By Arturo R. García
The final day of the Comic Fest opened with one of the most far-ranging topics in speculative fiction in Afrofuturism. And true to form, the speakers reached into the past and toward the future in discussing not only their interpretation of the concept, but how it has influenced their fandom and their work.
By Arturo R. García
Over the weekend I went to the third annual San Diego Comic Fest, which has pointedly positioned itself as the anti-Comic Con.
Specifically, the size of the event is kept manageable for vendors, presenters and attendees alike; no conference room holds more than 40 or 50 people at one time, allowing for a more relaxed atmosphere and easier conversations between panelists and their audiences.
One end result is, panels focusing on diversity don’t feel as lost in the shuffle. And the Latino Comics panel covered not only industry trends within Latin America, but the rapidly-evolving effects of Latinidad on the U.S.’ identity.
The issues for people of color in Hollywood run deep – so much so that we occasionally forget how invested the industry can be in denying opportunities to enter this business.
Jada Pinkett Smith landed a coveted role on the show as Fish Mooney, a female mob leader:
So we have a black woman on screen in a major role. But what is happening behind the scenes? Are people of color being represented in other parts of the industry, like doing stunt work? Not so, according to Deadline Hollywood:
After receiving inquiries from Deadline, Warner Bros. has canceled plans to “paint down” a white stunt woman to double for a black actress on its hit Fox show Gotham. On Monday, dark makeup was applied to the face of a white stunt woman in a hair and makeup test in advance of two days of filming next week in New York. After receiving calls from Deadline, WB initially downplayed the significance of the story, but after looking into it said that it had made a “mistake” and would hire a black stunt woman instead.
Really? Continue reading
by Guest Contributor Deepa
Hi, my name is Deepa, and I’m excited to be reviewing ABC’s new fall show Selfie for you!
When I first heard the premise of Selfie, I was pretty skeptical. It was billed as a modern-day version of the musical My Fair Lady, a story that is very much of a specific time and place. Set in London in the early 1910s, the musical (based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion) is the story of Eliza Doolittle, a working-class woman who wants to improve her circumstances.
Enter Professor Henry Higgins, who is one of those unashamedly arrogant and misogynistic assholes that all of us have met at some point. By virtue of his apparent brilliance in the field of phonetics, Eliza decides he is the only one who can help her lose Cockney accent, which, Higgins says, is what truly ties her to her class. With the help of his friend Colonel Pickering (a much more chivalrous but no less patronizing gentleman), Higgins teaches Eliza not only to speak differently, but to conduct herself in high society. But when I found out that the Henry Higgins character would be portrayed not only by a person of color, but by John Cho, I decided I wanted to give it a try.
By Arturo R. García
Aside from addressing many of the questions posed in last year’s finale, Scandal‘s season premiere focused on two more: Who is Olivia Pope without her Associates? And does she even want to be Olivia Pope anymore?
SPOILERS under the cut
We can’t have anything, can we?
Not one scrap of dignity. Not one little bit of humanity. Nothing. None. Nada. One would think after a blood-soaked summer, those of us battle scared and weary by current events could find a refuge in television, with one of the most diverse seasons we’ve seen since the start of this blog. Even if diversity behind the camera is still suffering, we could at least relax into our favorite televised escapes, right?
Wrong. We’re not going to talk about *that* article, though we hope we see something from the New York Times public editor addressing the controversy.
Update: Margaret Sullivan is on it. While she is investigating how this got published, she shared this letter from Patricia Washington:
I am a black woman and a lawyer. I have worked very hard to achieve in my profession and earn respect. I live in a very nice suburban community in Maryland. And yet, none of that makes one bit of difference because a New York Times writer can make whatever offhanded, racist opinions about a successful TV producer who is a black woman she cares to make, and because she has the protection of The New York Times behind her, can publish it. Because Ms. Stanley is a New York Times writer, her story has reached a national audience. Why is Ms. Stanley allowed to characterize Ms. Rhimes as she did and get away it? Why is she allowed to characterize Viola Davis as she did in her story and get away with it?
Ms. Stanley’s story was a backhand to me and it hurts. For the first time, I am considering cancelling my New York Times subscription because this story is much more than disagreeing with the writer’s opinion. This story denigrated every black woman in America, beginning with Shonda Rhimes, that dares to strive to make a respectable life for herself. No matter what we do, as far as Ms. Stanley is concerned, we will always be angry and have potent libidos as we have been perceived from slavery, to Jim Crow, and sadly in September 2014, the 21st century.
Kara Brown’s take down at Jezebel is worth reading if you missed the controversy.
How deep does this go? Melissa Harris-Perry and her team on MSNBC created an amazing send-up, analyzing the role of the Angry White Man on television:
If MHP’s bit felt a little strange, it’s just a little dissonance: we are not accustomed to turning the othering gaze used on white characters.
But this situation begs the question: what now? The online community rallied to support of Rhimes, but what else can we do? A tweet in? A watch in? What could we do to deliver a message that these kind of mistakes are not just an editorial judgement error, but a societal problem?
And in case you were confused by the title of this piece: