– the whole fiancee thing seemed invented so the Doctor would not have to “worry” about hurting Martha.  I could have done without it.  Whereas Martha meeting dark, rugged Mickey while they’re saving the world and becoming attracted to him is a pretty good story and as another poster noted — it is rare as hen’s teeth to see an attractive, loving black couple.  Mickey is shown as a little old fashion and protective and affectionate.  I

    • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

      You  you are a sterling example of EXACTLY what this blog entry is talking about… You are not racist but… you ignore and diminish the observations of women of color and spew you lack of knowledge as fact. I was born in England and have watched BBC all my life and black characters are few and far between on English TV. Black men are far more predominant in this small sample and they are always paired with non-women. The majority of the few black women on British TV are as light as me or even lighter. Please be more respectful and informed when you respond.

      • Anonymous

        The colorism is something I noticed among at least three BBC favorites: the girl from Misfits, Annie in Being Human, Gwen and so on. So I suppose BBC is about as afraid of color as the US. I’m not even sure a lot of people are aware that Annie’s actress is Trinidadian.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Kate

    As a lot of people here have pointed out, I think there’s a lot of crossover between poor writing and characters who are recieved poorly–it’s hard for the audience to care when the writers don’t. However, there’s also the fact that white audiences have a much lower tolerance point for the emotions and behavior of Black characters. I think any character subjected to as much misery as Tara on True Blood was would eventually wear on audience sympathies, because watching depressing things all the time is exhausting, but most people seemed to reach the point of sympathy fatigue with Tara *far* more quickly than they would with any white character. And I’ve seen so many people denigrate Mercedes as a mean, entitled diva for demonstrating *once* behavior that Rachel has engaged in over and over again. It’s extremely disheartening.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

    • Alara Rogers

      OMG. How the fuck can anyone say that? Storm is an *awesome* leader. Sure, she’s made bad calls (her decision to fake the X-Men’s deaths in the late 1980′s was partially responsible for Illyana Rasputin dying, Nathan Summers getting the technovirus and being turned into Cable, and Magneto going bad again), but on the other hand, she led the team through some of the most dangerous and horrifying events that ever happened to them, and kept them all alive, and sometimes she did it WITHOUT ANY POWERS. Also, she has never abandoned her team when they needed her because of a love interest, something Cyclops has done umpty zillion times.

      I am white, but I love Storm, I am appalled at the way Marvel has been treating her for the last decade (and how she was treated in the movie), and I believe she is overall a *much* better leader than Cyclops; Scott lets his personal life get in the way all the damn time, and that’s not a good role for a strategist. She *should* be up there in the top echelons of strategists in the Marvel Universe… but it doesn’t surprise me that fanboys, most of whom are white, don’t perceive either guys like T’Challa or women like Ororo to be top-level strategists, even though they obviously are.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a conversation I read and participated in the other day pertaining to the latest events in the X-Men comics. Someone mentioned that the Schism event seems ridiculous because Wolverine is the epitome of a foot soldier, and is neither an idealist nor one of the X-Men’s most competent leaders and that Storm disagreeing with Cyclops would have made for a much more believable conflict to cause a split in the team, since both have at some point run the team. Storm is generally a well-liked character, but even then she couldn’t avoid being undersold. When discussing her accomplishments, it was routinely pointed out that while she ran her team “competently” she didn’t “have to do much”. When her long list of accomplishments as a leader were listed  (peace agreements, running an entire country, providing safe havens for mutants, etc.) and in fact were compared to Cyclops’ accomplishments, with her often doing something similar to what he did, but with her doing it first and/or on a much bigger scale, there were still the protestations of “yeah, but she still isn’t in the higher echelon of tacticians and leaders in Marvel”. But they felt this was a league that Cyclops belonged to just fine, despite both his numerous failures and the fact that she mirrors if not outdoes many of his accomplishments. And when asked who *were* those people in that upper echelon that she had yet to rise to? White men.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen a lot of people say that Martha was a Mary Sue because she would frequently solve the problem of the episode or have some role in doing so, which isn’t all that uncommon for a companion to do, so to me it just wreaks of two things: the first being that they were mad that the companion could keep pace with the Doctor, thus making their fantasy of being saved by the Doctor/vicariously living through the Doctor’s awesomeness that much harder to do and the second being that they thought it was “unrealistic” for the black female companion to be competent. Dr. Who and it’s former headwriter Russel T. Davies also get a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda” in some more mainstream fandom circles, read: gay relationships aren’t shoved off to the side until they need someone to murder for the drama, but are actual people with valuable lives who are just as likely to be seen and be a part of the main plot as any straight character is, which is seen by them as “shoving gay people in [their] faces”.

    • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

      They can shove Captain Jack Harkness in my face ANY TIME!

    • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

      They can shove Captain Jack Harkness in my face ANY TIME!

    • http://twitter.com/DYomoah Doreen

      I’m pretty shocked to hear this. that is, that Russel T. Davies got a lot of flak for having a “gay agenda”. If anything, Captain Jack Harkness (the only gay character I can think of from seasons 1-4, I haven’t yet seen 5) never had a relationship that actually was part of the main plot,.

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t that how it always goes though? Outside of Jack, most of the gay characters are one-offs, not recurring characters and with some exceptions not terribly memorable, or in some cases are subjected to the old “kill your gays” treatment. But even this flawed representation manages to ruffle feathers It almost feels like a requirement now for me to see fans on a thread related to Torchwood or RTD-era Dr. Who to complain about his “gay/PC  agenda” because they gave Jack a non-hetero sex scene.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    yeah, it’s pretty bad.  martha, being second, had a hard time being accepted by people who’d grown seriously attached to their first companion characters.  i think a lot of people who were not pre-existing who fans are just not
    prepared for the part of the doctor who show that is really strange:  at some
    point, your favorite companion will leave the tardis (or possibly die). 
    your favorite doctor will regenerate.  but the show goes on…

    martha’s race and understandably tense relationship with the doctor produced some very odd responses in people.  martha’s season is difficult viewing; the doctor is not at his personal best, he’s punishing his body in some grotesque ways almost every episode, and punishing martha emotionally when he’s not (or threatening her family with bodily harm, who lacked the context for what is going on, something Rose’s family was given early on).  i also believe some fan-ownership-lust for tennant just broke the straw and pulling race-hate on martha moved in because, frankly, that’s just how easy/comfortable it can be for white culture to reach deep down and grab that ugly kind of language.

