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Thread: EDIs - your thoughts? Is it being pushed too hard or is it the right amount?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Druid View Post
    I haven't seen the show so I can't speak to the writing at all, but Elliot Page was cast as Vanya before he came out. when he transitioned his character also transitioned because having him continue to play a woman would be a) unconvincing and 2) shitty. it wasn't "woke points", it was genuine inclusion of that specific actor.


    I have a lot of thoughts on EDI in general that I'll come back and add when I have more time, but overall imo it's not nearly enough (not just like volume-wise, but in terms of ongoing policy and advocacy for the minorities involved)
    yeah i know that's why the transitioned the character, i'm just speaking specifically about the way it was handled in the show, the other character's reactions, etc. it didn't feel authentic to me at all. i feel like it could've been written way better. definitely wanna read the rest of your thoughts when you have time for it though.

    edit: oops, didn't realize you posted them! gonna go read it now


    tysm honeycomb, hollow, sugarbee, & hearts

  2. #12
    Great White North's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Druid View Post
    be careful what you wish for lmao, I started this and blinked and it's been 2 hours oops. OKAY here we go

    I'm vehemently pro-diversity. I also think EDIs are far from a perfect system, but for reasons that haven't been touched on in here. I'll get to that, but to start off based on the OP...


    this response got LONG so I'll keep my own new note quick: there's all this talk of how much diversity in media is too much, when like... reality is diverse. it's actively unrealistic to keep hollywood as cis, straight, white, able, etc as it's always been. characters being LGBTQ+ or racial minorities when it isn't relevant to the plot isn't pandering or forcing anything - frankly what IS doing those things is making every character white and cishet by default. stories about minority group issues (coming out, homophobia & transphobia, racial injustice and prejudice, women's lib, the struggle of being disabled or raising a disabled child, etc etc etc) are of course important, but more important is letting people like that in on the fun stuff. i don't want to have to choose between my Genre Of Choice or seeing someone like me, and neither does anyone else! and looping back to the employment side, the only reason this hasn't been happening from the beginning is that the people making media have been so homogeneously non-minority that it never occurred to them.
    Oh my goodness I just wrote out a huge long response and my clumsy fingers erased it by pressing back and it did not save FML. So I will try and type my response again.



    In regards to the movies etc I have to go back in my movies to find that specific case. I just remember it sticking out to me as something being out of reach. Like random example The Rock trying to break down and door and can't and then along comes Black Swan days Natalie Portman and the door crumbles in one swift kick. There are for sure many exceptions to the power dynamic stereotype! And you have listed many fantastic ones. I just feel like if you are going present it make sure it is relaistic like those examples you gave or if they are outlandish then they are in more superhero settings or in satirical settings where you are poking fun at that power dynamic. I hope this is coming across right. I just feel like throwing in a strong female moment in a movie just to be woke is not the right way to do it. In regards to emasculation, in regards to who I think are having that opinion of emasculation are the "rah rah rah beat on your chest "masculine" individuals" who are note open to change. Showing empathy, compassion, emotion, and labeling them as feminine qualities also does a disservice. These are emotions that EVERYONE feels and experiences in addition to anger, aggression, and the also inappropriately titles "masculine" emotions. These are emotions and qualities we ALL feel and express. Just to varying degrees! This is was makes us all unique! So instead of thinking a male role is being emasculated because they are showing more emotion or empathy or that a female is showing more aggression and strength than a male, it should be seen and demonstrating the true diversity humanity has and what is possible across all gender roles.

    UPDATE: Sorry I had to submit to make sure I did not lose it all again. So continuing on...

    this response got LONG so I'll keep my own new note quick: there's all this talk of how much diversity in media is too much, when like... reality is diverse. it's actively unrealistic to keep hollywood as cis, straight, white, able, etc as it's always been. characters being LGBTQ+ or racial minorities when it isn't relevant to the plot isn't pandering or forcing anything - frankly what IS doing those things is making every character white and cishet by default. stories about minority group issues (coming out, homophobia & transphobia, racial injustice and prejudice, women's lib, the struggle of being disabled or raising a disabled child, etc etc etc) are of course important, but more important is letting people like that in on the fun stuff. i don't want to have to choose between my Genre Of Choice or seeing someone like me, and neither does anyone else! and looping back to the employment side, the only reason this hasn't been happening from the beginning is that the people making media have been so homogeneously non-minority that it never occurred to them.
    [/QUOTE]

    I agree that it is unrealistic to keep hollywood/media cis, straight, white etc as you are right that is not reality at all. And I am loving seeing the changes Hollywood is making. As you mentioned earlier having white actors playing none-white roles, this is something that I feel is changing thank goodness and as well hearing those stories of those who did have injustices committed against them as well as having that stories shared by them and accurately told! I just wanted to clarify what you meant by " but more important is letting people like that in on the fun stuff. " Are you referring to making sure that those people are the ones portraying the roles as the "fun stuff" or is there more?
    Last edited by Great White North; 09-03-2022 at 12:59 PM.

