Non-Diverse Fallout

I’ve taken quite a bit of heat lately for my post “The Non-Diverse Brave New World” in which I rant about people’s negative reaction to the DC teaser image.

My favorite is this post which actually picks apart my article piece by piece, and points out exactly why they think I’m an uncaring bigot.
Early on in that article, the question of why I took the defensive for DC is posed.

So now it’s come down to this. An article from me explaining why I wrote such a harsh article in defense of the DC Comics teaser image.

First off, my original article was a response to a post which stated the following:

“Yes, there are several women in this shot, but not one person of color nor one lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person as I know it.”

This annoyed me for a few reasons.
First, I wasn’t clear on why Loren was singling out this particular image. It turns out she had a good reason: DC has been touting more diversity in their comics. This teaser is meant to show the direction DC is headed, however there is no diversity represented in the image. Therefore I now admit that she has a partially valid point… if it were DC’s intent to show the exact direction they are taking the company in.

According to Dan Didio, the image is symbolic. It represents upcoming and past events in the DC Universe. The positioning of the characters, the lighting, the objects and the characters portrayed were all carefully chosen for particular reasons which will be revealed as time goes on.
In the case of this image, DC meant no harm. I refuse to believe that it was a conscious, or even subconscious effort to exclude a group of people. Why on earth would they do that? Let’s not forget that DC is out to sell their product. Purposely excluding part of their target audience would be a grave error, and I’m sure it’s safe to assume they wouldn’t choose to lose money in this way.

The Minority Market

I totally agree that DC should have diverse comic book characters. Why? Because it makes sense to. There are black people, white people, asian people, mexican people, gay people, and handicapped people, etc. in comic books and in real life, therefore they should exist in comic books, as heroes and otherwise. However, they should not exist as marketing ploys.
People who complain about the DC teaser image are basically complaining that minorities are not represented in an advertisement. If DC included them in these images, and their presence didn’t make sense in the bigger symbolic picture, wouldn’t it just be a transparent attempt to appeal to that represented minority in order to sell comic books to that group?
The only reason a character, be it black, white, asian, gay, strait or otherwise should be included in an image or comic is if it makes sense to have them there… not simply to appeal to a particular group.

The main part of the afore quoted article that sparked my sarcastic response was this:

“Yes, there are several women in this shot, but…”

This got me thinking… where do you draw the line? If there was a black man in the picture, would the argument now become, “Yes, there are several women in the shot and a black guy, but where are the gay people?” or “Where are the Asians?”.
Where does the line get drawn? Conversely, if the shot contained no white males, would that be acceptable?

Unfortunately my negative reaction to other people’s negative reactions were construed to mean that I am a racist, which I am not.
The issue of diversity and racial harmony is not a light one. I do not believe it should be minimized or ignored. My original article was written in haste and with too much frustration. Rather than rationally stating my opinions, I reduced the argument to a sarcastic logic fallacy. For this I apologize to my readers.

To Recap

  1. I’m not against diversity in comic books.
  2. I believe that diversity in comic books should be used because it’s realistic, not as a money maker. In other words: if a comic book cover has 20 strait white males, or 20 black gay females so be it, as long as it coincides with the story-line.
  3. My original post was rather harsh and sarcastic and failed to convey my true thoughts on the matter.

One response to “Non-Diverse Fallout”

  1. Joe – Sorry you got heat for your entry because I felt like we came to an understanding over at my blog. I appreciate your saying that you might have written your initial entry in haste…I think we all have the ability to do that. While we may agree to disagree on some things, I do not think you are racist.

    Just one minor thing, though…I’m a “he” not a “she.” 🙂


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