    • http://twitter.com/eshowman Friday Foster

      I have been a Doctor Who fan for decades. Your thesis would hold water except for the fact that any Doctor Who fan knows that companions change regularly. This hatred was not transfered to Donna Noble or Amy Pond.

      • Lyonside

        You should remmenber that most young fans and most US Dr. Who fans in genral started in 2005 with Eccleston, and/or Tennant the following season. They do NOT have a childhood history of watching Baker or any of the companions coming and going. So they may know it, intellectually, but they are not used to it. And when Martha came in after St. Rose, it was the fly in the buttermilk, in more ways than one.

      • Lyonside

        You should remmenber that most young fans and most US Dr. Who fans in genral started in 2005 with Eccleston, and/or Tennant the following season. They do NOT have a childhood history of watching Baker or any of the companions coming and going. So they may know it, intellectually, but they are not used to it. And when Martha came in after St. Rose, it was the fly in the buttermilk, in more ways than one.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    i would love to see someone write a piece on LaGuerta.  she’s a really difficult character to pin down for me.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    i would love to see someone write a piece on LaGuerta.  she’s a really difficult character to pin down for me.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    i would love to see someone write a piece on LaGuerta.  she’s a really difficult character to pin down for me.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    i would love to see someone write a piece on LaGuerta.  she’s a really difficult character to pin down for me.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/callmepartario Osama Larara

    I agree with you completely — all of the hatred surrounding martha really threw me for a loop: 

    as a long-time fan of old who, it was not lost on me that we picked up with Rose as a sort of ‘everygirl’ in some respect, her character is primarily defined by her on-show travels, and we get to know the who universe anew, which was great.

    but then came martha, and she was whip-smart, super-observant in ways Rose wasn’t, had a body of knowledge (and a sort of ethical code) she brought to the travels, and utilized to the fullest.  i appreciated that martha acknowledged early that time travel (on earth) for non-whites could very well be a dicey thing in certain parts of the past.

  • Ciolaw

    idk…i hate Sooki on true blood and she’s the main character. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cullars/100000096143598 Sharon Cullars

      Constructive criticism of a character is valid. There are those who hate any number of characters whether black or white. However, it is the venom of the dislike that is disparate when it comes to Sooki vs. Tara. I’ve read posts stating how they would personally like to kill Tara. And some of this venom spills over to active dislike for the actress. If they do not bring Tara back next season I highly suspect that it was due to Alan Ball caving into the virulent Tara hatred in the fandom. If they post this mess on the (mess)age boards one can only imagine the personal letters the producers receive begging for Tara’s demise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cullars/100000096143598 Sharon Cullars

      Constructive criticism of a character is valid. There are those who hate any number of characters whether black or white. However, it is the venom of the dislike that is disparate when it comes to Sooki vs. Tara. I’ve read posts stating how they would personally like to kill Tara. And some of this venom spills over to active dislike for the actress. If they do not bring Tara back next season I highly suspect that it was due to Alan Ball caving into the virulent Tara hatred in the fandom. If they post this mess on the (mess)age boards one can only imagine the personal letters the producers receive begging for Tara’s demise.

      • A H

        your last sentence…i believe this to be true. 

        it’s great if people write letters about this sort of thing.  but i think that people should cancel their HBO subscriptions and THEN write a letter explaining why they did it.  money talks, b.s walks….i think they kind of stepped in it with that last scene though. i was shocked and pleased at how many came out to support the character.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cullars/100000096143598 Sharon Cullars

      Constructive criticism of a character is valid. There are those who hate any number of characters whether black or white. However, it is the venom of the dislike that is disparate when it comes to Sooki vs. Tara. I’ve read posts stating how they would personally like to kill Tara. And some of this venom spills over to active dislike for the actress. If they do not bring Tara back next season I highly suspect that it was due to Alan Ball caving into the virulent Tara hatred in the fandom. If they post this mess on the (mess)age boards one can only imagine the personal letters the producers receive begging for Tara’s demise.

  • Mickey

    Yeah, I’m sure that all of this isn’t just directed at Black women soley. I also wonder if there is much hatred towards other POCs in sci-fi. I am assuming there is.

    • Violette

      Interesting you said that, because I was thinking the other day that there is a LOT of hate directed towards Jacob Taylor among the Mass Effect community. 

      • Kimberly Toney

        As a black female who loves Mass Effect, I think a lot of the hate comes from his dialog choices and the fact he goes up against Garrus as a love interest choice (Because Garrus is impressive!)

        I REALLY wanted to like Jacob. I loved the version we got in the beginning of the game. But once you start talking to him later on the ship, it was like pulling teeth with him. It’s funny because all the team members have repetitive dialog, it just feels like his is worse than normal.

        The way they made female Shepard talk to him was just wrong. She sounded like she was in heat before you can get to the romanse subplot. It’s so bad that me and a lot of other players just avoid talking to him after getting required information. Why the directors when with that I’ll never know.

        I liked the fact he wouldn’t spill everything about himself to you easily, but it needed to be balanced in other ways like opening up after fem Shepard opened about herself or something. Miranda (who I had problems with the way she was portrayed also) opens up to you easier than Jacob, and she didn’t like Shepard at first.

        Plus, Jacob goes up against Garrus, one of the most loves characters next to Tali in the game. That’s hard to overcome.

        So to say all this, I think the hate doesn’t come from his race (though it might partially, especially for “The Prizzeee…” line), but comes from his bad characterization, dialog miscues and direction, and going up against Garrus. Jacob, along with Kaiden, just needed to written better.

    • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

      Well, there’s definitely a lot of misogyny in general.  One can find a lot of vitriolic and violent comments on the internet directed at, for instance, Chloe from Stargate Universe.  She was absolutely a TERRIBLE character, but the comments aren’t about WHY she’s a crappy character – they are about doing her bodily harm. 

      This kind of nastiness ramps up with the characters are Black women (and they can be GREAT characters).  Haven’t searched for this kind of thing on male characters, but if there is a lot of HATE towards oh, Ben Sisko, I’d say that proves it. 

      I mean, Sisko was…a loving Dad, a good captain, a prophet…

      I’m lucky, because as I said above, I don’t hear this kind of thing in my community of SF Fans.  But I don’t have ANY doubt that it goes on.  Given what happens in the Real World, sadly, I’d be surprised if it didn’t.

      • Lyonside

        HOW can you hate on Avery Brooks/ Ben Sisko? That just does not compute in my world… oh wait, I LIKE black men in my Shakespeare and speculative fiction, that’s why…

        • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

          Agreed -  my point exactly.  Ben Sisko was the epitome of everything good in the universe – and not one dimensional either. It just underlines that this isn’t REALLY about the characters at all.

      • Lyonside

        HOW can you hate on Avery Brooks/ Ben Sisko? That just does not compute in my world… oh wait, I LIKE black men in my Shakespeare and speculative fiction, that’s why…

    • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

      Well, there’s definitely a lot of misogyny in general.  One can find a lot of vitriolic and violent comments on the internet directed at, for instance, Chloe from Stargate Universe.  She was absolutely a TERRIBLE character, but the comments aren’t about WHY she’s a crappy character – they are about doing her bodily harm. 

      This kind of nastiness ramps up with the characters are Black women (and they can be GREAT characters).  Haven’t searched for this kind of thing on male characters, but if there is a lot of HATE towards oh, Ben Sisko, I’d say that proves it. 

      I mean, Sisko was…a loving Dad, a good captain, a prophet…

      I’m lucky, because as I said above, I don’t hear this kind of thing in my community of SF Fans.  But I don’t have ANY doubt that it goes on.  Given what happens in the Real World, sadly, I’d be surprised if it didn’t.

    • Keith

      That wasn’t my point. I was merely stating that I have seen this happen to black male characters as well. I’m not trying to hijack the conversation.

      • Mickey

        Ahhh. Gotcha. :)

  • Drhiphop85

    I wanted to ride with you until you said Martha Jones on Doctor Who. I’m sure there is definitely people who dislike her (no character is liked by everyone) but an overall hate of her? Never once seen that and I patrol ALOT of Doctor Who sites LOL…The others I agree with (well I don’t watch Merlin or Vampire Diaries, it sounds terrible) but Dr. Who I gotta call foul LOL

    It’s interesting things about female characters in general in scifi. Someone else below pointed out about female stereotypes in genre shows and how they aren’t very nuanced. I definitely agree with that, they either given masculine features and become “kick-ass” or ultra-feminized to become damsel in distress. I think the women on Fringe are the best examples of women in a genre show, probably in the last 10 years.

  • S!ng

     People only give shit to Mercedes in Glee because she’s got the best pipes in that show!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      you are right about that S!ng. I stopped watching Glee after the 1 season which I thought was good, because it became a bit too “Lets put on a show!!!” Mickey and Judy ish!
      I also have to say that I am a bit tired of them usually using a large black woman in the roles, why could not Mercedes be a fit and driven as Rachel, why did they have to make her into the big black girl diva who is the stereotype friend to all gay men and the comforter mammy to the white people.
      I am tired of that trope to be honest.
      For example I LOVE the shows Community and Parks and Rec but the obvious black females on the show ( and I know that Rashida Jones is black but that is never addressed) are big large stereotypes, when the white characters on the show are made into sex objects ,Britta and Annie and to a lesser extent Leslie Knope and April. I just find it to be lazy thinking in terms of characters and a tad boring.

      • Fallingwings

        While I understand the stereotype is a problem. What is wrong with a large black woman. She can sing and that is what matters. She could also be fit, healthy and plus size. I do wish they would stop with the lazy stereotypes with Mercedes.
        It also bugs me how the fans talk about how Rachael deserves this and that more. In the real world, no one care what you deserve when they are casting you, it is about talent and ability. So much of the Mercedes hatred is based on white entitltment issues. When black people succeed we are lazy ppl using some natural primitive talent… White people succeed because they work hard and deserve it.

        • Anonymous

          I also see nothing wrong with her size. I think the great thing about black women is that we come in so many different sizes. Skinnier black women I think are still the majority in television since you have to fit in to be in. But I can’t physically relate to someone like Bonnie in TVD, Tara in TB or the girls in Girlfriends b/c they are quite skinny. I’m somewhere in the middle but definitely overweight. But I’m healthy as a horse. I don’t mind Mercedes’ actress, she’s a nice young woman. It’s just the way she’s written brings up a lot of hackneyed and often negative stereotypes related to black women.

          And that is so true. No matter what black people do we’re clearly not “trying hard” like all the white people surrounding us.

          • Lyonside

            ALL women come in many different sizes, not just black women.

          • Lyonside

            ALL women come in many different sizes, not just black women.

          • Anonymous

            I’m aware of that but it’s not what I meant. I was trying to say that just b/c there’s more mainstream appeal in a skinnier image or b/c larger black women are almost always coupled with stereotypical presentation doesn’t mean larger black women shouldn’t be seen.

        • Anonymous

          I also see nothing wrong with her size. I think the great thing about black women is that we come in so many different sizes. Skinnier black women I think are still the majority in television since you have to fit in to be in. But I can’t physically relate to someone like Bonnie in TVD, Tara in TB or the girls in Girlfriends b/c they are quite skinny. I’m somewhere in the middle but definitely overweight. But I’m healthy as a horse. I don’t mind Mercedes’ actress, she’s a nice young woman. It’s just the way she’s written brings up a lot of hackneyed and often negative stereotypes related to black women.

