« Elementary trailer. | Main | ‘I don’t reckon … it’ll ever be printed that way’. »

17 May 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I'm with you. I don't buy it either. And I can't imagine what kind of person you would have to be to NOT empathize with Stenberg as Rue.


I'm pretty fed up with the whole "oh, don't you naive people realize the economic realities and practical considerations?" argument. Look: if having an accurate representation of the main character is that big a deal for sales then don't show them; make the cover abstract or whatever.

More importantly. Showing Micah as white on the cover of Liar or casting a white Rue or making the Earthsea people predominantly white is not 'tricking' the audience into empathizing with a black/mixed race/whatever character. Unless I'm missing something that's the ultimate argument she seems to be making, and I'm sorry: that's just too goddamn dumb for words.


In the first place, I don't think you can excuse whitewashing in publishing as some sort of subversive trick that publishers are trying to pull on straight white male college students. In the second place, I think that's one of the worse examples of taking a very narrow and specific study finding and trying to apply it in a situation that doesn't apply.

Because, yes, I think that readers *do* place themselves in the circumstances of characters, and if the tendency is for more privileged readers to make stereotyped assumptions about less privileged characters, then clearly the problem is that they are not being exposed to enough other characters. Miller's take is exactly backwards: henceforth, by law, every cast (book film, game, TV show, etc.)must be racially, ethnically, religiously, physically, sexually, and in every other way as diverse as possible, and not character may ever be a stereotype. And in this way, in an incredibly short time, all those non-empathetic people will be rendered non-bigoted. I think we should start by requiring that every form of media in NC must star a LGBTQ character. No doubt we'll get that amendment struck down soon.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Blog powered by Typepad