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That One NPC

Race Swapping In Film

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This is a crazy sensitive subject for alot of people, and rightfully so. I need to be perfectly clear about my stance here. I am not opposed to more ethnic representation in media as a whole. There's nothing that bothers me more on a human level than racism and exclusion. And I understand that media has been bias toward white males since the dawn of time - and it has to change.

 

I don't, however, think simple race swaps are the answer here. For me it's not about the inclusion. It's fantastic that ethnic groups finally get to see themselves represented front and center. It's about damn time!

 

Here's my beef with generic race swaps. When you take an iconic caucasian character, and simply say, "Eh, just make him/her Aftican American. Problem solved. Next please!" That, to me, is lazy, cheap, and offensive. Again people are so happy it's happening they probably don't think of it that way. But it's such a white privlage angle that it makes my soul sick.

 

Instead of building ethnic characters with ethnic roots and influences, from the ground up, they take a pre-existing character and just give them a new ethnicity with a new backstory... Way to take inclusion seriously, Hollywood.

 

It really bothers me when the characters have a distinct heritage. Italian, Irish, Russian, etc. These aren't generic brands of "White folk." They have identities, cultures, and pride of their own. Take a few recent animes that were whitewashed during the casting process for no other reason than to stack star power. Total chaos. People were having meltdowns. Take an iconic Italian American character and make him Black, who cares? Italians have no sense of pride or identity in that character. Step aside. Of course I'm talking about Nick Fury. Loved him growing up. To be perfectly clear - and burst a few bubbles - Sam J. is one of my top actors of all time. I call him Sam J. because I never shut the fuck about him when movies come up in conversation. I idolize Samuel and his career. But it's not about Sam, it's about Nick Fury. Did I really care? No, but it's the principle. Instead of creating ethnic characters, writers take the easiest way out and just pull race swaps. It bothers me because people deserve better. They deserve to have more characters like Black Panther who they can look up to and say, "This is T'Challa. He is who he has always been. A strong, dignified, upright black male." Rather than, "This is Nick Fury. He used to be Italian, but they had to throw us a bone."

 

Just my thoughts on something Hollywood keeps getting away with due to the distraction of initial excitement. Don't we deserve better? (We as in a collective humanity. I'm French-Lithuanian, lol.)

Edited by That One NPC

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Er... Well in Nick Fury's case it's a little more complected then that, so that's probobly a bad example. Honestly the weird example that stands out in my mind is Ford Prefect from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. But that's also a bad example really. Partly because it's a British production with British actors (it seems to me like black British people really are thought of as more British then black, but maybe I am wrong), and partly because Ford Prefect is actually from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse anyway. Other then that I know there have been more examples but I can't think of them.

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Oh, I'm well aware of the shit storm surrounding Ultimate Fury, and the scrambling they did to "fix it" later on.

 

It's essentially the same principle, though. It was a race swap, and they used the multiverse to correct it.

 

My biggest issue with MCU Fury is that he does nothing. He had a bit of a scare in Winter Soldier where he was nearly killed by a handful of Hydra goons. I don't know how much you know about old school Fury, but let's just say it would not have gone down like that, at all.

 

They ruined him in the MCU, and that has nothing to do with ethnicity.

Edited by That One NPC

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Honestly I never saw any of the the MCU movies and know next to nothing about the comics either. Shocking I know, but I just... don't really usually like superheros that much. XD Though if they make a squirrel girl movie I will probobly watch it. :3

Edited by Kayzee

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I wouldn't expect to see a Squirrel Girl film in the MCU. It would make a great cartoon for girls, though. She is one of those ridiculous characters most serious readers detest due to writers doing stupid shit with her that she has no business doing.She has managed to defeat some of the top villains in Marvel. To her credit, Marvel has some pretty weak villains compared to DC. Marvel seems to like making the heroes stronger than the villains. Then they use props (infinity gauntlet) or plot devices to make it seem like they won't win.

 

It's been argued - and I think I agree - that Darkseid could beat a fully loaded Infinity Thanos. Darkseid is almost as power as the gauntlet and he has no tools.

 

I think a Squirrel Girl movie would be where the '08 Ironman groupies would draw the line. But then again, Disney gets away with everything except Solo: A Star Wars movie. That was the hill people wanted to die on.

Edited by That One NPC

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Hard to imagine when  you admit to having not read them much, but they grew a lot in the last 30-40 years.

 

Around the 80s and 90s less kids were reading so the direction for many series and character became very mature, dark even. This resulted in a lot good story lines that draw you in, and provided a lot of great character development. DC was always decidedly darker but even they started taking more risks and telling deeper stories.

 

You'll find much of the same styles and themes as you will any form of fantasy, scifi, or fiction, just with vastly more developed characters, which has been the selling point for decades now.

 

I'm on a new a20 phone and for some reason Ifind the keyboard so difficult, so please excuse any glaring errors.

Edited by That One NPC

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Some might say that there was a long period during the 80s and 90s where comics trying to be 'mature' and 'dark' resulted in them becoming even more silly. But really I'm sure that's just Sturgeon's law in effect. I do not doubt there were and are good stories in the genre. Heck I know there are, because I have read/watched more then a few. It's just one of those things I never really became a hardcore fan of for one reason or another.

 

That said, I do find the idea of 'superheros' pretty goofy, and most traditional western comic books are superhero stories or gag comics. Like seriously. People get a neat power and/or skills and the only thing they end up doing with it half the time is dressing up in a goofy outfit and beating people up. It's just such a strange idea to me. Even with my favorite stories in the genre (like Worm, man is Worm good even if it is still a bit goofy) I can't help but think it's all a little silly. I would kind of like to see traditionally published western comics become a little more varied, like webcomics or manga for example. I donno, just saying that when I walk into my local comic shop, there isn't really that much there that really pulls my interest.

 

Anyway, I have really gotten off topic haven't I? Sorry about that.

Edited by Kayzee

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