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  3. #13
    Juna's Avatar
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    I feel like in media, it's good. Only in the recent years has media really taken off in diversity, which is a very good thing for representation. Although sometimes it can be over the top and handled really badly when it comes to stereotypes. Hopefully I worded that correctly. Regarding in the workplace...well... I moved to British Columbia this year from the states. There are a lot of jobs that I want/qualify for, but ultimately not hired because I am not indigenous/first nations. Or I'm not asian. Or I'm not pretty enough (iykyk). That being said, it definitely goes both ways. If you're qualified and able to do the job well, your race/sex/background should not matter. Because what happens when someone is hired that is not qualified for the job? Things fail. People get hurt, etc. There's really nothing in place to stop someone from not hiring you based on all of the above, only things that insure you will get hired. Sorry if it comes off offensive, I'm very bad at trying to type what I want to say into words in things like this.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Great White North View Post
    Oh my goodness I just wrote out a huge long response and my clumsy fingers erased it by pressing back and it did not save FML. So I will try and type my response again.



    In regards to the movies etc I have to go back in my movies to find that specific case. I just remember it sticking out to me as something being out of reach. Like random example The Rock trying to break down and door and can't and then along comes Black Swan days Natalie Portman and the door crumbles in one swift kick. There are for sure many exceptions to the power dynamic stereotype! And you have listed many fantastic ones. I just feel like if you are going present it make sure it is relaistic like those examples you gave or if they are outlandish then they are in more superhero settings or in satirical settings where you are poking fun at that power dynamic. I hope this is coming across right. I just feel like throwing in a strong female moment in a movie just to be woke is not the right way to do it. In regards to emasculation, in regards to who I think are having that opinion of emasculation are the "rah rah rah beat on your chest "masculine" individuals" who are note open to change. Showing empathy, compassion, emotion, and labeling them as feminine qualities also does a disservice. These are emotions that EVERYONE feels and experiences in addition to anger, aggression, and the also inappropriately titles "masculine" emotions. These are emotions and qualities we ALL feel and express. Just to varying degrees! This is was makes us all unique! So instead of thinking a male role is being emasculated because they are showing more emotion or empathy or that a female is showing more aggression and strength than a male, it should be seen and demonstrating the true diversity humanity has and what is possible across all gender roles.

    UPDATE: Sorry I had to submit to make sure I did not lose it all again. So continuing on...





    I agree that it is unrealistic to keep hollywood/media cis, straight, white etc as you are right that is not reality at all. And I am loving seeing the changes Hollywood is making. As you mentioned earlier having white actors playing none-white roles, this is something that I feel is changing thank goodness and as well hearing those stories of those who did have injustices committed against them as well as having that stories shared by them and accurately told! I just wanted to clarify what you meant by " but more important is letting people like that in on the fun stuff. " Are you referring to making sure that those people are the ones portraying the roles as the "fun stuff" or is there more?
    great point about the hiring process itself being a barrier! that paired with the general patterns of race vs class caused by systemic racism & generational wealth is for sure a problem for more minorities than not. without getting into much detail, I can see arguments on both sides of different lifting benchmarks by gender. on one hand a lower benchmark means they're not building the team with the highest possible lifting power, but surely not every object they're lifting on the job is in that 150-200lb range, and if they work in teams I feel like having a variety of perspectives could outweigh a division of labour where the stronger people focus on the heavier stuff. there also certainly are women who can lift 200lbs, but whether any of them are local & interested is a factor too. anyway yeah we don't need to pick that example apart.

    re: the Rock vs Natalie Portman show of strength thing, is this sci-fi/fantasy? I would assume that was to show that her character was particularly powerful, while maybe the Rock is just a normal guy or has a different kind of power? if it was presented as realism I might feel like it was more sus, but otherwise I don't think that's any different than like, Harry Potter surviving the killing curse as a baby because of Love, or the feral horse some city girl begged her gruff cowboy neighbour to let her train winning the Big Race in every horse movie, or Ash's pikachu crushing like every other pokemon.

