Double Standards and Diverse Media
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Double Standards and Diverse Media


On January 25th 2018, a Chinese-American young
adult author named Amélie Wen Zhao announced her plans to release three books as part of a
series called Blood Heir after securing a book deal with Delacorte Press. The first book was scheduled for a summer
2019 release, which was announced to resounding excitement from her fans. Fast forward a year and three days later. The book release was cancelled, Amélie released
an apology on her Twitter page, and online communities dedicated to celebrating YA were
thrown into internal discord and turmoil. So what happened? A few things. First of all, several advance copies of the
book were released. It’s difficult to find any concrete information
on exactly how many people read the book, but several readers expressed similar concerns
with its content, which quickly disseminated to the general public. In particular, the book was criticized
for its handling of topics like oppression and slavery. In the world of Blood Heir, a group of people
with magical powers, called Affinites, are largely feared and enslaved by their non-magical counterparts. The book revolves around an Affinite princess
named Ana, who is trying to find her father’s killer while avoiding danger at every turn. The book takes inspiration both from Russian
and Chinese culture; according to Amélie, her writing about the Affinites’ oppression
was a reaction both to the way she had been treated as an immigrant in America and
her own experience witnessing slavery in China. Many of the criticisms revolved around
a perceived misrepresenting of Russian culture in the book and in the idea that the book
framed slavery and oppression as “blind to skin colour”. A lot of people felt that because the slavery in the book so closely resembled American slavery, the book
shouldn’t have removed it from its historical context and placed it instead in the context
of people being oppressed for magical powers. After these criticisms started to take hold,
Amelie was also accused of screenshotting negative reviews from fans, as well as directly
lifting quotes from other fantasy novels such as Lord of the Rings and Six of Crows. The screenshotting accusation comes from a
single Twitter user who claims to have been contacted by several anonymous reviewers who
had experienced targeting by Zhao. Although many of these initial criticisms
did come from people who read the book and were unhappy with its content, they quickly
spread to a wider community of people who, self-admittedly, had not read the book and
did not intend to read it. As a result, some of the criticisms went through a sort of Twitter version of telephone; the book portrayed the death
of a character who one reviewer described as black despite the fact that the character’s
ethnicity was ambiguous in the book, which quickly turned into a host of comments saying
that the book was bad for explicitly portraying a black character dying in such a manner. Regardless, the critical backlash, both to
Blood Heir and Amelie herself, quickly grew in volume, and on January 28th, Amelie released
a statement on Twitter apologizing for her mishandling of slavery in Blood Heir and announcing that
she would indefinitely hold off on publishing the book. The handling of Blood Heir has been framed
by many people as a symptom of wider “cancel culture”, an issue that has been talked
about at length by a lot of great people and a lot of less-than-great people. On one hand, a lot of the coverage of what
happened with Blood Heir has been dominated by people using the instance to decry any
criticism of racist tropes in books. A lot of people only heard about this controversy
through an article written by Jesse Singal. The story was also covered by the website
Pluralist, who regularly report on very real stories of very real incidents like people
being arrested for misgendering trans people. Where did they source that from, anyway? Ah yes, the paragon of journalism known as
The Daily Mail. You know it’s a good time when the conversation
about cancelled culture is being controlled by these people. On the other hand, the topic has indeed been
addressed by some pretty cool people, and I think it would be a mistake to assume that
a dislike of leftist “cancel culture” is endemic only to Peterson or Breitbart types. Most recently, an excellent YouTuber named
Angie Speaks made a video called “Social Justice Can Be a Clout Game: Here’s How
to Avoid It”, in which she talked about the current incentives in social justice communities
to behave profitably and accrue as much social capital as possible, often leading to problems
such as cults of personality and people profiting off of outrage and callouts. I’ll link it below. Angie’s video made some great points about
the current status of social justice communities and provided some great analysis as to how
we can go about becoming better. That being said, there’s also something
to be said about the way outrage and callout culture can be disproportionately weaponized
against people who are already marginalized, in a way that just doesn’t happen to more
powerful individuals. Now, this is an extremely broad subject to
discuss, and it’s also a difficult one to handle in good faith. On one hand, you don’t want to imply that
people should be shielded from criticism of their actions on the basis of their identities,
and this is something Angie talks about in her video. If I were to say something shitty and people
were to call me on it, I wouldn’t be doing myself or anyone else any favours by just
responding with “oh but I’m a queer woman, why are you so desperate to attack queer women?”. No one should be immune to criticism of their
actions. On the other hand, there is a very real problem
of people who are already marginalized facing the brunt of “callouts” and being “cancelled”. Once again, this is a very broad topic, and
I were to try and address this entire structural problem, this video would be extremely long. So what I’m going to do instead is focus
this in on one very specific place where this issue is continually reproduced, and that’s
media. Time and time again, works that feature diverse
casts or are created by marginalized people are held to much higher standards in online
communities than other works. What I hope to do in this video is describe
what exactly the problem is, provide a couple of explanations for why this might be the
case, and finally talk about how we can move forward from here. So let’s get started. So first things first, I’m going to get
a couple of things out of the way. In case you hadn’t already figured it out,
this video is made for a specific audience and is talking about a specific problem in
one particular community. In particular, this is a criticism of how
the way we look at media can sometimes operate in left-leaning circles, made by a left-leaning
person. So just do know that this video is going to
be operating under the premise that generally speaking, having works that feature diverse
casts and creators is a good thing. If you don’t agree with this and you’d
like to watch a video that argues for why these things are good so that you can better
understand my argument here, I’ve provided a couple in the description. With that said, what am I talking about here? There’s this trend in leftist communities
to respond very differently to certain forms of media. To be clear, I don’t think anyone is consciously
acting this way. Rather, I think it’s a larger issue of how
we as a community react to “diverse” media as opposed to “non-diverse” media. Time and time again, we crucify marginalized
creators for things that powerful, non-marginalized creators would barely get any notice for. This also extends beyond the creators themselves
to the actual content of the books or movies or shows or whatever we’re talking about
today. We’re noticeably harsher on stories that
feature LGBTQ characters or otherwise diverse casts- for example, meticulously examining
