When we think of fantasy fiction what do we think about? Elves, dragons, mermaids, warriors wielding a magic sword, knights, kings, queens, heroes, some dark lord trying to take over the land and…..white people?
Ooops, I am sorry, did I offend.
I really want to tackle this sensitive topic because not only is it in high demand but also because I want to change the fantasy genre. And yes diverse fantasy world is on high demand. Thanks to JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, George RR Martin and countless other fantasy authors, the fantasy genre has exploded with popularity than never before. It is true. With popularity comes people from all over the world. That means fans from every single continent in the world and yes this means all skin colors.
Now, I know what you are thinking.
“oh my god here comes another white washing complaint.”
Stay with me on this.
We all know that the fantasy genre started in Europe with Lord of the Rings. Also some fantasy such as the Wizard of Oz here in America. I will choose my words carefully when saying this but the fantasy genre is dominated by Caucasians. There I said it.
Now it is not white people’s responsibility to add other people of color into their work of fiction. George RR Martin was attacked with this topic on a live interview. Here is the interview.
Again it is no ones responsibility to add people of all skin colors in their work of fiction. Most Japanese anime characters are well….Japanese. It is only natural that the author or artist creates characters similar to his image. And so the creator creates in his image. This does not make anyone racist but rather a natural thing that happens as an artist.
I think is great that people of all over the world want to get involve in this genre because it is so much fun and we have to make space for them. I am Hispanic but I carry African DNA, French DNA and Spaniard DNA. As a fantasy author of this nationality and cultural background I do intend to add characters in my story that are inspired by Hispanic culture.
There is definitely a racial battle about this because everyone wants to be noticed. For example, lets say if there was a remake of Harry Potter and the actor that was chosen for the role was African American, the actor would like to be noticed as “the guy that plays Harry Potter,” rather than, “the black Harry Potter.” Do you understand what I mean here. No one wants to be discriminated against they just want to be part of the fantasy genre.
As I searched through the internet I do see that many fantasy and science fiction authors are looking to make their worlds more diverse.
In the movie the Hunger Games many people were angry at the fact that some African actors were chosen for certain roles that were suppose to be Caucasian. The question is why cant this be done without any racial arguments. As long as the actors can bring the character to life than that is all that matters.
I am not here to speak up for my own kind but rather to inspire diversity. This means, African, Caucasian, Asian, Indian and who ever else. If people want a part in this genre then lets make space instead of saying, “sorry but whites only.”
After the announcement of the live action movie for Ghost in the Shell, Ming-Na Wen ( Agent May of Marvel’s Shield) she had disagreed with Scarlet Johanson playing the part of Motoko Kusanagi because it was considered white washing an Asian role. That word “white washing” meaning that white people are taking the parts that Asians should play yet the film is being directed by an American. “White washing” means white people are not allowed in Asian movies. But what if Scarlet Johanson is perfect for the part, I mean just look at her in Avengers and other Marvel movies. Many would agree that she would do incredibly considering that parts she has played in the past.
This is what I mean of making space for others who also want a part in the fantasy genre. People who spend their hard earned money on books and movies and increase the fandom, they should be allowed and involved in the community.
With all that said I invite you to read The Ungifted Elf click here.