Dear White Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fans: Stop Recommending Doctor Who & Harry Potter

When the Lord of the Rings trilogy hit theaters in the early 2000s, millions of Tolkien fans around the world delighted to see one of their favorite epic fantasies on-screen. I, on the other hand, remained completely unaware of the films. I do not recall viewing any trailers, seeing the films on my local theater’s marquee, or speaking with any fans about it. I lived in a bubble where the Lord of the Rings did not exist. In hindsight, I realize that I remained unaware of Lord of the Rings because I could not find myself in Lord of the Rings. There was no place for people of color, and especially women of color, on this epic adventure, so I tuned out.

As a child, I tuned out of a lot of things at that time that many science fiction (sci-fi) and fantasy consider hallmark works of their respective genres. These works largely ignored me and my existence (or only recognized me in token ways), so I ignored them. You could call me a “late bloomer” with regards to science-fiction and fantasy. It wasn’t until my mother revealed that she rocked the Star Wars geek label from the day she saw A New Hope in theaters as we passed by a Revenge of the Sith poster at a cheap seats theater that I hopped on board. We paid our two bucks to watch the movie, and I never looked back.

Well, almost never looked back.

Because even as I began consuming and enjoying on some levels mainstream genre films and television shows, I remained hyper-aware of the absence or near absence of people with whom I could identify as a poor woman of color. While white kids could imagine themselves running off on heroic quests to save the world or maybe even the universe, these kinds of stories worked to stunt my imagination about my possibilities in the world. As an adult, the absence of other people of color or absence of people of color as protagonists twisted my imagination so that when I wrote genre works (original or transformative), I imagined white male characters and their stories before anyone else’s. I still struggle with undoing a lifetime of internalized racism and sexism that privileges the experiences of white people, and particularly white men, over my own and other people of color. I still struggle with how to reconcile consuming media that is white-centric with the harm such ethnocentric media has caused and continues to cause.

A display of the cast from "Lord of the Rings."

A display of the cast of "Harry Potter."

A display of the cast of "Doctor Who."
Google Search of Casts (Top 5)

That’s why I feel alienated, unsettled and, sometimes, angry when my white peers proclaim Harry Potter a “formative influence” or as having “defined a generation” or eagerly ask me who I think should be the new Doctor. I can only tilt my head and think, “You mean the one where another White Male Saves the World with a little help from his friends?” That’s why I feel alienated and unsettled and, sometimes, angry when I reveal to white genre fans that, no, I haven’t watched or am not knowledgeable about their favorites, and they react with surprise. That’s why I feel alienated, unsettled and, sometimes, angry when they grill me on why I’m not privy or enthusiastically recommend that I partake.

That’s why I’m going to need white sci-fi and fantasy fans to stop recommending that I watch Harry Potter and Doctor Who.

[If you’re a person of color looking for sci-fi and fantasy blogs, be sure to check out 5 Tumblrs for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Enthusiast of Color.]

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Marena

Marena recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Justice & Human Rights & primarily explores social justice issues in the production & consumption of popular mass media. You may find her creating fanworks, testing her hand-eye coordination with beadweaving, flailing over her fictional faves, reading everything from fanfic to theory texts, or watching low budget sci-fi. You can find her writing on Marena ni yukyats.

60 thoughts on “Dear White Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fans: Stop Recommending Doctor Who & Harry Potter”

  1. I love The Vampire Diaries but I can openly admit my problem with virtually all the African American actresses (and actors) playing witches (or warlocks). Gina Torres. Persia White. And the main witch, Bonnie, only showing up on screen to help the white characters along. I’m wondering if things will be slightly different with the spin-off, The Originals, as one of the vampires is black (and has perhaps the most gorgeous smile I’ve ever had the joy of witnessing). They sorta finally started giving Bonnie her own storyline last season and I’m curious what’s gonna happen to her in this one.

    1. I have heard REALLY good things about this show, so it’s interesting to get this perspective. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty much the kind of person that’s out to support on some level anything that has some WoC in it, and Gina Torres is my QUEEN. I am very interested in checking out The Originals, and TVD is on my Big List.