whether the same-gender relationships on She-Ra are healthy representation- than
we are on stories that feature about the same level of diversity as the Dead Poet’s Society. Unfortunately, this is especially true when
it comes to stories that are in some ways autobiographical. That intersection of marginalized creators
telling stories about their own experiences for some reason tend to be perceived particularly
harshly by critic communities. As an example of this, look at some of the
response the cartoon Steven Universe. The show heavily features gay and nonbinary
characters, and the creator, Rebecca Sugar, is bisexual and nonbinary. She’s stated in the past that she draws
inspiration from her own background when creating characters like Ruby and Sapphire, who are
in a same-gender relationship, or Stevonnie, who is the nonbinary fusion of two of the
main characters. If you watched my last video, you probably
already have a sense of what I’m talking about, but there’s a large community dedicated
solely to talking about how awful the show is, called the “SU critical” community. A singular search through the tag can pull
up a massive volume of results, but a large chunk of those criticisms are dedicated to
the idea that the show’s LGBTQ representation isn’t done right. It’s stereotypical, or it’s not displayed
prominently enough, or it promotes unhealthy relationships. One particular criticism is that Ruby and
Sapphire are rarely actually present on the show because for the majority of the time,
the two are fused into a singular character, Garnet, who doesn’t display romantic interest
in any of the characters. As a result, many of the commenters have suggested
that Rebecca Sugar “doesn’t count” as an LGBT creator, and many have also resorted
to calling her some pretty awful things. See Bad Media Criticism. Interestingly enough, there are numerous children’s
cartoons that either don’t deal with these issues at all or deal with them in much worse
ways. For example, Voltron introduced its first
gay character recently, only to immediately invoke Bury Your Gays and kill his partner
in a flashback. Gravity Falls didn’t feature any gay characters
at all until vaguely hinting at a single couple in the very last episode. Googling SU critical pulls up about 328 million
results. Gravity falls critical nets about 42 million. “Voltron critical” only yields around
500 thousand. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be
criticizing Steven Universe at all, or that we should make up for this discrepancy by
also calling the creators of Voltron and Gravity Falls thoroughly loathsome people or friendly
to fascism or whatever it is people are saying at this point, but it does raise the question
of why people are significantly harsher on Steven Universe for its handling of gay characters
than arguably worse works that are at about the same level of popularity. On another instance, a Mexican-American young adult author
named Erika Sanchez wrote a novel called I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,
about a Mexican-American teenager who had to cope with the death of her sister and experiencing
depression while growing up. She’s explicitly stated in interviews that
she drew on her own experiences both living with depression and living as a Mexican-American
woman. After her book came out, Erika faced a lot
of negative response from Twitter and Goodreads users who felt that she was promoting incorrect
stereotypes about either depression or the experience of Latina teenagers. In particular, some people felt that because
they found the main character of the book unlikable, the book therefore served as harmful
representation of Mexican-American girls. Erika even had to comment on the situation,
expressing her frustration with this perspective. Erika’s own identity certainly shouldn’t
absolve her of any criticism of her book, and that’s not to say people who felt the
book portrayed harmful stereotypes about depression or the experience of Mexican-American people
were in the wrong or that their criticisms shouldn’t be listened to. But that being said, with regards to calling
certain works “stereotypical” I think there should at least be some consideration
for context when it comes to stories where authors are drawing on their own experiences. If your own personal experience with coming out or
dealing with depression or anything else happens to match a series of already popular narratives and you
choose to write about it, treating you as indistinguishable from an author who based
their story on popular stereotypes can lead to a lot of missing nuance. And even if you don’t think an author’s
own experiences should factor into how we perceive their art in any way at all, there’s
still something to be said about how marginalized creators often end up experiencing a harsher
level of criticism than other creators. And that’s where the iffy part of these
discussions comes in, and why it’s so easy for them to be co-opted by people acting in
bad faith. Of course we should criticize works that poorly
handle sensitive subjects; nothing should be immune to criticism by virtue of the identity
of its creators. These discussions can really easily be warped
into 1, people responding to all criticism with things like “that episode of Sherlock
can’t be queerbaiting because it was written by a gay man!” and 2, people ignoring all
nuance regarding how marginalized creators tend to face disproportionately more criticism
than other creators and saying things like, “oh, so you’re saying we shouldn’t criticize
Steven Universe because the creator is Jewish, or bi, or nonbinary? That’s just meaningless identity politics.” At the same time, though, when diverse works
get exponentially more criticism and vitriol directed towards them, this can become a contributor
to the harassment of marginalized creators, and to a culture where these mostly indie
creators are terrified to put their work out there for fear that they’ll fuck up in some
small way and be crucified in a way that would never happen to Chadley Millionaire McWhiteDude. And ultimately, I think that leads to worse
outcomes in terms of getting diverse works out into the world. I personally have seen some of my trans artist
friends say they’re scared to write stories about their own experiences for fear that
those stories will be viewed as promoting stereotypes. That means in the long run that we end up
getting fewer of these stories out there, which means that the people controlling the
most popular narratives about (for example) trans people are not trans. Because trans creators can get bullied and
scared into silence in leftist media communities in ways that cis creators with more money
and bigger platforms never would. And like, let’s be real. These stories are a lot more likely to be
harmful or stereotypical than stories that are autobiographical. This is not good. So what could be causing this? So if you’ve been watching a lot of video
essays lately, you’ve probably heard the term “parasocial relationship” come up. If you haven’t, the term essentially refers
to a one-sided relationship where one party invests a lot of their time and energy, while
the other person isn’t even aware that such a relationship is happening. It’s always been a thing to a certain extent;
think, people so in love with band members that they dedicate all their time and energy to following
them around the world. But, of course, it’s grown with social media
because so much of being a presence on social media is about perceived authenticity. People like watching makeup tutorials where
the makeup artist casually chats with the camera, because it kinda feels like she’s
your friend and she’s just talking to you. And I think if you feel like you’re close
with someone, and you devote a lot of time and energy into that one-sided relationship,
you’re going to feel a lot more let down by them if they do eventually do or say something harmful. Not to mention, if you feel like you know someone, you’re probably also going to feel more justified
