you know, as much as I love the worlds that Cinderella or other films/shows that have race bent their white characters and stories, it’s really not what we need.
it’s not okay to be asked to suspend the fact of race or the reality of racism with films or shows that cast nonwhite actors who move through the world as if still white or white-passing. it’s not only demeaning to the actors–how many times have the only BIPOC actor or crew member come out with horrific stories of onset discrimination or fandoms hate? why would we want to expose more of them to that, instead of changing it for everyone?–what that does is just further the myth that racism is a problem of altruistic intolerance rather than a systemic institution with long and deep economic roots designed for selective social death.
as much as representation is important for people to be given the imagination to see themselves in ways the existing world refuses of us, and as much as imagining a world that is free of racism is so important, it’s a disservice and a lie to be asked to become white as the default for peace and freedom even in fictional worlds. whiteness isn’t the goal. I don’t want these characters to be racebent or created to just further harmful ideas of race or racialized experiences that subtly try to convince us that white experience is the baseline and everything else is an accessory or an exception. I don’t want that for myself or others. I want fully realized peace and freedom, for everyone.
so while we can celebrate more work and recognition of BIPOC actors and creative makers, please don’t settle for mere surface treatment or racebent stories as the benchmark of aspiration. demand more. make fully realized worlds for each other.