      1. I used to review TVD for Persephone before I, um, got bored and started watching Game of Thrones instead (and oh yes does that show have representation issues) . TVD is a fun show but Bonnie does get the short end of the stick too often in the first few seasons. On the minor yay side, I’m pretty sure it would pass a POC version of the Bechdel test.

        Review archives here, if you’re interested, but obviously, spoilers: http://persephonemagazine.com/tag/the-vampire-diaries/

  2. Reading through the comments, I was reminded of a conversation I read last week on another site. A commentator, fed up with some new way Hollywood was erasing swaths of women, said she refused to watch any movie in the future that didn’t pass the Bechdel test. Which, like any number of other examples that illustrate the points you make here, these three things don’t. *

    *I’ve only read a couple Harry Potter books, and I always fall asleep during the LoTRs, it’s like deadly nightshade to me. There could be a lot more to either of these stories that I don’t know.

    If two named female characters aren’t talking to each other about something other than a dude, it’s even more unlikely two named characters of color are going to talk to each other about anything other than a white character. And two named women of color talking to each other? That movie/book/game/show is really hard to find, and almost impossible to find in the media that gets all the attention.

    I always gave sci-fi credit for getting things right a little more often than other genres, but there’s still a long, long way to go.

    This is all my very long-winded way of saying this is an excellent, thought-provoking piece. Thanks for writing it, and for all your thoughtful responses here in the comments.

    1. Okay, this is a little freaky because a friend and I were JUST discussing the Bechdel Test and the “racial Bechdel Test” as being bare minimums for representation. Meaning that if a show, book, film or what have you passes them, that doesn’t mean that, ipso facto, that text is progressive. That’s to say I agree that much popular media doesn’t pass the Bechdel test period, much less getting to a point where two WoC even speak to each other and about something other than a white character. I also agree that, in my opinion, sci-fi and fantasy has been somewhat more open, and I think it’s very nature of the genres. I hope to continue to see improvements.

      As a side note, and I think you’ll appreciate this, Suits has “passed” that test recently in a scene where Rachel and Jessica speak to each other about Jessica’s career. I believe they have only spoken to each other once previously. That scene excited me so much but also highlighted how even passing these bare minimum texts doesn’t necessarily bode well for representation or treatment of characters from marginalized groups in a media text. I hope they’ll interact more in the future.

    1. I just finished watching the second episode! The first episode was a little difficult to get through as the writing isn’t super stellar (Orci & Kurtzman, oi!), and it suffers from that whole “WoC existing largely in isolation from other WoC/her closest relationship is with a white dude” problem that I see pop up a lot in shows that have one WoC lead. But, I am really happy to see Nicole Beharie in the part and to see some other PoC in there. AND, SPOILER…

      But, they brought in Abbie’s sister in this latest episode. :D I’m hoping some awesome interactions will happen there.

  3. It’s really interesting to hear this perspective because being white and Irish, I am used to seeing things in a very small, pretty cozy bubble. And I know that that’s wrong and unfair, but I suppose I’m just not sure what I can do about it on an individual level.

    I’m reminded of the common complaint where I’m from that Irish children do not have Irish stories or characters to look up to (I know it’s not the same, that’s just how I’m relating to something that I do know something about). Ireland consumes massive amounts of British and American media but doesn’t have much of its own. You even hear Irish kids speaking with American accents when they’re playing, it’s weird.

    I do find it really odd when I hear that things ‘define a generation’. I’m not sure what generation I’m supposed to be in (I’m 28, if anyone knows, please tell me!) but I think generalisations like that are pretty pointless since they assume that a massive and varied group of people all have some kind of common experience. Well, no.

    When it comes to ‘formative experience’, though, I’d have a little more leniency. I think that’s something that’s individual to a person. Harry Potter was a pretty big deal to my brother, but to me they were, you know, some pretty great books I read. But when it comes to the work of Tamora Pierce, I’m practically evangelical (not to mention blind to its flaws) because those genuinely had a huge impact on my childhood.