and more able to actively call them out for it in a way that you’re less likely to do
if you feel distant from the person. If my best friend tweeted something sexist,
I would probably feel a lot more personally hurt by that and be a lot more likely to actively
respond to it with something like “hey, not cool” than if some random celebrity tweeted it. Of course, these relationships are a lot more
likely to form when the other person feels accessible to you, right? It’s easier for me to feel like I have a
personal relationship with like Travis McElroy, who makes good morning tweets to his followers
and asks for food recommendations all the time than for me to feel like Taylor Swift
is my friend. I mean we all wish we were Tahani, but. So this first explanation I’ve seen for
why these overly high standards tend to happen is that we’re simply more likely to direct
excessive negative comments towards people who feel accessible to us. So who is most likely to feel accessible? Who’s most likely to make you feel like
you could have a personal relationship with them? Well, for one thing, probably not someone
who’s built up an aura of unapproachability. So probably someone who communicates primarily
via channels like social media, which we all use, rather than someone who mostly engages
with us through television appearances or press releases. There’s also something real about people
who run their own social media accounts rather than a rep running it for them. That could mean frequently replying to fans
as well. All of those things are probably a lot easier
for you to do if you have several thousand, but not several million, followers. Someone who’s extremely rich is also probably
less likely to feel personally relatable to a mainstream audience. So in that way, that kind of authenticity and
approachability tends to be negatively correlated to your fame levels. When you get very very famous and very very rich, it becomes a lot harder for you to maintain authenticity, which is why you hear a lot of complaints about makeup YouTubers, saying, “oh, I really liked her before she got famous.” It’s just a
lot easier to feel like you could be friends with a creator, if they’re not incredibly
megafamous and regularly engage with the same people you do. So then you have to think about, what kind of person is the most likely to
get to that level where they’re incredibly successful and have millions of followers
on social media? Probably the people more likely to get book
deals or get jobs with major TV networks or get hired as video game developers. This group generally doesn’t tend to include
large numbers of women, people of colour, disabled people, or other marginalized groups. What that means is that according to this
explanation, we don’t criticize extremely famous people at the top nearly as much because
we don’t feel as personally invested in doing so. We don’t feel as personally connected to
them, or as if they’re as personally connected to us. And those extremely famous people at the top
tend to be old white guys. Conversely, we’re a lot more active in engaging
with people who are active in engaging with us. That often means indie creators with smaller
platforms and more engagement with fans, who are more likely to not be old white guys. And because we’re probably more likely to tweet directly
at these creators to give our opinions to them, when fans become disappointed, this
can often take the form of abject toxicity. Mix that with a form of selection bias- the
fact that “woke” crowds are probably more likely to be interested in consuming diverse
books or TV shows or other forms of media in the first place- and it’s easy to see
how this could create a recipe for more negative comments being directed towards creators who
try and don’t get it perfectly than creators who don’t try at all. So that’s one explanation, and it does make
a certain kind of sense. Of course, this can’t be the only reason
this is happening. Yes, it’s easier to form parasocial relationships
with creators who have less clout and fame, and people with less clout and fame are also
more likely to be marginalized in some way, but assuming that that’s the only reason
is kind of a copout, isn’t it? This way we don’t have to examine any discrepancies
in the way we treat creators who are women, or people of colour, or LGBT, etc. The correlation between the way these creators
are treated and their lived experiences is purely accidental. But in reality, this isn’t the case. I mean, we also see diverse works being held
to higher standards when it comes to creators who are extremely popular. For example, Lin-Manuel Miranda is very very
rich and famous. Sure, he makes good morning and good night
tweets that could make you feel like you have a relationship with him, but it’s
less likely that he’s going to personally respond to your tweet than someone less famous
but not visibly marginalized, like a McElroy or Flula. So yes, the presence of parasocial relationships
is very likely part of why this media gets held to higher standards, but it can’t be
the only reason. So why else might this be a problem? This is something a lot of people don’t
like to admit, but there can be sort of a primal thrill associated with callouts. There’s something oddly satisfying in sharing
information about someone who’s done something wrong and seeing that they got fired from
their job or had their book deal cancelled. And there’s that hit of dopamine associated
with putting that information out into the public sphere and having people listen to
you. There’s not only that emotional incentive
to be at the top, to be the one calling the shots and getting people to listen to you
when it comes to who we cancel today, but also a very real practical incentive. Once again, Angie Speaks provided some really
great analysis in her video as to why this can be the case, but to oversimplify the matter:
we live in a capitalist system where we’re incentivized to accumulate money and power
to survive and thrive in this world. We want as much clout as possible, and a lot
of the actions that are profitable also rely on us calling other people out, or refusing to
acknowledge our own faults, or using victimhood as a siphon for social capital. The existence of callouts isn’t always a
bad thing. There are places where we can take those feelings
and use them for good; for example, deplatforming fascists so that they’re less able to hurt
other people. But once again, when we’re taking that energy
that could be used productively and instead doing our darndest to “cancel” people
who are genuinely making an effort and are dealing with marginalization themselves, we
have to ask who we’re really helping. And unfortunately, the goal here is rarely actually
to help people, but is instead to make ourselves look as good as possible and become the person
in our communities with the most powerful voice. I think oftentimes, these mass callout movements
against specific figures are started by opportunists who are incentivized by that system to go
after creators who are probably not going to have a lot of mainstream support backing
them. And we are unfortunately all influenced by
societal biases; leftist spaces aren’t immune from subconsciously promoting stereotypes
about trans women being more predatory than cis women, or about people of colour being
inherently more aggressive. When you have the deadly combination of opportunistic
people trying to gain clout from attacking an easy target and the fact that we’re already
primed to think negative things about marginalized people, we do tend to see a trend towards
the least privileged people facing the brunt of online harassment. That doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is
sitting around rubbing their hands together and thinking “ah yes, today we’re going to attack
14 year old Millie Bobby Brown for saying the romance in YOU was cute instead of attacking
an actual abuser”, but it ends up being the consequence nevertheless. It’s also worth mentioning that the type
