This is going to piss people off, and you know what, I don’t care. What I’m about to say needs to not only be heard, but accepted. Are you listening?
Inclusivity is bullshit.
There has been a major push in recent years for all artistic mediums to be more inclusive. Agents in major publishing houses are now actively looking for under represented writers for their author lists instead of good books written by talented creators. There is an active demand for books with gay romances at their core, transgender main characters, and more diversity in a book’s cast of characters. Usually this stuff doesn’t bother me, I could care less about the gender or race of a character (or writer), so long as the story is good.
But that isn’t what’s happening.
Agents, editors, even writers – have now and gone putting political agendas and ideologies at the forefront of their work rather than carefully weaving it into a beautifully crafted narrative. The character’s trait isn’t three-dimensional, but solely based on their sexual orientation or racial identity.
And its bullshit.
When I was kid growing up in the 80’s, I was tall and extremely skinny.
I was jealous of toothpicks.
People thought I was dying of testicular cancer and my balls hadn’t even dropped yet. Back then, heroes in comics and films were massive body builder types like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Hulk Hogan, and fucking Mr. T. I never looked at these icons and thought, “Where is my representation? Where is a skinny, sickly fuck to save the world?”
Comics were no different.
And you know what, I didn’t give a damn so long as the story they told was captivating.
People forget why we read, watch movies, and dive headlong into a videogame. It isn’t to find my representation or someone who looks like me. But to escape.
I used to live in China, during the whole Harry Potter craze. And I kid you not, everyone in China was reading those books, and getting lost in the adventures of some of the whitest fucking characters ever be put to page.
Do you think they gave a shit there weren’t many Asian characters in the book to relate to? Fuck no. They loved the adventure, the magic, and the world created by J.K. Rowling. Do blacks get upset that there are no black hobbits in Lord of the Rings? Do Latino’s bitch and moan that their aren’t more Latino’s in in Star Trek? No, because the story being told is great.
The only people who get upset are sad, sacks of shit whose entire identity is based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation. The rest of us can let go and enjoy stories told about other races and sexes with reckless abandon. When I watched the Color Purple, I don’t sit there going – where’s the fucking white dude!? I got lost in the tale and expertly written characters.
And those saying, “We need more Asian representation in movies,” are fucking dumb. China, Japan, and Korea have a rich, thriving film industry that produces great content for that demand. Hell, you want to watch good zombie flicks stop watching the bullshit made in the US and start watching Korean programs like the Train to Busan or Kingdom! The Walking Dead has nothing on these properties.
And if you want to talk about representation, I saw a bunch of movies while living in China, and in those movies white characters are always either villains or fucking retarded. Sure, I rolled my eyes more times than I would want while watching a Chinese film, but it never offended me. I’m still a huge fan of Chinese Sword Fantasies and Hong Kong cinema from the late 80’s and 90’s.
If you want to be a good writer, create characters that fit your narrative and make them interesting, with flaws and goals and a fucking character arch! If you have political ideas you want to explore, do it smartly – like Orwell in 1984 or John Carpenter’s They Live. It can be done. And it can be done creatively and effectively.
As a writer, as a fucking artist, don’t feel pressured to twist your nipples to add diversity or inclusivity into the book your writing. Just write. And write well. In my novel, Holy Crap and the Judgment Day Blues, I have a gay protagonist. I didn’t do it to get woke points or for some political agenda, I did it because it fit the narrative.
And remember, inclusivity is bullshit.