          And that is so true. No matter what black people do we’re clearly not “trying hard” like all the white people surrounding us.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      you are right about that S!ng. I stopped watching Glee after the 1 season which I thought was good, because it became a bit too “Lets put on a show!!!” Mickey and Judy ish!
      I also have to say that I am a bit tired of them usually using a large black woman in the roles, why could not Mercedes be a fit and driven as Rachel, why did they have to make her into the big black girl diva who is the stereotype friend to all gay men and the comforter mammy to the white people.
      I am tired of that trope to be honest.
      For example I LOVE the shows Community and Parks and Rec but the obvious black females on the show ( and I know that Rashida Jones is black but that is never addressed) are big large stereotypes, when the white characters on the show are made into sex objects ,Britta and Annie and to a lesser extent Leslie Knope and April. I just find it to be lazy thinking in terms of characters and a tad boring.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      you are right about that S!ng. I stopped watching Glee after the 1 season which I thought was good, because it became a bit too “Lets put on a show!!!” Mickey and Judy ish!
      I also have to say that I am a bit tired of them usually using a large black woman in the roles, why could not Mercedes be a fit and driven as Rachel, why did they have to make her into the big black girl diva who is the stereotype friend to all gay men and the comforter mammy to the white people.
      I am tired of that trope to be honest.
      For example I LOVE the shows Community and Parks and Rec but the obvious black females on the show ( and I know that Rashida Jones is black but that is never addressed) are big large stereotypes, when the white characters on the show are made into sex objects ,Britta and Annie and to a lesser extent Leslie Knope and April. I just find it to be lazy thinking in terms of characters and a tad boring.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      you are right about that S!ng. I stopped watching Glee after the 1 season which I thought was good, because it became a bit too “Lets put on a show!!!” Mickey and Judy ish!
      I also have to say that I am a bit tired of them usually using a large black woman in the roles, why could not Mercedes be a fit and driven as Rachel, why did they have to make her into the big black girl diva who is the stereotype friend to all gay men and the comforter mammy to the white people.
      I am tired of that trope to be honest.
      For example I LOVE the shows Community and Parks and Rec but the obvious black females on the show ( and I know that Rashida Jones is black but that is never addressed) are big large stereotypes, when the white characters on the show are made into sex objects ,Britta and Annie and to a lesser extent Leslie Knope and April. I just find it to be lazy thinking in terms of characters and a tad boring.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POZN7DB2VG25LOOXENCUWHGR4Q Ellington

      you are right about that S!ng. I stopped watching Glee after the 1 season which I thought was good, because it became a bit too “Lets put on a show!!!” Mickey and Judy ish!
      I also have to say that I am a bit tired of them usually using a large black woman in the roles, why could not Mercedes be a fit and driven as Rachel, why did they have to make her into the big black girl diva who is the stereotype friend to all gay men and the comforter mammy to the white people.
      I am tired of that trope to be honest.
      For example I LOVE the shows Community and Parks and Rec but the obvious black females on the show ( and I know that Rashida Jones is black but that is never addressed) are big large stereotypes, when the white characters on the show are made into sex objects ,Britta and Annie and to a lesser extent Leslie Knope and April. I just find it to be lazy thinking in terms of characters and a tad boring.

  • BSK

    There is a parallel phenomenon in sports.  The way we talk about black and white athletes is very different and it is often clear that the criticism people are levying on certain black athletes is really intended for black men or black people as a group.  I could give countless examples, but I suspect I do not.  Just know that this is not unique to fiction and fandom.

  • http://deconstructivereconstruction.blogspot.com Anna H

    I’m really only familiar with Tara from True Blood and Mercedes from Glee, so I can really only speak to those two characters.  And while I agree that fandom is very cruel to both of them and resort to outrageous stereotypes that date back to slavery, I also think that part of the problem is how their characters are written because, well, these are fictional characters who were created by White people.  Mercedes, for example, has always been the most reductive image of Black women that Ryan Murphy could have possibly come up with, and when he got critiqued for always putting her in the background, he constructed an entire story about her laziness as the reason she doesn’t get more solos in the group, and now it’s to the point where she actually left the group (for anyone else who’e seen the show, I was actually proud of her for turning down the role of Maria in Westide Story, even though I’m sure that’s not what Murphy was going for).

    Then there’s Tara.  I love True Blood, Tara, and LOVE Lafayette, and I think there have been times when the show has really tackled xenophobia in ways that celebrate difference (I’m thinking of Lafayette and the classic AIDS Burger scene).  However, again, I agree that fandom’s critiques of her are highly reductionist and historically significant, but I also think it’s partly because of how Tara’s character is WRITTEN on the show.  The writers make her an angry Black female who loses it over the slightest thing, and reinforces the stereotypes that many have of Black women.  And now they may have killed her off, not only reinforcing stereotypes about Black women, but making them disposable.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t know that Murphy was trying to construct her as a lazy character this season. I don’t see how that could possibly be the reason she’s not getting an opportunity to be in lead roles. I mean, Rachel is always in the lead but Mercedes seems to be one of the few people to attempt to challenge her domination. I too was proud that she didn’t take the role. I guess I interpreted things differently. I mean  . . . they used that segment from Dream Girls when things weren’t Effie’s fault, so . . . I don’t know.

      For me what is worse than Tara’s poor characterization, and in my opinion she is not the worst written character on that show, but is the abuse her character is constantly being put through.

    • Carpe Draconem

      I was proud of Mercedes, too.   Because what she said was true.  And while I don’t want to give Murphy and Co. any credit at all, I do wonder if they wanted us to be at least conflicted about that moment.  Effie White may have been a diva but she was right – she deserved a chance to shine and wasn’t getting it for reasons that had nothing to do with talent. 