of criticism these people get is often steeped in these harmful stereotypes. For example, when Rebecca Sugar was accused
of pretending to be queer to deflect criticism of Steven Universe, it’s worth mentioning
that that’s a very popular sentiment directed both towards nonbinary people and towards
bisexual women. Even though the people engaging in those callouts
probably weren’t consciously thinking of this, these biases can still present themselves
in really unfortunate ways, and can absolutely affect who we choose to call out and who we
don’t. That doesn’t mean everyone involved in those
movements is a terrible opportunist. It’s very easy to get misled, especially
if you genuinely want to do the right thing and let people know if a work of media has
problems associated with it. But even when people aren’t intentionally
involving themselves in the process, it’s sadly very easy to get wrapped up in the sort
of perverse glee associated with “cancelling” someone. And when we’re all subject to subconscious
biases in some sense, it’s very possible that the callouts we’re most likely to pick
up on and share are the callouts that reaffirm those biases. Once again, this isn’t always a conscious
process. I remember a couple years ago someone I knew
online, who is a trans girl, received a callout of her own for liking anime characters and
using 4chan arrows. In particular, this girl- who was 17 at the
time- was called a pedophile for owning merchandise of the anime character Nico Yazawa, who is
also 17. The post was shared around 3500 times. Admittedly, some of those shares were defending
her, and while I doubt that every single person sharing the post to call her out was thinking
“ah yes, I knew it. Trans women ARE predatory”, the post itself
definitely included rhetoric promoting harmful stereotypes about trans women. And again, this leaves us in such a tough
position. Because people who are marginalized are absolutely
capable of doing bad things or creating bad media. See: my earlier example about Sherlock. One of the lead writers is a gay man, but
the show still definitely contains multiple instances of queerbaiting. What happens when someone IS predatory or
DOES mishandle important subjects in the media they create? We can’t simply lose all nuance the other
way around and say “we can’t criticize this person because they have this identity
and we don’t want to be problematic”. So how do we know when criticisms are legitimate
or when we’re applying them correctly? How do we go about fixing this whole issue
in a way that’s productive and doesn’t simply lead to more people getting hurt? This is just such a difficult issue to look at. Again, it’s so easy for this issue to be
co-opted by the same opportunists I talked about earlier, and none of us are immune to
subconscious bias or propaganda. I mean, I myself have faced criticism for
the same idea. When my Bad Media Criticism video came out,
some people didn’t like the fact that I spent a decent chunk of time talking about
Lily Orchard’s Steven Universe video instead of focusing on another creator. Even though my criticisms of her arguments
had nothing to do with the fact that she’s transgender, many people were saying it still
wasn’t fair that on a large scale, Lily had to deal with more criticism than her counterparts. I honestly hadn’t thought of it that way
before, and after
hearing multiple conflicting opinions from people I respect, I’m still not sure
what to think. Do we just not criticize creators at all when
they fuck up on the basis that they’re marginalized? Something about that seems condescending. If I said something wrong and people refused
to engage with what I said on the basis of my identities, I’d probably be pretty offended. Not to mention, this can put more people in
a position where they can be hurt. Or should we just keep doing what we’re
doing but apply that same level of criticism to non-diverse works? Maybe. But that can ignore the fact that, like I
said earlier, a lot of the criticism directed towards marginalized creators is often steeped
in harmful stereotypes. We should still be doing a degree of introspection
to prevent this from happening. But overall, I think a good starting point
for change is to remove this presumption of ill intent when we’re criticizing media. I mean, I think that would be a good thing
to do in general, but in this specific case, this could look like maybe not assuming every
writer is familiar with harmful tropes and educating them about it in a productive way
instead of gleefully trying to tear them down. Especially creators who are just starting
out and don’t have massive piles of money and ghostwriters to fall back on. That also means not leaving one-star reviews
on Goodreads for a book that hasn’t come out yet and you haven’t read because you
heard some thirdhand information that one of the characters was homophobic and missed
the part where that character is a villain who you’re supposed to hate. Finally, that means doing everything we can
to remove our own subconscious biases. Once again, no one is ever going to be perfect,
but we can still try and do our best to minimize the harm we do to others on a large scale. That can mean surrounding ourselves with people
whose struggles we haven’t personally experienced, and being willing to accept when we make a
mistake. And when we do stop and find ourselves being
excessively harsher towards marginalized creators than we are towards other creators, it’s
worth stopping, taking notice of that, and asking ourselves if that’s the best possible
use of our energy. That doesn’t mean never criticizing media
made by marginalized people, or silencing criticisms from people who feel like a work
of fiction has hurt them in some way. But simply by being aware of when and where
we direct things like a presumption of ill intent, we can at least start to unpack the
issue of differing standards in media criticism. This isn’t perfect and it isn’t a one-stop
complete solution to these issues. The truth is, it’s a really complex problem
that’s steeped in a ton of societal biases and complex interconnected issues. But even being aware of the issue and asking
ourselves if we’re devoting our energy in ways that are actively productive or actively
destructive can at least be a starting point. There are a lot of double standards present
in the way we look at media, and this can often manifest itself in us being unduly harsh
towards creators who are not perfect, but are making an effort. This is doubly present when it comes to creators
who are already marginalized, for a variety of reasons. On one hand, we do tend to feel as though
we have a closer personal relationship with small indie creators, which can lead to us
feeling even more betrayed when those creators let us down in some ways. But there’s also something very real to
be said about how our own subconscious biases can play in to who we choose to criticize,
and why. The consequences of this can be really harmful
for aspiring creators, and can create a culture of fear. When people are scared to tell their own stories
for fear that those stories might be ‘stereotypical’ in some way and that they’ll be harassed
to an extent that other creators would never be, people can be deterred from telling those
stories. Ultimately, that means that we get fewer really
great, well-written diverse works out there, even if those works do have a few problems, because people become so afraid of potential
backlash that they don’t put their works out there. And that’s not good for anyone. The solution isn’t to stop criticizing harmful
works, but instead to start being aware of our own subconscious biases and double standards. We need to start thinking about who we assume
has malicious intent and who we assume just made a mistake. And we need to start thinking about how we’re
creating and upholding systems that reward people for publicly harassing creators. This isn’t a problem that we’re going
to fix overnight, but at the very least creating this awareness can serve as a starting point. Snappy exit line.