    I’m not sure where I was going with this. I’ve heard so much about the problems in Doctor Who that I really don’t think I’d like to watch it, so I’m with you on that one at least.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I do love me some Doctor Who. It’s not for everyone though, and it can be very frustrating like that.

      Being a Caucasian minority does bring up issues like that. I think comparisons can be drawn to being from the US South. There aren’t many positive representations in mainstream US media of folks from there. So, it can be hard to find good images to look up to. But, reinforcing ideas of race through stereotyping a white majority serves to bolster white privilege as a whole. It encourages us to think in racial terms when we think of people. That does not serve POC one bit.

      It’s a complicated dynamic.

    2. I think I feel the same about “defined a generation” and “formative experience.” I feel like those are more individualized or, if in a communal sense, should be used in ways that are more contained. Certainly I have many commonalities with other people who grew up in the U.S. at the same time that I did. But, it’s really easy to marginalize people’s experiences if we assume that certain experiences are generalizable and especially since it’s seems it’s usually the experiences of the most privileged that are used when positively describing ~defining a generation~ or being a ~formative influence~ and the like. :/

    3. Fellow Irishwoman fist-bump :)

      I think in Ireland, it’s so very white compared to the USA or the UK that a discrepancy in representation between what we see on TV and the people around us isn’t as obvious as it would be (should be?) to someone in the US or UK. But I think it will become more so as there are more people of colour in Ireland now than there were when we were growing up.

  4. As a biracial sci-fi and fantasy fan, I feel your pain. I read lots of fantasy as a child and preteen (especially Tolkien and Lewis), and the lack of diversity and racist overtones definitely bothered me. While I understood that these authors were products of their generations and cultures, it still discomfited me no end to not see many characters that I could really identify with. And yes, I too ended up writing a lot of stories with white protagonists (if not white male protagonists).

    However, as deep as these problems were, I could never completely write those genres off. Maybe it’s the white-identifying part in me, or that I was too much of a voracious reader to give those stories up. But also, I think it was just a real need for escape. I went through a somewhat turbulent childhood and adolescence, and often, reading those kinds of books was one of the only things that kept me sane and gave me any kind of comfort.

    I don’t know if you’ve read The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but if you haven’t, definitely give it a try. The Dominican-American protagonist is really into sci-fi and fantasy, and he deals with the same issues you brought up. Also, I will never stop recommending Nancy Farmer’s The Ear, The Eye and The Arm. Set in 2194 Zimbabwe, it has several strong native African characters, both male and female. Also, it has very few white characters, and those are either villainous or weak — yet another reason why this book will probably never be made into a film.

    1. I am a multiracial and multiethnic person myself (Black, Indigenous, Afro-Latina). As a child it’s not even so much that I wrote these genres off as I literally was unaware of them because they just weren’t something that “spoke” to me because of the lack of representation of self. Still, I hear you on feeling the need for escape. I often escaped into horror films which are super problematic in terms of race and gender and, as I got into high school, mainstream comics which are very white male centric excepting a relative few titles. Currently I am a fan of a large number of sci-fi and fantasy stuff including Lord of the Rings (haven’t read the books though, but I’ve gotten the Hobbit on my shelf; need to ease my way in). So, it doesn’t sound white identifying to me at all for what it’s worth but rather you indulging in the options you were given.

      Thank you for the recs! Diaz’s story is already on my Big List (someone I follow on tumblr just met him, and I am SUPER JEALOUS. She said they totally discussed being PoC fans of sci-fi and fantasy). I had not heard of the Nancy Farmer story. Very awesome. :D

        1. The book is always better than the film! And you have the advantage of being able to picture it whatever way you like in your head. I was convinced Draco Malfoy had black hair and spent the whole first film complaining about it. I just glossed right over the description of him as blonde, apparently.