      What’s so ridiculous about Mercedes’ plotline, however, is that at the end of last season Rachel herself told Mercedes that the reason she didn’t get to be in the spotlight more was because she was afraid to fight for it (BS, but that’s the reason the show’s given, so that’s the one we’ll stick with).  So Mercedes finally decides to stand up for herself and go after what she does deserve and suddenly they characterize her as lazy in order to undermine her new sense of self-esteem.  She just can’t win in any sense at all on this show.  Mercedes has NEVER held the group back because she refused to work.  And I find it hard to believe she doesn’t practice her singing – either that or Rachel is just severely untalented given that she nearly got beaten by someone who doesn’t practice.  Any other time Mercedes has exhibited any laziness, the rest of the group has as well (especially Finn).  That they had to stuff a gazillion examples of Mercedes being lazy into one episode tells you everything you need to know about this bs piece of characterization.

      It’s not just racism, it’s plain old LAZY writing on the part of the Glee creators.  If you want to talk about people who slack off, just look at the writers and the amount of opportunities they consistently squander because they can’t be bothered to write actual characters or learn jack shit about the cultures they consistently write about in insulting ways.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

      • Anonymous

        It seems especially egregious because I feel like, okay, these are mostly very marginalized teenagers. Of course they will behave like brats and have their asshole moments, but it’s the asshole moments of certain characters, like Mercedes who get singled out for particular ostracizing by the fandom. As if Rachel’s near daily fits of unjustified entitlement and indignation are somehow a quirky character trait we’ve all come to love but Mercedes is just being lazy and obnoxious? I think Kurt gets some of it to, though I think it manifests differently.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot Vanessa from Gossip Girl. I pretty quickly got a negative feeling about the fandom’s really intense negative reactions to this character, but felt maybe it was just her and it wasn’t a racist thing. And then I ran into the fandom’s feelings about Tara. Boy howdy is it something! I heard the exact same things about both characters. Lazy, slutty, self-righteous, whiny, selfish, bitchy, all of that. But those characters and the actresses that play them couldn’t be more different, so what did they have in common? Oh right, both played by black women. That was a really disappointing discovery because I had been holding out hope that it wasn’t exactly what it looked like.

    • http://dirty-diana.dreamwidth.org/ d

      The hatred of Vanessa was pretty obviously race-based when folks talked about her hair and how “ugly” it was in its natural state. That was so depressing, since Jess Szohr is f’n gorgeous. Raina, as well, got hate for being a “slut”. How dare she sleep with both Chuck and Nate! Meanwhile they all adore Blair without spotting the hypocrisy.

      • Anonymous

        Can you imagine the reaction if Raina had turned out to be a prostitute or if Vanessa was on her second “who’s my baby daddy?” fiasco and this time it was between three guys?

      • Anonymous

        Can you imagine the reaction if Raina had turned out to be a prostitute or if Vanessa was on her second “who’s my baby daddy?” fiasco and this time it was between three guys?

    • Lolo

      I go back and forth with Vanessa. She is a really badly written and unlikable character at the same time I do think that some of the hate she received was racialized.

  • MsShaynaT

    Finally someone said what I’ve been thinking for a while now! You would think Mercedes killed Rachel Berry’s dog on ‘Glee’ the way the Gleeks down her. And don’t get me started on Tara Thornton. She is constantly called a bitch for NOT being the stupid friend. If anyone deserves all the vitriol it’s Sookie, but if you tell a ‘True Blood’ fan that, they’re likely to bite you, literally.  I think a lot of the hatred should be placed at the foot of the writers, who do not take enough time to fully develop characters. As for Guinivere, well she’s one of the best characters on television, so that hatred can only be blamed on one thing…

  • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

    Thank you everyone for continuing the discussion! Feel free to comment at Ars Marginal too!

    A few people on Tumblr have asked about what’s wrong with hating these characters. Honestly, nothing. They’re fictional. But what gets overlooked is that the way these characters are hated happens in a particularly racialized and gendered way that echoes a lot of stereotypes about Black women.

    • Anonymous

      I think a lot of this comes down to how racially ignorant fandom (and female fandom in particular) tends to be. Fans are so busy “not seeing color” that they also don’t see it when things are racialized, let alone when they are using racialized language.

      Instead, they make the reflex “I’m not a racist”  and think that’s all that matters instead of actually critically examining their words and thoughts. They’re so busy insisting they’re not racist instead of actually learning how to not be racist.

      Someone once left a comment on a post I made on LJ about a sci-fi TV show character who draws particular vitriol. I mentioned that one of the reasons I loved the character was because she is played by an actress of color, and women of color are not generally cast as the love interest and “girl next door.” The comment said something along the lines of how she “loved my point because she had never thought of that before because she sees people, not race.”

      So this fan, who LIKED said character and also disliked how much hate she drew was also completely ignorant of how racialized that hate was. It was so bizarre and sad that I didn’t know how to respond (because I knew it would open the “but I’m not racist” can of worms). And even though that was weeks ago, I’m still kicking myself for not calling that girl out for what she probably thought was a very supportive comment.

      I don’t like Tara in True Blood, and I really, really dislike the show, but the chatter I see about Tara still bothers the hell out of me.

      It’s also why the writing in Glee about Mercedes Jones really bothers me. I hate how the show portrays Mercedes feeds into the idea that she is “lazy” (by having her say she doesn’t need to practice and doesn’t want to practice — like the dance boot camp exchange a few episodes ago). That’s what’s been bothering me the most about Glee lately — how it’s feeding into all the racialized hate that fans have for her.

  • Enter Name Here

    On Terra Nova, there’s a recurring black female character who’s plays the bad guy, though the show hints that she’s not the “real” bad guy. I was already pissed off at the show since they seem to get rid of POC literally every episode and I’m really hoping to don’t screw her character over.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking of bit-torrenting the first few episodes, but now you’ve convinced me not waste the bandwidth.