100 thoughts on “Double Standards and Diverse Media

  1. For a YouTube example, look at ContraPoints. If you see how left-leaning people talk about her content, you can see that more than half of the stuff about her is just criticisms of how she spreads dangerous ideas or stereotypes trans women, or that she is trying to say that trans women can never truly integrate until they pass. 
    Heck, I once saw one Tweet saying ContraPoints was "every cis person's favorite trans person".
    Now, as some random cis, straight, white idiot, I can't speak for or about these concerns/criticisms with any actual authority. I don't have the proper knowledge required to analyze the arguments made here. What I'm trying (and most likely failing) to say is that it goes to show you how we on the left have a tendency to hold creators to a higher standard of what is problematic.
    Sorry for the ramble and possibly problematic analysis. Great video, as always.

  2. Hi Sara, both sides of this issue are mistaken. We're not supposed to criticize the creators, but the creation on the premise of its merit or narrative inconsistencies. Name-calIing or calling out are a low-blow. Let me explain where I come from, I have a language and literature degree. So, this is my background and how I process story-centered entertainment. I believe that characters must feel genuine, the setting must feel authentic and relevant to the story and the conflict (whether internal or extenal) should be complex and thought-provoking so that readers/viewers can identify with. Marginalized characters shouldn't be overidealized or overvillified. There are good and bad (for lack of a better word) binary and non-binary people in real life. Maybe some portrayal of LGBTQ looks stereotypical, but again there are all sorts of gay or straight people. In my opinion, it's too simplistic when antagonists or villains don't have a motive. It sort breaks the suspense of disbelief. I don't think that SJW should attack films, books, video games and other media in order to promote their world view. Why can't LGBTQ character BE A VILLAIN or VILLAINESS? A work of art can be politically engaged, but it doesn't have to. A good work of art is that which moves you, impacts you, influences you, and challenges you. In sum, if a writer doesn't have the freedom to use her imagination to create a metaphor for oppression, racism, slavery, xenophobia, depression, the Latina experience, the LGBTQ experience, then how will she build her poetic symbolism? Her work will be so poor. As you pointed out, it's pathetic when people condemn a book or a film without seeing it. Even worse, when people wreak havoc to cancel or boycott it. If we're to protest against something or be self-righteous about it, we should join a NGO, start a foundation or volunteer somewhere to help the world become a better place. Art in its purest form is escapism from the harsh reality that in the end takes us back to our lives with enough strength and stamina to go on. The moment opportunists, ill-intent people or overly jealous fans silence an artist, we all lose representation, a voice, liberty and creativity. Peace. Good video.

  3. I feel like diversity in media is only good if the setting warrants it, I don't want to see blacks and asians fighting alongside whites in a viking movie

  4. I feel like the issue is that people are starting to forget the difference between criticism and hatred. Your videos are a great example of criticism. An objective look where you'll point out things from different sides, and usually aren't opinionated. (If so, it's stated respectfully). A lot of people who don't like media (ex: SU) just slap down a half-thoughtout argument that's heavily based in their opinion and without any respect. I personally don't enjoy SU myself, but I'm not gonna make a bunch of heavy claims about it because I haven't really watched it and so I don't have all the facts.
    TL;DR Some messy thoughts on the fact that people seem to jump in headfirst with their opinions and call it a "critique" to try and absolve their lack of objective thinking and research. Great videos though.

  5. I really want to be an author, but I face the fear of everything you said in this video. I'm in some marginal groups myself, and I worry that people will attack my works like this. I also worry about trying to portray groups I'm not a part of. I feel like I'd be in the wrong no matter what. Either it's done wrong or it's not done at all and then it's not inclusive enough.

  6. Sarah Z is a fucking lier
    Sarah Z is a fucking lier
    Sarah Z is a fucking lier
    Sarah Z is a fucking lier
    Sarah Z is fucking lier

  7. The fact that the Crystal Gems are flawed and sometimes do things they regret later is actually what sets SU apart for me as a uniquely beautiful show. Other magical girls, and main characters in other space operas, never get to seem as human because they never break anything, they never make mistakes. Doing something you regret and having to live with it and make up for it is part of being human. That's what makes the show have an emotional impact on the viewer. Everyone complains about the filler episodes but that's what the show would be like if the characters were not flawed or complicated – you would have a boring cartoon.

  8. Hey Sara, this video was extremely interestin, on this subject there is a really really good episode of the Invisibilia podcast, it explores the hardcorepunk scene of Richmond, Virginia and how they use “call outs” to self police themselves

  9. I do think it sort of makes sense to have more lgbt-related criticism of something like SU than a show that has no or very little lgbt representation. Not because the former is worse or deserves more, but because there’s more to talk about. It’s hard to say “write some gay characters” in more than a couple ways.

  10. Now that even Disney has caved in to the MANDATORY GAYNESS, and kids cartoons are being criticized for being not pervy enough, who will represent for the MORAL MINORITY who DON'T want their kids exposed to PERVERT POWER PROPAGANDA? I don't think the old saying of "if you don't like it, change the channel" works anymore.

  11. I thought the gay couple in gravity falls (the cops) were pretty obvious. They built it up the entire show and then the last episode had the pay off it was building up to. Kinda like adventure time with Bubblegum and Marceline they had an obvious relationship and tension and then we had the pay off. Idk tho i am a cis woman married to a cis man so maybe i am missing the nuance with my perspective. I found Kora and Voltron to be very problematic but i think they are different from adventure time and gravity falls in their genuineness. And i like steven universe having different types of gay relationships considering not all gay relationships are healthy and perfect and it humanizes them and makes them more normal for them to have less than perfect relationships. But again idk

  12. Moral outrage is the cocaine of the masses. People are hooked, they can't get enough of it, it makes people feel confident and powerful in a world where they perhaps otherwise do not, it IS addictive, making people highly resistant to any suggestion of giving it up… moral certainty in a group gives people a sense of authority, and authorities LOVE and feel it is RIGHT to dish out punishments to those they see as "deserving" ("deserve" – when you do something that absolves me of any empathy for what is done to you, giving me license for selective sociopathic behaviour)

  13. Thanks for this video it think it's a really important topic, and I'd like to engage with the how we can fix it part. firstly I believe call-outs are inappropriately used when a call-in would have sufficed.

    Call-outs are strategy of defense against someone who holds power over you and is likely to use it to harm you. You can choose a call-out to use the outrage of your community to hold that person accountable instead of putting yourself in harms way for a call-in. The mass overuse of call-outs trivializes it's purpose and is therefore dangerous to the people who find themselves needing that strategy to avoid harm.

    Call-ins are a great strategy for growing the consciousness of our communities and is the one I think most people should be employing. I don't believe just anyone should call-in everyone without consent. I think that power should be reserved for the communities that person is a part of and those who are harmed by that persons actions. Everyone else should approach a call-in with heavy use of consent to avoid undue labor.

  14. what the shit?? youtube finally recommends a decent ass creator, not some "feminist white male" who thinks hes the gods gift to humanity as he snarkily snortles at strawmen and adds nothing of substance to any discussion (nothing against them but why is this the stereotype?? i was almost starting to think i was a… nevermind) Your coherent and well researched content, that contextualizes issues in shades of grayscale as they are is a breath of frest air in this new, outrageous, clickbaity world…
    im sorry i have nothing intelligent or critical to add. i am but a simple boob. i lik the video

  15. I want to write a story where humans are enslaved… When my main character was white people freaked out despite all humans being enslaved.

  16. 4:32 wat? People being cancelled are cancelled because they do off colour stuff that people, who I find to be primarily politically correct nazis, get offended about. Smash Ultimate had to be changed last minute due to someone pointing out a character wore an native american headband for a few frames. The director of Guardians of the Galaxy was fired because of sketchy stuff he said in the past. I believe the proponents of cancel culture are primarily proponents of social justice as they censor and fire people they disagree with

  17. OMG! I follow you on tumblr. I didn't know you're a youtuber.

    P.S. i just found out about this thru shout out of Pewdiepie.

