Sorry, folks, but in the words of Popeye: “I’ve taken all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more!”
Those of you who read here regularly know full well that I do try – very hard – to avoid some of the political issues that get wrapped up in the entertainment industry. Like many of you, I try to retain a positive outlook on all things genre … but – equally like many of you – I get more than a bit tired when producers, actors, movers, and shakers try to shove their messaging down our collective throat. More and more, these folks take to blaming fandom for much of what’s wrong in their own industry, and that’s just plain wrong.
So I’ve elected that – whenever the spirit moves me – I’m going to allow a Warp Core Breach.
Enough with declaring fandom is racist. You did this with your inferior Sequel Trilogy, and you’re doing it again now.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Moses Ingram deserves to be treated better.
Culturally, it’s just grown far too easy for folks to throw around that race card. I’m not saying racism isn’t a thing because clearly it is, it has been, and you know what? It likely always will be. In part, that's owed to the fact that there are those in various positions of power who, unfortunately, stoke fires instead of helping to put them out. In fact, they profit from it. There’s an awful lot of money that can be made off of racial strife, and history shows that the weakest among us intellectually will almost always stoop to labeling someone something that’s fully intended to unleash the hounds of social media on an enemy to have them vanquished once and for all. And when it’s been proven that there’s no such thing as ‘bad advertising,’ why not just call it racism and reap the benefits?
This is wrong.
Yes, it’s just as wrong as folks behaving as racists.
If anyone wants to have an intelligent dialogue about Ingram – the Mouse House’s latest poster child for racism – then such a debate can and should be allowed. She’s risen to prominence for her work outside of Disney's Star Wars Empire, but now that she’s been cast as what appears to be a villain in that galaxy far, far away it would seem that she’s been foisted into the spotlight over what has been reported as racial hate. The actress – and Disney as well as her co-stars – have gone on record denouncing hate (as well they should) that she’s alleged to have received across social media. Instead of talking about her work in the show, they’d rather talk about you and your racist roots.
Again – for the record – Moses Ingram deserves to be treated better.
If this is a widespread series of attacks, then I’ll admit I’ve honestly not seen them. What I did see were a curious series of posts from Ingram herself with some screencaps of several comments that were, quite frankly, damn stupid. One of them was clearly a racist observation while the others were – again – frankly damn stupid. Were I on a jury and those other messages were presented to me by the defense, then I’d be inclined to say, “You haven’t convinced me of anything … well, except that some people are, frankly, damn stupid.”
But you know what: in this life – the only one we get so far as I know – we all deserve to be treated better.
Just because someone doesn’t like your work or someone doesn’t like the script or someone doesn’t like a particular character … none of that makes anyone racist. However, since our society has sadly made a habit of hurling the race card at any and damn near every opportunity – especially at fandom – its meaning has been watered down to the point that “if I’m offended, then I’m calling you a racist.” In point of fact, that is not what racism is. That is not what racism looks like. That is not what any of us should be putting out on social media platforms responsibly if we’re trying to have an intelligent discussion about race and bigotry.
For the record, Walt Disney, I seem to remember that you folks were kinda/sorta caught up a creek behind the eight ball with your pants down around your ankles (sorry about mixing metaphors!) with Kelly Marie Tran. For those unaware, Tran was the actress in the Sequel Trilogy who (again) alleged to have been attacked for her race on social media; those of us who went looking for these attacks never quite found them (again, there was a lot of ignorance that one might assume was racially motivated, but an examination revealed a lot of misunderstood parsing, if you ask me). She walked away from social media because of what she deemed bigotry … and, why, it seemed like the end result was that her already superficial character was treated even more superficially by JJ Abrams when he delivered her a vastly decreased role in The Rise Of Skywalker.
So … that’s how you confront racism? You scale back an actress' screen time?
And while I’m on the subject of defending races, where were you, Walt Disney, when John Boyega was rather famously REMOVED from your advertising at some country's request? Again, the actor spoke out against such treatment; from what I recall, you folks had closed door meetings with him to shore up a solution but yet again what I saw was a near removal from the major plotlines of The Rise Of Skywalker … which only forced the actor to speak up yet again. Your response then? Another series of closed door meetings to discuss the actor’s concerns.
Now you want to parade both this actress and her costars out into the public square to attack fandom.
You want more? Would you like to talk about Mulan and China and the Uyghurs? I’m guessing you don’t, but if you want to have that discussion then let’s have that discussion. Or how about we talk about how you folks really feel about strong women? You didn't lift a finger to defend actress Gina Carano -- except to remove her from your line-up -- while allowing Pedro Pascal to use the exact same metaphor (about socialism) on the exact same platform (it's called Twitter) that got her let go, did you?
Again. I don’t think any of us would ever try to argue that racism doesn’t exist. It does. As I said, it likely will for some time. Life is imperfect, and sometimes each of us has to find a way to get through some very ugly incidents hoping against hope that tomorrow will be changed for the better.
But the Walt Disney company and its paid talent are the LAST PEOPLE ON EARTH I’m taking advice from.
The Harvey Weinstein class doesn’t get a free pass on condemning fandom. And last I checked you folks were in business with Harvey Weinstein, right? For a few years? I’m not implying anything. I’m just stating a fact.
You want racism dealt with? Then you take action against the racists. Teach them a lesson. I think we’d all support that, and isn’t that what you folks really want? You want us all to come together? Let us support you. You go ahead and make their lives as difficult as you feel persons of color have it if that’s what you need to feel good about yourselves. Let those bigots suffer the consequences of their own ignorance. Prove your point in a court of law and then live with the consequences of that.
In the meantime?
Moses Ingram deserves to be treated better.
But maybe clean up your own house.