  • Margaret Totten

    I think this can be a major problem, but I actually have a problem with the way they are potraying both girls on Merlin.  Angel and Katie are both gorgeous and amazing actresses but have been turned into caricatures of their recent selves.  The most recent episode basically had Gwen speak two lines, both of which were along the lines of I exist only for you Arthur and I have a major issue with that.   Mercedes is an unpleasant character in Glee of late as the writers are portraying her as lazy the episode with the tator tots was insulting to me that they downgraded a character to such an extent but that is the problem with not only fandom but the media as a whole.  I personally would love to see not only fandom stop it’s hatred towards black woman, but it’s hatred towards the female species in general.  We adore the make masses, the male characters to such an extent that we vilify or ignore the amazing female characters in front of us, then we cry out (or some do) when they no longer show amazing strong women in the media.  Give me more Jane Tennisons and Olivia Dunhams and Zoe Washburnes.

  • Margaret Totten

    I think this can be a major problem, but I actually have a problem with the way they are potraying both girls on Merlin.  Angel and Katie are both gorgeous and amazing actresses but have been turned into caricatures of their recent selves.  The most recent episode basically had Gwen speak two lines, both of which were along the lines of I exist only for you Arthur and I have a major issue with that.   Mercedes is an unpleasant character in Glee of late as the writers are portraying her as lazy the episode with the tator tots was insulting to me that they downgraded a character to such an extent but that is the problem with not only fandom but the media as a whole.  I personally would love to see not only fandom stop it’s hatred towards black woman, but it’s hatred towards the female species in general.  We adore the make masses, the male characters to such an extent that we vilify or ignore the amazing female characters in front of us, then we cry out (or some do) when they no longer show amazing strong women in the media.  Give me more Jane Tennisons and Olivia Dunhams and Zoe Washburnes.

    • Anonymous

      So far season three Mercedes is acting in such a way as to create a paradigm shift.

      Spoiler alert.

      She quit glee club after auditioning for the lead role in fiddler on the roof. She and Rachel were allowed to share the part but she felt the decision was condescending and left to join a new choir. She actually has a boyfriend this season and he’s very supportive of her.

      Spoiler off!!

      As for Gwen on Merlin she will be given more responsibilities and screen time from what I’ve heard. Also I don’t think she solely lives for Arthur. I mean, he’s going to be king so his relevance to her as well as the kingdom makes this less of the stereotypical dreck women are fed and more about her thinking for the kingdom which Arthur represents. I thought that her role in . . . I want to say the first episode was interesting. We actually got to see her speaking for the people. Additionally we know that she only tolerates Uther for Arthur’s sake. Her love for Arthur is greater, or at least more a priority, than her hatred of Uther for what he’s done to her father and the people.

      As for Morgana . . . I’ve noticed that in general most women outside of Gwen tend to be evil. And they’ve had a lot of evil female characters. They seem to outnumber the good and neutral. That I find troubling. But what exactly do you find wrong with Morgana? Clearly her destiny has changed her as has the revelation that she too has magic and a magical sister (who is well . . . you know).

  • http://twitter.com/changa Changa. Mwene

    I want to completely disagree with you, and let you know that you are totally wrong about all of this… I want to do that, but I cannot.  Being a black woman on television means being hated: what a horrific indictment of our culture that is.  I desperately don’t want this to be an accurate reflection of our world. 
    I love Martha Jones, she is one of the best companions the Doctor has ever had – her one flaw being that she loved the doctor too much, something that can also be said of Rose, and perhaps of Sarah. 
    Mercedes Jones falls below most people in terms of self control and character — except for every other character on the show.  Everyone on Glee whines and cheats and lies to the point that I’ve stopped watching it.  For people to single her out when all the other characters are even more despicable requires an amazing amount of self-deception. 

  • http://twitter.com/changa Changa. Mwene

    I want to completely disagree with you, and let you know that you are totally wrong about all of this… I want to do that, but I cannot.  Being a black woman on television means being hated: what a horrific indictment of our culture that is.  I desperately don’t want this to be an accurate reflection of our world. 
    I love Martha Jones, she is one of the best companions the Doctor has ever had – her one flaw being that she loved the doctor too much, something that can also be said of Rose, and perhaps of Sarah. 
    Mercedes Jones falls below most people in terms of self control and character — except for every other character on the show.  Everyone on Glee whines and cheats and lies to the point that I’ve stopped watching it.  For people to single her out when all the other characters are even more despicable requires an amazing amount of self-deception. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/antonio.brunson Antonio Brunson

      I agree about the characters on Glee. Most everyone behaves/has behaved in some obnoxious, over-the-top manner. A lot of people in the discussions I read find Rachel unlikable. Last week Mercedes got her turn when she stormed out of rehearsal, pushed over a music stand, and quit the glee club. It was typical childish behavior I’ve seen from most of the characters, including the adults. I haven’t seen where Mercedes generated more fan hate than other characters, but that’s just in the forums I read.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, that’s a problem with most of the characters on Glee. They want to be seen as underdogs but a lot of them act like assholes.  And there is so little intimacy between Kurt and his boyfriend. I have a hard time viewing them as a real couple. And I can’t stand Rachel.

  • Julian Walker

    I guess the hatred of these characters can directly contribute to the fact that white writers don’t pour too much characterization or thought into their characters of color, the only exception so far is probably Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad, but he’s not a female. I guess white male writers very much suck at writing black female characters without them coming off as one note or one dimensional.

  • Julian Walker

    I guess the hatred of these characters can directly contribute to the fact that white writers don’t pour too much characterization or thought into their characters of color, the only exception so far is probably Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad, but he’s not a female. I guess white male writers very much suck at writing black female characters without them coming off as one note or one dimensional.

    • rochelle

      OH man I LOVED Gustavo. Definitely one the most interesting characters I’ve seen on TV.

  • Pee

    I wonder what they’re saying about real Black women while our backs are turned.
    No doubt, often they’re saying exactly what you think they’re saying. I’ve had my fair share of nonsense in the work world. If my face is somber on a Monday, I’m “mad.” But the person sitting next to me without the melanin has same expression and nothing is said to them. A lot of it is fear, plain and simple. When you’re confident often people are intimidated. And they fear that your confidence is indeed saying you don’t give a damn what they think. I’ve come to see it as our cross to bear.  As long as we continue to embrace our self-confidence, there’s little that can shake it.