  18. Even though I am already left leaning, I want to thank you for calling out your stance and offering constructive arguments on your assumptions. All too often, we assume the other side is full of stupid racist bigots, and that is not helping anyone cross over, only keeping them there.

  19. Uh, what? It's naive to think that LGBT creators face more prejudice over the creation of LGBT characters than straight, cis folk. In fact a lot of works with objective writing and narrative problems – like the Steven Universe you refer to in the video – seem to get a free pass from a lot of people just for being LGBT-inspired.

  20. Hmm. It'd probably also help if we got better at being "yeah, there's a couple issues, but overall pretty good". Take the thing with Ruby and Sapphire in SU. I hadn't thought of it, but yeah, I suppose it is suboptimal having one of the most visible non-straight couples in animation spend most of their time not independently existing. But like.. that's probably something the next generation of stories could do better, not a reason this generation isn't pretty cool?

  21. Accountability is not disposability. And when it becomes that we need to look hard at ourselves as a movement and start to think about how we are recreating the very systems of oppression we decry. Peter Coffin makes excellent content discussing what we're struggling with which in my opinion boils down to "issues unique to late capitalism such as the more overt commodification of humans"

  22. Great points, but if you know anything about what Angie was being called out for you'll know how much shes bullshitting everyone, especially with things like "people shouldn't be immune to criticism just because of a marginalized identity" because she literally tried to do that herself
    She got on camera and abused rape victims, including one who was trying to apologize to her for something that wasn't their fault, to protect someone in her circle who's a known rapist, and when people said that's not okay she and her friends pushed the "people just wanted to destroy a black woman who did nothing wrong" story so hard that you couldn't criticize the rapist – without mentioning Angie – without being called racist
    So like, if you had used a different source, this video would have been chef's kiss

  23. This is the most nuanced and intelligent discussion I have seen of something that has bothered me for a while. Thank you!

  24. To be fair here, the voltron writers have been very heavily criticised. I think if you looked up discourse/criticism around Voltron now after its finished, you'll see its pretty much rivalling SU critical at this point.

  25. The thumbnail, that’s not a double standard, that’s just called pda, so you’re saying since we can high five people we can make out?

  26. this is what happened to dirty laundry to a T. there was this vld fanfiction that became incredibly popular, and it heavily featured one character's latinx family which hadnt been explored in the show yet. the author was basing it on their own experiences as they were latinx, but they were brutally attacked for including stereotypes like homophobia (even though the story was about the character coming out to his family) and liking gasolina. it got so bad they discontinued it for a long time, and they deleted all their social media

  27. In Germany this is common among leftists who are often more critical of vaguely left leaning parties than outright conservatives ("Who betrayed us? – Social Democrats"). And while that is technically correct it also helps conservatives be more successful with their attempts of demobilizing young, progressive voters.

    I haven't really encountered this I'm culture (since I'm not really involved in popular culture), but from the video it seems similar to me.

  28. I'm puertorican, and when Lin-Manuel Miranda brought Hamilton to Puerto Rico, he tried to do the musical in a university that is not doing well, but it was moved to another theatre because of various reasons, but what got me angry was that thw SJW's of that university started criticizing Hamilton, and weren't even grateful that Lin wanted to do Hamilton in the university to try and help it out. One of the criticism I heard was that a student went up to Lin and asked him why didn't he change the character of Alexander Hamilton when that character represented oppresion, without taking into account that the musical is based off historical events, and all Lin-Manuel did was turn those events into a musical.

  29. i think, malicious commenters aside, with the slim pickings of diverse media, plus the tendency to feel like it’s easier to attack content when there are only a few creators/ one prominent creator/ the media is more indie, the creators feel more accessible, as you said. this combined with the tiNy amount of diverse media that actually exists, we expect diverse media to be a perfect example of that form of diversity in the eyes of everyone, which would never happen. a flawed character that is also diverse can get call outs on how that character creates negative association with their diverse trait. i hope one day we live in a world where there’s so much diverse media that we don’t have to pick apart every piece of diverse media that exists

  30. oh I just got reminded of a kpop music video where one of the members of the group has fake tattoos that are reminiscent of anti-semitic Russian tattoos. Everyone jumped on the badnwagon of "that's bad! this group is cancelled!" but the character he was portraying was villain in the music video! they weren't praising or siding with those views, nor did they do it in a completely ignorant appropriation sort of way

  31. i think voltron definitely has been criticised harshly, and rightly so the creators made active choices to ignore input from gay voices. i think steven universe was just ‘lucky’ to create a fan base dedicated to hating it, where other shows don’t create that environment of dedicated hate

  32. I'm very tired. I might have to come back and edit this comment.
    What I really dislike about this, is the implications it might have on our creative culture (As in things we create, movies, litteratur, art ect). A lot of people are today afraid of speaking their opinions because of the huge backlash one can have on social media, that might not be fair at all. In my country which is supposed to be one of the most democratic in the world, politicians are speaking out against the hate and even threats they receive on a daily basis. Journalists have spoken out about it too for a while. People will begin to stop using their freedom of speech and that's detrimental to a functioning democracy I think. What I'm saying is that I'm afraid how social media, cancel culture, mob-mentality, judge before understanding all perspectives and context, can impact our creative culture. People will over- censor themselves and maybe withdraw from creating at all.
    To be clear I do think we should be allowed to criticize, but the tone can turn so severe and harsh and completely without empathy it's honestly a bit frighting at times.

    I just remembered this: A woman (youtuber) was doing an artsy photoshoot where she was painted black so she would blend into a black backdrop, with colorful fruits then painted on her body which would then stand out. People where accusing her of doing blackface. In this instance, them even knowing the context didn't seem to matter much.

  33. Cancel culture destroys free speech. People will say things that you don't agree with and that are mean. But they should have the right to say it because when you come at someone by punching them or silencing them you become everything you say you stand against. Anyone regardless of gender, sex, skin tone or sexuality should be able to speak there mind regardless of whether or not you agree with it. Growth comes from having conversations and being open to new ideas and being a little uncomfortable sometimes. It doesn't come from yes tank bubbles.

  34. I don't think anyone but the far right would call Ruby and Sapphire "problematic", and those dickwads wouldn't change their minds anyways.