    & to that last point, I'll use queerness as an example because it's easier to describe one thing at a time and that's most relevant to me specifically. what I mean is while queer media is great, as long as there's "queer media" and then there's "normal media" it isn't enough. for a long time there was just absolutely nothing - that obviously isn't true anymore, but we're still kind of in a phase where if you're including LGBT characters it's to really focus on the concept of queerness, almost always in a really heavy way. Moonlight and Carol and Euphoria are wonderful, but they share a very specific tone. if I feel like watching a superhero blockbuster, or a zany stoner comedy, or a space epic, or a thriller/horror thing, or a romcom, or a cartoon fairytale, and so on and so on, I know going in that 99.9% of the time no one in them will be like me. there will be romance to varying degrees in almost all of them, whether it's like the main point or just like people's partners are around/mentioned, but it will be straight. and I'm of course not saying there should be NO straight characters and EVERY movie from now on should be gay, but the reverse of that is how it's always been! basically there are all these different "types" of people, for lack of a better word. if things were equal we would all be watching movies with characters unlike us more often than not, just like based on numbers. instead of that, straight white able thin/athletic cis (and so on) people - primarily men, though female-led as an inclusion thing is a few steps ahead of the others - have seen themselves in almost everything forever, while the rest of us have a tiny fraction (which we FLOCK to every time - Glee is a terrible show and almost every queer person I know, myself included, has watched it at least twice). we're all watching say, Star Wars, or Harry Potter, but only non-minorities have that feeling of "they're just like me but in a cooler world!". and yeah it's slowly improving - third gen Star Wars has two POC and a girl who isn't in a bikini as main characters - but it's still massively out of balance.

    thank you for the gay rights peo ♥ @honeycomb ♥

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  6. #15
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    I think the more concessions you ask the audience to make the less likely they'll be to stick around and explore whatever it is you're writing or producing. "Concessions" can be as simple as being asked to accept the presence of something that's not commonly seen in media, a certain genre, etc. or something that otherwise makes the audience scratch their heads, such as a new sort of character appearing. This is typically why producers, marketing committees and other vital pieces of major entertainment corporations seek to create things that are easily-digested, appeal to a very common denominator and don't require an incredible amount of (for lack of better word) 'worldliness' to properly understand.

    EDI tends to build up instances of that idea of "concession", less because of anything pertaining to society's opinion on this or that but more because the things EDI strives to do - include less common things or people for the purposes of diversity, - are diametrically opposed to popcorn entertainment. It's easy to watch yet another action movie starring a muscular well-known movie star and understand what you're getting into. It's significantly more difficult to grasp the nuances of a historical period piece, or an incredibly uncommon sort of person who EDI might include in a story, or that same action movie except it stars a 110 pound woman.

    If the audience has to suspend their disbelief too many times they'll just watch, play or experience something less demanding.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridley View Post
    I think the more concessions you ask the audience to make the less likely they'll be to stick around and explore whatever it is you're writing or producing. "Concessions" can be as simple as being asked to accept the presence of something that's not commonly seen in media, a certain genre, etc. or something that otherwise makes the audience scratch their heads, such as a new sort of character appearing. This is typically why producers, marketing committees and other vital pieces of major entertainment corporations seek to create things that are easily-digested, appeal to a very common denominator and don't require an incredible amount of (for lack of better word) 'worldliness' to properly understand.

    EDI tends to build up instances of that idea of "concession", less because of anything pertaining to society's opinion on this or that but more because the things EDI strives to do - include less common things or people for the purposes of diversity, - are diametrically opposed to popcorn entertainment. It's easy to watch yet another action movie starring a muscular well-known movie star and understand what you're getting into. It's significantly more difficult to grasp the nuances of a historical period piece, or an incredibly uncommon sort of person who EDI might include in a story, or that same action movie except it stars a 110 pound woman.

    If the audience has to suspend their disbelief too many times they'll just watch, play or experience something less demanding.
    I agree with you about the concept of concessions, but equating inclusion with concessions only makes sense for people who already see themselves in everything.