      1. The whitewashing of Lavender Brown when she gained a speaking role is really disgusting. I’m trying to figure out how the books were significantly more diverse though? I’ve read all of them (multiple times) and I can’t remember that being the case. If they were, of course, that still wouldn’t diminish Marena’s point about a lot of mainstream/monetarily “successful” sci-fi/fantasy being white-dude-centric.

        1. It’s been a while since I’ve read them, but I believe there were more tertiary POC characters in the books. But just having more tertiary POC characters doesn’t change it being white-centric.

          (Of course it could be more than that, so please correct me if I’m wrong. :) )

    1. I think calling something a “formative experience” or “definitive of an era” are the type of statements that should be either individualized or at least made tentatively while keeping social and cultural aspects in mine. In your case I see you talking about your own experiences with the books and how it felt to realize that this part of your life was “ending” in a way. I think where it becomes problematic is assuming that is a generally shared experience and marginalizing people for whom that is not their experience because of things like lack of representation or adequate representation.

      Mmm. I wish I could say I had some really great reason for that. But, I chose them merely because they are the most often recommended or I get the most stunned reactions when I say that I’m not a fan. But, I thought of several other examples as I was writing, some of which are British productions and some that are not. Interesting, though, that the most often recommended are British classics.

      1. The formative aspect is definitely an individual feeling. As for being definitive, I think that’s where there may be more of a UK/US divide on the issue. Perhaps I’m wrong, but Harry Potter does appear to have been definitive of an era: Rowling’s books heralded in terms of how children’s literature was perceived and also opened up reading in an incredible way for many children.

        I think part of my point with pointing out that these are British examples, is past experience of people forgetting that the UK is not necessarily the same as the US. And also that these are our classics, so it isn’t surprising – to me, at least – to see others recommending them. There wouldn’t be Harry Potter without LOTR, etc. Doctor Who came along less than twenty years after LORT. They’re fairly ingrained in our culture.

        1. Well… I just want to call back to Marena’s above comment: “I think where it becomes problematic is assuming that is a generally shared experience and marginalizing people for whom that is not their experience because of things like lack of representation or adequate representation.” Certainly the US is not the same as the UK, but I know for a fact that the point still stands, as I know plenty of British people of color who also take great issue with LOTR, HP, Who, etc, being defined as “their” culture and “their” classics, when they feel they’re not, due to the white-male-centric-ness, and the exclusion of works actually written by women of color and other intersections of their identities from what’s considered “classic” and “definitive”.

  5. While I agree with you that casts (and books) can certainly stand to be far more diverse, and that after (soon-to-be) 12 incarnations, yes, the Doctor has been 12 white guys…. Well, I love Doctor Who, so allow me to defend it a little.

    Martha Jones and Mickey Smith were both not-white companions, and their futuristic portrayal of Queen Elizabeth was a WOC, as was Queen Nefertiti. The episode where the Doctor encounters a man basically experiencing PTSD by thinking he’s the Doctor, that man also has a companion who is not white. In none of those cases did I feel like they were treated like tokens. Martha and Mickey had well-rounded backstories with the time they spent on the show, and Martha’s entire family was also included during an extended storyline featuring the Master.

    Also, the current companion, Clara, is the nanny for a not-white family, and they’ve featured in a few episodes so far.

    I am in no way saying that there isn’t a diversity problem in popular culture, but Doctor Who isn’t entirely white-washed.

    1. I thought of Mickey and Martha right off the bat, too, but then I remembered it’s been a lot of years since they were on the show. The current version is pretty white-washed; Queens Liz X and Nefertiti excepted.

      And that’s disappointing. We know they can do better, they were doing better six years ago. It doesn’t mean I don’t still love me my Doctors, but if this perspective makes me take a breath before I talk about DW like the second coming, that’s not a bad thing.

      1. One thing I noticed about Russel T. Davies era Doctor Who was that there were very few stories about black individuals that had more than one or two black characters. Look for black characters and who they are in relationships with. They are all dating white people. The only exception I can come up with off the top of my head was Martha’s parents- and even that’s subverted by the fact that Martha’s dad was now dating a white woman!

        That’s not very realistic, and it’s still centering white experiences.

