There is a problem within sci-if and fantasy fandoms. There is a streak of toxic masculinity that is rife within these fandoms, poisoning people. As ever, this comes linked with racism and bigotry, as evidenced via the above tweet, a prime demonstration of misplaced anger. How dare anyone cast a black woman in the role of a fictional alien character?!
We’ve seen this sort of racism-disguised-as-faux-outrage before. It happened with the casting of a black woman as Hermione Grainger for a stage play, when the haven of bigotry Return of Kings lost its rag over the move. We’ve seen a huge backlash over the characters of Finn, Rey and Poe in Star Wars and a similar spiteful backlash (even more ironic given what it should stand for) against Star Trek characters. A lot of this has also spilled over to hatred and bile directed at the actors of these films and shows. Given the incredible diversity that sci-fi and fantasy has always been famous for putting forward, this sort of behaviour is immensely disappointing, but has its roots in the same thing – toxic masculinity and the ideals this philosophy puts forward.
To some ‘fans’, strong female characters shouldn’t exist. Women should be scantily clad sex objects and the men should show no sign of weakness or emotion – they should be caricatures to idolise. There should definitely be no homosexual characters, especially male ones, though female couples that exist to indulge male fantasies are perfectly acceptable. White males are preferred too – can’t be having racial diversity! That all of this comes from what should be an inclusive fan base (for a variety of reasons) is depressing to me.
Thankfully, there are many within these communities that are pushing back against the racism, misogyny and bigotry these idiots put forward. As a self-professed geek, it is heartening to see! Let’s live long and prosper, may the Force be with you and let’s aim to misbehave as we oppose these idiots!