    For me it's a concession every time all the romance in something is straight. I physically cannot make myself care about stuff without substantial female characters, regardless of how good it is (@ Breaking Bad and almost all war movies). I find movie worlds with only (or primarily-except-one-token-friend) white people really jarring - I live in what is apparently the most multicultural city in the world, so it makes sense that it just doesn't feel realistic. I find it really refreshing when I hear dialogue that feels my kind of neurodivergent. And yeah if you're prioritizing the broadest possible appeal it makes sense to cater to the majority, but it's a fallacy that straight white people are the majority. Like, the idea that it's more demanding to care about something about people different than you is true, but that's kind of the exact point - most of us are doing that the vast majority of the time, and we're tired.

    (and fair enough that a nuanced period piece is more demanding than a superhero thing, but Hollywood hasn't really slowed down on making those period pieces - it's worth making other "demanding" stuff too)
    Last edited by Druid; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:53 AM. Reason: typo

    thank you for the gay rights peo ♥ @honeycomb ♥

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  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Druid View Post
    I agree with you about the concept of concessions, but equating inclusion with concessions only makes sense for people who already see themselves in everything.

    For me it's a concession every time all the romance in something is straight. I physically cannot make myself care about stuff without substantial female characters, regardless of how good it is (@ Breaking Bad and almost all war movies). I find movie worlds with only (or primarily-except-one-token-friend) white people really jarring - I live in what is apparently the most multicultural city in the world, so it makes sense that it just doesn't feel realistic. I find it really refreshing when I hear dialogue that feels my kind of neurodivergent. And yeah if you're prioritizing the broadest possible appeal it makes sense to cater to the majority, but it's a fallacy that straight white people are the majority. Like, the idea that it's more demanding to care about something about people different than you is true, but that's kind of the exact point - most of us are doing that the vast majority of the time, and we're tired.

    (and fair enough that a nuanced period piece is more demanding than a superhero thing, but Hollywood hasn't really slowed down on making those period pieces - it's worth making other "demanding" stuff too)
    If we're speaking in terms of raw statistics the western market for film, television, etc. was (and from what I see on Google still is) majority straight white people. I'm speaking demographically and referring to the national census spanning many decades. Thus the reason there is/was such a glut of media centered around straight white people is that's simply who there was more of in the United States, France, UK, Australia, etc.; and much in the way you enjoy seeing people like yourself in mass media the same is (I assume) true of straight white people. There was more of X group, and Company Y wants to make the most money possible, so everything is made to appeal to X group and rake in X group's money. You see the same thing continue to apply in other countires like Japan, China, India, Russia, Africa, South America, etc. where the respective majority demographic is what appears in everything.

    The United States is way more diverse than it was as little as 30 years ago, so there's definitely a unique challenge when it comes to answering the "who/what should we put in everything now?" question. "Just throw in absolutely everyone" doesn't work; it starts to become distracting in entertainment mediums dedicated to escapism. If you can notice (and count) the production studio quotas your suspension of disbelief is going to be wrung up again and again. So those companies look back at what worked in the past, shrug their shoulders and once again try to appeal to the largest groups of consumers, which at the moment is either straight white people or straight hispanic people (it's roughly even in the U.S. according to Google.) Diverging from that is still as much of a gamble as it was in the past (something big corporations are historically allergic to) because you run the risk of not only not appealing to those big demographics with the most money (and running into the concession paradox I described earlier) but you also risk executing the product badly and not appealing to (or worse: offending) those smaller pockets of consumer.

    We have to ask ourselves: how do we make a movie about someone who is - for example - asexual when we have virtually no prior examples that have worked in the past? (Bear in mind we're also looking to turn a profit.) Movies focused on sexuality didn't exist for over half the industry's total lifespan. Discussions concerning sexuality, gender identity, etc. also weren't common in the mainstream until recently. We would need a Stanley Kubrick-esque film visionary who can produce an amazing story that appeals to everyone and they need to be passionate about writing this particular topic, all of which is A) very rare statistically and B ) going to have a very hard time breaking into an industry that's historically very nepotistic, allergic to change or new ideas, requires a profit in order to stay alive, etc.

    But race is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to discussion of brainstorming artistically-driven products. I think if a movie like New Jack City can become a cult classic that also happens to have a lot of non-black fans I feel like it's not impossible to create an "EDI product" that wins people over. But we have to accept there's a massive amount of small yet distinct pockets of people asking why they aren't represented, and from a pragmatic standpoint actually including everyone on the regular is borderline impossible. Even the Burger King Kids Club had to stop at seven ... and they still forgot to include an asian kid, among others.

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