        Now, the fact that Davies was embracing multiracial relationships is a good thing. But the fact that there were pretty much no examples of POC’s dating POCs…yeah.

        1. I actually discussed this a bit regarding Sleepy Hollow and, though not in these genres, Elementary. They both have WoC as, arguably, leading characters (more so in Sleepy Hollow than Elementary since that firmly centers Holmes). I’m excited about that, but I also notice that their main relationships are with white people and, in this case, white men. We rarely see them interacting in meaningful ways with other PoC, and many times when they do those interactions still center the white male lead in some way. I appreciate what’s out there, but I think there could be so much more and done better.

          1. I’ve noticed that phenomenon in many shows, it’s like their being of colour is almost coincidental and the character is usually just written in the same way as all the white characters they’re surrounded by, and could just as easily have been played by a white person. I think it comes from studios saying, ‘Well, we’d better throw a black person in the mix to make it look good’ and there’s no attempt to actually tell the stories of POC.

            1. Mmm. I actually have some of those critiques regarding Scandal (which I love on some levels, but I think does the “colorblind” thing in a lot of ways). What I did like about Elementary was that there was some bits of highlighting in ways that are realistic that Joan is a Chinese-American woman. We hear her make a comment about how her mom would like her to speak Mandarin better and little things like that. But, so far I’ve seen her interact with her family…once. I’ve not seen her interact with other PoC at all if it wasn’t regarding Holmes in some way except for when she briefly runs into her old friend and colleague Carrie. I really hope see her again!

              1. I have high hopes for Scandal. I can forgive playing it safe while they were establishing themselves and building a strong, vocal audience. Now that the show is getting all this positive attention, I expect to see the show start/engage in more serious conversations about race. I think we’ve seen hints, here and there, that Rhimes has a lot more she wants to say.

                I dunno, I might have my head in the clouds, but I have faith in where Scandal might go.

                1. I think Shonda Rhimes has felt super constrained in many ways because she is the only Black woman producing successful shows in Hollywood right now. I have seen her praise “colorblind” casting and play it very safe (wrote a long paper about Scandal recently and the politics of race and gender going on there). So, I can’t blame her for not confronting those issues head on, but I do believe her being at the helm and the show being on solid footing opens up space that wasn’t previously there to explore these issues. Here’s to hoping!

      2. We know they can do better

        I need this on a bumper sticker in some form, haha. I also think what would help a lot is there being space in mainstream television and film production for creators of color as well as continuing to support creators of color already out there of which there are a LOT.

    2. As I said else where in the comment threads, I don’t believe that including a handful of PoC in a production negates that a series or films are not white-centric and, in many ways, white-washed. I recognize that Harry Potter and Doctor Who have people of color in them, and a couple are fully fleshed out. But, they are not nearly represented in a way that is proportional to our actual existence in the world. Moreover, Martha was not treated super well in the narrative and certainly was not treated very well by many corners of online Who fandom.

      As an aside but an important one, I think I need to be clear that when I speak of Doctor Who, my point isn’t that Doctor Who is the worst at diversity. I considered using several different examples including Quantum Leap, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek ToS, Star Wars, and the list goes on and on. Each have varying levels of “diversity”, but they are still narratives that center white people as saviors (a white woman in the case of Buffy) and exist in near absence of PoC and specifically WoC. I chose Doctor Who and Harry Potter as my examples here primarily because those are two of the most often recommended series to me. But, I could’ve easily substituted quite a lot of mainstream film, television and books.

      In any case, my ultimate goal here is for white fans to interrogate where the urge to defend these genre productions comes from, to interrogate where the urge to recommend these genre productions comes from, and to consider these issues when consuming and commending their favorite media of any genre.

      1. I get you, I do. I suppose my issue was that because it’s not the worst it seemed unusual to make it the focus of the article. I get that you have it recommended to you a lot, but if you could have just as easily substituted, then why not pick the one that needs more work?