  • Pee

    I wonder what they’re saying about real Black women while our backs are turned.
    No doubt, often they’re saying exactly what you think they’re saying. I’ve had my fair share of nonsense in the work world. If my face is somber on a Monday, I’m “mad.” But the person sitting next to me without the melanin has same expression and nothing is said to them. A lot of it is fear, plain and simple. When you’re confident often people are intimidated. And they fear that your confidence is indeed saying you don’t give a damn what they think. I’ve come to see it as our cross to bear.  As long as we continue to embrace our self-confidence, there’s little that can shake it.

  • Lele

    Has anyone else noticed that the portrayal of black women in television, as of late, is much more negative and heavily stereotyped than in the 90s and even early 2000s? What about laura winslow on Family Matters or Lark Voorhies on Saved by the Bell or Aisha Tyler on Friends? They were attractive, intelligent, funny, happy, caring, multidimensional LIKEABLE people. I liked the portrayal of women like me while growing up. What happened?

  • Lele

    Has anyone else noticed that the portrayal of black women in television, as of late, is much more negative and heavily stereotyped than in the 90s and even early 2000s? What about laura winslow on Family Matters or Lark Voorhies on Saved by the Bell or Aisha Tyler on Friends? They were attractive, intelligent, funny, happy, caring, multidimensional LIKEABLE people. I liked the portrayal of women like me while growing up. What happened?

    • http://twitter.com/silvercell2 monique

      SO glad that I’m not the only one who’s noticed. When I bring it up with older people they say it was always this way, but it was never as bad as it is now. It’s like there’s some big cultural backlash against progress and it’s really mind boggling.

  • http://dirty-diana.dreamwidth.org/ d

    Other examples off the top of my head: Uhura in the Star Trek reboot. Especially along the uppity axis. Either she’s a bitch for daring to “throw herself” at the white main character, or she’s a bitch for not falling at the other one’s feet.

    Bonnie, The Vampire Diaries. Similar to above: how dare she dislike the pretty, misunderstood white boy! It’s not as if he’s ever *killed* any of her friends…oh wait.

  • http://dirty-diana.dreamwidth.org/ d

    Other examples off the top of my head: Uhura in the Star Trek reboot. Especially along the uppity axis. Either she’s a bitch for daring to “throw herself” at the white main character, or she’s a bitch for not falling at the other one’s feet.

    Bonnie, The Vampire Diaries. Similar to above: how dare she dislike the pretty, misunderstood white boy! It’s not as if he’s ever *killed* any of her friends…oh wait.

    • http://profiles.google.com/wkennethleonard Ken Leonard

      What I hate about the portrayal of Uhura in the reboot is that she has been so devalued. While she alludes to actual skills, she displays nothing but … her.

      I would have liked to have seen Uhura the way Gene Roddenberry always wanted her to be — smart, in control, technically-talented, etc.. I don’t see how anyone can call her “uppity,” since her character was treated as nothing more than eye candy.

      Not the actress’ fault, it was the horrible writing.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think it’s much different from how Uhura was originally portrayed. Which is a problem. TOS has always been so white and so is the movie. Hopefully they can decenter a little to give Uhura her own storyline or missions or something in the next film.

        You would expect them to go beyond the standards of a show that was already ahead of its time.

        • Valsadie

          I always remember that Roddenberry intended Uhura to be a MAJOR character — which is why there’s a publicity shot/poster of Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, and Nichols. Roddenberry tried but the network wasn’t trying to hear that. That’s why Nichols was ready to quit after the first season and no less than Dr. Martin Luther King was able to convince her to stay.

  • http://forwhenifeellikesharing.tumblr.com/ Bear

    Yes, yes. I agree with all of this. But are we allowed to still hate Bonnie on “The Vampire Diaries?”

    • Facebook User

      Hate her for what? All she ever does is help.

    • Anonymous

      We can certainly hate the way that she is written. I mean, god only knows who the hell her family is, what the hell her house looks like, what she wants to do career wise or as a adult woman, how she wants to develop her identity as a witch,etc. etc. As far as I’m concerned she’s only 3/5 of a character and that’s what I hate about her.

  • http://forwhenifeellikesharing.tumblr.com/ Bear

    Yes, yes. I agree with all of this. But are we allowed to still hate Bonnie on “The Vampire Diaries?”

  • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

    I only know Martha and Guinevere on this list…don’t watch True Blood (tried it and couldn’t; it seemed vapid). 

    Everyone I know who watches Doctor Who loves Martha (she saved the world – WITHOUT the Doctor’s help, after all!).  I am the only person I know who watches “Merlin”, but Guinevere – how could anyone hate that character?  She oozes kindness.

    I guess I have been lucky because none of the women or men I interact with make the kinds of comment noted above, but if they did, it would be questioned.  My SF/Fantasy fan friends are all over 40 and it’s not a large group.  Maybe we’ve weeded out the jerks.

  • http://momsomniac.wordpress.com/ Momsomniac

    I only know Martha and Guinevere on this list…don’t watch True Blood (tried it and couldn’t; it seemed vapid). 

    Everyone I know who watches Doctor Who loves Martha (she saved the world – WITHOUT the Doctor’s help, after all!).  I am the only person I know who watches “Merlin”, but Guinevere – how could anyone hate that character?  She oozes kindness.

    I guess I have been lucky because none of the women or men I interact with make the kinds of comment noted above, but if they did, it would be questioned.  My SF/Fantasy fan friends are all over 40 and it’s not a large group.  Maybe we’ve weeded out the jerks.

    • http://profiles.google.com/wkennethleonard Ken Leonard

      “how could anyone hate that character?”