  35. TL;DR: i got too deep into the Steven Universe thought process. simply put, Garnet is the character Steven sees a large majority of the time; in essence because Ruby and Sapphire have become the "ideal" couple, and rarely ever disagree or cause harm to each other in a way that forces them to separate and see things from different perspectives. the other gems' fusions rarely ever work out as harmoniously, and as such can rarely ever sustain themselves in that partnership for more than a few minutes.

    also PS: I think the biggest problem for creators is for the "system" to require or in some sense prejudice itself against them for not having the "right" depiction of lgbtx community and characters. this can lead to a show or media of some kind either eliminating representation all together (my little ponies, the new show is IMO designed with young teen girls in mind, so representations would not be totally out of place) or going so far overboard as to be a little ridiculous (the loud house, a show for pre-teen or young teen boys shows many of the characters, main or otherwise, already in or exploring same sex relationships, yet it is an issue that is never even addressed, much less advocated for)

  36. … I'm so confused about how people were upset with her treatment of slavery. It's fantasy and slavery based on having magic isn't even a new idea. The Wheel of Time, the X-Men…what is wrong with these people? Now I'm just mad because this sounds like it would be a great book series in a world with some unique cultural inspirations and I'll never get to read it because the social justice warriors went after this poor woman.

  37. AMERICAN SLAVERY IS NOT THE ONLY KIND OF SLAVERY

    Now if you’re discussing historical fiction, or a fantasy world that’s incredibly similar, drawing inspiration from a specific horrible historical event, you gotta handle that shit carefully.

    But there is a lot of horrible history to draw from, not just the ones you’re most familiar with. And creating new kinds of fuckedupitude for a fictional world is pretty standard. Harry Potter has magical non-human racial slavery. The Hunger Games has classist slavery, akin to serfdom.

  38. Garnet was the most fascinating relationship in SU, in my opinion anyways. You have non-human beings, you can explore a lot more with their relationships. And I think the character of garnet was portrayed very well, as you can clearly see bits of ruby and sapphire shining through, as well as them together as a new being. I’ve come to clearly understand how fusion works through her, how you can be one person and two, or “an experience!” while being unable to properly define it with words.

    I think the love that is garnet is pretty obvious throughout the show, when fused. She just fucking loves being herself. It’s beautiful, and I awed at several points at garnet “alone” because you know she’s a fusion and that adds whole depths to each scene. Just Garnet being an adorable couple with herself.

    And the non-romantic fusions are totally different. In fact, each fusion is a bit unique, in how much of each individual shines through, what parts of them, and what relationship their fusion is. As well as how in-sync they are, which is probably the most obvious difference between the fusions. Fusions between the main gems, for combat, are a bit more focused and bland, even when they’re cracking jokes or showing off. Their relationships are those of friends and fellow soldiers, though you get a bit more when they fuse to protect Steven. Stevonnie is super in-sync, and just oozes trust. They are the trust they have in each other.

    I love love LOVE when stories include perspectives not limited by our human understanding of the world. When done well, the depths that can be added to your characters is astounding.

  39. I don't know about Gravity Falls since I haven't seen it, but in case of Voltron it was really the Netflix promotion of the season which featured Adam (the ex-lover of one of the main characters) and this promotion fueling anticipation in the fandom which then blew out of proportion big time. Adam died, but that doesn't make his partner any less gay and his partner was part of the show from season 1 to the very end.

  40. The reason I dislike SU is because of how many hiatuses there are
    The show itself though isn’t that bad

  41. I'm one of those people who is afraid to put their work out there because some woke person with supercalifragile feelings will inevitably offend themselves. My story features a gay character but I know someone will scream it's not written how they want it to be written. I have two main characters, a male and female…someone will cry because it's not all female or because they're not (insert whatever identity here). I also have characters of various colors and I know that won't be good enough, someone will cry that I didn't include their ancestor who had a super rare disease which caused their skin to turn periwinkle. The story is set on a planet in a different galaxy but somehow, someway it will be considered wrong because it's not set in some reader's home country. We live in a world full of woke and tolerant narcissists who can never be pleased.

  42. I feel like the only way to fix this problem would to look at things very critically in general. Kind of no other way around it 🙁

  43. We saw this just last week and with the Whoopi Goldberg/Meghan McCain controversy over revenge porn shaming. Goldberg and McCain both said kinda dismissive "don't take nude photos of yourself as a celebrity", but Goldberg is the one who got called out. It's probably at least in part because everyone already hates McCain.

  44. you know, so far i'm pleasantly surprised. i thought this was going to center on the comic artist who was "cancelled" for drawing porn of their own underaged characters recently (probably a month or so ago now). and obviously framing a discussion about THAT incident as a "double standard" would be a huge problem in and of itself

  45. I'm always interested in the topics you discuss but halfway through the video your condescending tone makes it unbeareable to watch.

  46. You know how you say that diverse media is a positive valuable and Valiant in and of itself? This is why he gets so much harsher criticism it by that assumption especially of its audience and promoted by its Community is basically acting as a moral skull. It's basically evangelizing. And all too often like you say it's externalizing personal issues of the author in ways that are either deeply uncomfortable or incredibly basic without necessarily being able to explore them and Nuance that feels worth the moral scolding.
    Another aspect would be well you mentioned She-Ra and the princesses of power. One of the reasons I bring that up is that chances are in the course of arguing for an lgbtq interpretation of a character they'll bring up all sorts of long list of issues with the dreaded patriarch heteronormative assumptions or domestic issues between genders or the assumptions of marriage. None of which will of course apply the moment you can get lgbtq representation in fact that covers almost any and all sins. See the character of Korra in Legend of Korra the more she basically playing into being a lesbian power fantasy and not even so much as power fantasy for lesbian women so much and she was a fantasy for women that could attack heteronormative assumptions that was okay. The fact that this ties into very real social movements that happened online just makes it worse. Gamergate obviously went off the rails but it first started as a report of a very real very plausible domestic abuse situation from a man about a very popular influential woman. But apparently that didn't matter because the overall Assumption of narrative was men bad and if a man has problems it's his fault
    So you will have LGBT movements all about promoting reinterpreting characters or just the idea of diversity and that's how it should be and it being Superior for being itself or at least being prolific combining fan fetichism with presumed social activism and the result is an awful awful combination that puts people who not even necessarily are straight but don't think Escape is media is the best way to explore some of the nuances of representation or to see how it's played out time and time again the point it's not even really worth marking

    Basically the reason why this is so much harder sure it's because you are effectively using fiction as a form of religious preaching. And then turn around and bring identity politics and other things in it. Where you cannot possibly exclude bad faith arguments because they're not so much bad faith as they are arguments that can't be fought against. Their inherent flaws in the interaction. Such as cars pollute. Always relevant and meaningful in deciding how to do City Planning and lifestyle choices even if it's something that a person is going to throw out the window when they're looking at how the hell did they get a job and become an adult

  47. I love how quickly your mind works. I imagine you have difficulty going to sleep as I do. At night, my mind is filled with physical, and logical solutions to immediate problems, mostly mechanical and job related.

