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Regarding Representation and Diversity

There’s a fine line between desiring representation and diversity in those works that you love, enjoy, and find meaning in, and feeling entitled to representation and diversity, as if artists and creators somehow owe you, the fan, anything.

To use a recent controversy as an example, insist too vehemently that Bert and Ernie must be gay, regardless of whatever anyone else says, and you risk being on the same side as those who launched a campaign to remake The Last Jedi because Rian Johnson ​“ruined” Star Wars.

On the other hand, if you’re an artist, there’s the danger that in trying to be diverse and representative (which might require you to step outside of your comfort zone or areas of expertise), some character that you included for diversity’s sake ultimately comes across as a mere token in the eyes of others. (Consider the brouhaha surrounding Shiro in Voltron: Legendary Defender.)

And yes, I realize I’m writing all of this from a position of privilege, since, as a white, middle-class male, pop culture has unfortunately been catering to my demographic’s whims for an awfully long time.

Sep 23, 2018