      That is EXACTLY what I was going to ask. Gwen is the most noble character in the whole series!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nmaster64 David Campbell

    There are people who dislike Martha Jones and Guinevere!? How is that possible, those roles were filled so fantastically! D:

  • http://www.facebook.com/nmaster64 David Campbell

    There are people who dislike Martha Jones and Guinevere!? How is that possible, those roles were filled so fantastically! D:

  • A Doctor Who fan

    I’m not the biggest fan of Martha Jones, but it has nothing to do with the fact that she is black or a woman. Her character was just poorly written and barely developed. She started out almost exactly the same as she left the show. She was very bright and an ass-kicker for sure, and her unrequited love for The Doctor created some interesting tension, but her character never really went anywhere besides that, and she had no other true defining traits. As for people not liking her because she wasn’t Rose Tyler: I can’t stand Rose Tyler. At all. Or at least, I can’t stand her from Series 2 onward. As static as Martha’s character is, I prefer her to Rose.

  • A Doctor Who fan

    I’m not the biggest fan of Martha Jones, but it has nothing to do with the fact that she is black or a woman. Her character was just poorly written and barely developed. She started out almost exactly the same as she left the show. She was very bright and an ass-kicker for sure, and her unrequited love for The Doctor created some interesting tension, but her character never really went anywhere besides that, and she had no other true defining traits. As for people not liking her because she wasn’t Rose Tyler: I can’t stand Rose Tyler. At all. Or at least, I can’t stand her from Series 2 onward. As static as Martha’s character is, I prefer her to Rose.

  • Lyonside

    COSIGN. CO-Freaking-Sign. As a WOC who has often felt like that Cocker Spaniels’ song, “the only black guy at the indie rock show” I see the crap, but avoid it heartily. If that limits what I see and participate in in fandom, it also tends to keep the crappy writers and vidders away too (there is significant overlap between the haters and the immature-unaware-no-talents.  This is not a coincidence). Instead, I tend to follow online the BNFs and creative fandom folks who are not terrified of diversity. Some are WOCs, most are not – but they’ve spoken out against the hate (of course, with fandom being more lateral, they don’t always make a big dent, but it’s there), and they’ve won my loyalty for it.

    On the few occasions I get into the mainstream (HAH!) of fandom [Comicons, DragonCon, etc.], I am on the lookout for POCs in general and how we’re portrayed. I’ve talked to the merchandisers at tables sometimes about why they have a zillion of one figure or Tshirt for sale, but not another, trying to clue them in that they just lost a great business opportunity.

  • Lyonside

    COSIGN. CO-Freaking-Sign. As a WOC who has often felt like that Cocker Spaniels’ song, “the only black guy at the indie rock show” I see the crap, but avoid it heartily. If that limits what I see and participate in in fandom, it also tends to keep the crappy writers and vidders away too (there is significant overlap between the haters and the immature-unaware-no-talents.  This is not a coincidence). Instead, I tend to follow online the BNFs and creative fandom folks who are not terrified of diversity. Some are WOCs, most are not – but they’ve spoken out against the hate (of course, with fandom being more lateral, they don’t always make a big dent, but it’s there), and they’ve won my loyalty for it.

    On the few occasions I get into the mainstream (HAH!) of fandom [Comicons, DragonCon, etc.], I am on the lookout for POCs in general and how we’re portrayed. I’ve talked to the merchandisers at tables sometimes about why they have a zillion of one figure or Tshirt for sale, but not another, trying to clue them in that they just lost a great business opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! I’m a HUGE fan of Angel Coulby’s Guinevere, (she’s the main reason I even watch that show) and I’m so puzzled and frustrated by the hatred/scorn directed at her and the disbelief they profess at male characters finding her beautiful and being attracted to her. I  wrote a post about the implications of her character; personally I think her role is vitally important for understanding power relations in fantasy and fandom. Thanks for this post!

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! I’m a HUGE fan of Angel Coulby’s Guinevere, (she’s the main reason I even watch that show) and I’m so puzzled and frustrated by the hatred/scorn directed at her and the disbelief they profess at male characters finding her beautiful and being attracted to her. I  wrote a post about the implications of her character; personally I think her role is vitally important for understanding power relations in fantasy and fandom. Thanks for this post!

  • Guest

    I have to say, I do dislike the character of Martha Jones. I never considered the idea that my racial bias was a motivator, but perhaps I should have. I’m going to re-watch some episodes of Doctor Who and try to confront myself. Thank you for this eye-opener.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you forgot how fandom usually views black women as ugly.

    Anywho, when I hear this, I am not surprised.  When your average everyday white person (associate, coworker, even friend) let’s you know what they really think about you [well, not you because they didn't mean you because you're different ], then why should I expect better from people hiding behind the internet with millions of other trolls to cheer them on?

    Sometimes I say something, sometimes I don’t.  Most times I don’t.  I got tired of educating people, of demanding that my humanity, and the humanity of women who look like me, be respected. I got tired of people doing blatant racist sh*t and then protesting when I called them out on it.  I would love to see it change, but I don’t have the mind space to enact any change myself because I’m tired.  Even alleged allies, friends, people who I thought would be sympathetic and at least open to hearing me have failed too many times to count. So i refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I refuse to sit there and just spoonfeed them some common sense.  Sorry, my family got out of the mammy business in the 1920s and I have no plans on going back.

    • http://rvcbard.blogspot.com RVCBard

      You know what? I did forget about ugly! I’m gonna edit the post at Ars Marginal now.

  • Keke23

    Wow.  Thanks for this!  I’d always thought that there was a bit more hate towards black female fictional characters than was warranted, but could never pin it down.  When the Star Trek reboot came out, forums and boards were on fire with the amount of hate everyone threw at the new Uhura.  She was called “slutty,” and “not that integral,” to the storyline.  I’ve always enjoyed seeing a new Black female character on tv but always braced myself for the inevitable hate.  As a Black woman, it makes me feel like “Gee, we can’t even get love while portraying a fictional universe?  Really?!”    

    • Diva

      I left LJ and fandom alone because of the stupid 13 year old’s and their rants. They rather see a character (any character) gay  (oh white and gay) than see a black woman featured in a lead role. Ridiculous but true. Thanks for calling it for what it is! Though I doubt the audience that needs the sheets pulled from over their heads will even read this blog.