  48. Honestly? Just read things for yourself before you judge and apply the standards you choose to all, not just certain groups. That's it. It's honestly not hard. People just want to let certain groups that they choose to slide for whatever reason.

  49. disney: sorry alex u cant have a gay character too controversial buddy

    cartoon network: ruby & sapphire wedding!!! marceline and bubblegum are canon!!! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

  50. You had me until you mentioned de platforming facists. Yes, we've all seen what facism leads to, but de platforming any group or beleif adds huge amounts of credibility to their perceived "victimhood" and only drives their discussion underground into a exhochamber where much more harmful opinions go unchecked. Most people are intelligent enough to realize the hate and nonsense they speak so let them delegitimize themselves instead of giving doing the opposite and giving them credibility by silencing them. I may be a liberal but i beleive in a free market of ideas and ideologies that live and die by their own merits

  51. i've been planning on starting a webcomic for a long time, but i'm worried about making it a reality. a lot of the things brought up in this video are reasons why, actually. First, is a race thing. In the story, there is a bit of a class system. the higher class lives in a gorgeous utopia, while the lower class lives in a dingy city on the outskirts of said utopia. There are some middle levels, but these two are the only ones that are important to this point. one of my main characters is norweigan (aka white as all hell) and lives in the big ol fancy city. the other is half argentinian and half arabic, and lives in the shithole. the places in which these characters live is relevant to the plot, but not to their ethnicities. they don't live where they do because of race/ethnicity. i feel like it could be interpreted the wrong way as something deeper than it is, or i feel like people could get up in arms about me, a white guy, writing about a non-white character living in a run-down, graffiti-ridden, and practically lawless city. it's VERY loosely based on our own society, but it IS a completely fictional universe and i didn't at all intend to write about something fueled by race or something. second, queerbaiting. these said two characters are in a same-sex relationship, but it's pretty lowkey. in addition, one of these main characters has a close friend (almost like a sister) who happens to be a trans woman. she isn't a super major character and her identity isn't constantly talked about, but she does exist and does make an impression on the story. i'm a bit concerned that, despite me being a bisexual trans person, this will be taken as inadequate representation, or even queerbaiting. i might be reading too much into it, but is anything i mentioned here genuinely problematic or something that would warrant controversy?

  52. I think that Steven Universe was probably not the best example. Tbh I really feel much of the criticism stems from the fact that Rebecca and the show’s team really fuck fans over with their wildly random release schedules, and that makes people pissed. Then they spend a lot of time trying to find anything wrong with the show.

  53. What does queer mean? Can't kinky and poly people identify as it or does it mean gay/lesbian? Why can't people just say gay?

  54. I know I'm 4 months late but this kind of attitude is exactly what happened to the channel Game Theory: Just a single video that pissed everyone off for some reason then as the hate grew and grew the average person "criticizing" Game Theory knew less and less about what they were talking about. Furthermore, they became more and more stubborn to the point where they're completely incapable of realizing that they're fucking stupid. Now it's at the point where literally any reference to it in the comment section leads to some disgusting replies and any minor mistake by the channel is a ton more fuel for the fire.

    I don't know if I should've commented this here since it has nothing to do with diversity, but it's the same mentality and I'm just sick of this shit. Have a good day.

  55. In the 80's we had the Christian moms squabbling over what fiction is "acceptable."
    These people are just an updated version of that. It's insufferable nagging.

  56. If we had more lgbtq representation then we wouldn’t be so hard on the rep we get but until that happens all rep will be judged very harshly

  57. As usual… you are brilliant. (Lmao! ^^) I used to enjoy writing fan fiction of questionable quality. This is something I've also thought about too, now and again. I am a trans man, or however the most acceptable way to present myself is; a story teller, artist who hopes to be known one day. In the best scenario, my story will inspire or assist someone. Being spared even the thought of another, would be nice. I don't care of their race or culture or identity of any kind. People fear being imposed upon. And the others fear, being forgotten or neglected yet again (having been allowed unjust cruelty)… and speaking of which, what of those warriors within us who seek justice?…. Unfortunately, justice is a bit fickle. One person's justice is another person's end. Chain reactions are inevitable… could peace ever truly exist? Identities have been one of the most divisive tools of conflict, so it's no surprise to me when a writer introduces their own identity, others would be "triggered". (Which honestly, come on… triggering DOES suck but it's part of life. We shouldn't run from it.) I want those of good intentions for this world and their fellow human being, to find success and move toward the best outcome. Know that the confused, the victims, and the predators will always stand in your way. That doesn't mean you have to step down. Stand for YOUR truth, look for THE truth and embrace peace and love y'all. (bowo)b Seek the success of humanity so we can explore spaaaace!

  58. I've just listened to your entire video, and I honestly don't know how people like you don't suffer an aneurysm constantly trying to untie yourself from these tangled knots of political correctness that you all create for yourselves which are counter-productive and totally useless. Take a lesson from Alexander the Great: When confronted by the Gordian knot, don't waste hours trying to figure out a nuanced approach as to how to untie a knot that serves no purpose to begin with, just cut the fucker in half.

  59. I like you and your work so much I can’t even put it into words. Thank you for everything you do and all the work you put into your videos. 🙂

  60. i saw a shitty comment saying that rebecca sugar, a jewish, nonbinary bisexual "writes like a white cishet"
    this person was so far gone from reality they legitimately thought her writing was comparable to the writing of someone who actively oppresses marginalized people

  61. 8:40 I don't know that your numbers here are very convincing. SU is a lot more popular than the Voltron reboot, as far as I can tell. Surely the amount of criticism is also a function of popularity.

  62. My theory is most of the criticisms come from those outside the marginalized demographic and they are unaware they're being racist/homophobic. Closeted racists don't want to see stereotypes because it reinforces their racism. Sometimes they never realize such characteristics or behavior are part of the human experience that all races go through. They say they're against stereotypes but what they're really against are those who are different than them. For example, a fictional character with broken English can be hurtful. But many people don't know how to speak English properly. If you hate the stereotype, you also hate those who do it in real life. Wouldn't it be better to embrace those who are different, rather than to expect everyone behave like boring straight white men?

  63. 11:29 From what I heard on Youtube, no one is basically spared from the backlash of "mishandling" marginalized groups. Not even a millionaire cis white dude.

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