        I’m definitely NOT trying to say that because they have more PoC than some other shows that there isn’t a problem. It could definitely, like you said, represent in a more proportional way. As far as Martha goes… Well, certainly we cannot judge a show based off the tumblr people who watch it? I mean, if that were the case… Well, there’s a whole lot of unexamined rabid enthusiasm all throughout any fandom that ends up having little to do with the quality of the show.

        To be honest, some of Martha’s off-screen life would have been interesting to see, since she ended up working for UNIT, and there’s the whole medical career. Could her storylines have been written better? Sure. But so could a lot of characters on there. I think some of it might have to do with the show, especially in the past near-decade, becoming more “legend” than just a TV show, but that’s a much longer discussion that is too aside from what we’re talking about here.

        My urge to defend comes more from a character standpoint because I find the Doctor to be a very interesting character, and the themes that they regularly have him wrestle with appeal to me in a literary way.

        But I’m only speaking for me. I can’t speak for anyone else who is watching the show, and like Selena said, we know they can do better. And I hope they do.

        1. I’ve explained several times my rationale at choosing to include Doctor Who and that, while I agree there are others that need more work, Doctor Who needs a lot of work too. So, I won’t be writing that explanation over and over because Doctor Who fans are uncomfortable with me saying that it’s not good enough on issues of race and gender and especially where those intersect. I appreciate that you enjoy Doctor Who on a literary level. I hope you also appreciate why the doctor’s struggles don’t interest me in the same way and that this conversation is not about, again, Doctor Who per se but about the lack of or underrepresentation of WoC in mainstream, popular Sci-Fi and especially those works considered “definitive” in their respective genres.

          1. Yes, I do understand. It isn’t a show for everyone, and I’m not trying to win you over, so to speak. Just explaining my side of it. I’m certainly not trying to fight with you or say you’re wrong. I appreciate your perspective, and it’s definitely something to consider while watching the show.

    1. For me, one POC does not an inclusive series make. Davies did make more of an effort to include non-white non-straight people than the vast majority of white sci-fi fantasy writers I’ve seen, but when we still can’t get a non-white doctor…well, that’s pretty off-putting. (And as long as Moffat is leading it, I doubt we will ever see one. That asshole.)

      Don’t get me wrong, I love me some pre-Moffat Doctor Who. I think it could have done a lot better though.

      1. There were other POC characters pre-Moffat (and I specific pre-Moffat because after his reign, diversity took a nosedive).
        I don’t have a problem with The Doctor to continue as a white dude, but I have grown weary of him being a white dude surrounded by other white people.

        1. Oh yeah, there were, and I appreciated them being there. But as I mentioned upthread, there were still plenty of issues in how they were portrayed there, since all their relationships seemed to be with white folks. It still doesn’t feel genuine to me. Embracing multiracial relationships is a great thing, but not when POC aren’t ever seen having meaningful relationships with other POC.

          I definitely agree with the feeling of being weary with him being a white dude surrounded by other white people. I want more diversity out of my sci-fi.

      2. I really appreciate your comments in this thread. Having a literal handful of PoC as main if not leading characters over the years is very off-putting to me as well as the limited imagination demonstrated by not being able to break out of the white male Doctor as lead.

        1. Definitely. There is really no reason why all the Time Lords have to be white all the time.

          One thing that often occurs to me when we see the very white humanity in sci-fi shows: Caucasians are the minority on Earth. And yet we accept the idea that almost everyone in the Federation seems to come from the US and they’re almost all white. We accept that the great and bountiful Human Empire seems to be populated solely by Caucasians. We look past the fact that despite Firefly’s supposed setting where America and China were the two big superpowers that went on in the future, there’s hardly a person of Asian descent in sight.

          But if you go “Oh, humans developed a world order!” like all those shows do, that makes precisely zero sense.

          1. AH, YES. I have had this thought many times while watching Star Trek as of late. I’m like how in the hell is it that the Federation and so many Federation representatives are so white and male and U.S. when the world population doesn’t uphold such a reality at ALL without some major oppression going on. Which in Trek’s case is interesting because Kirk & Co. frequently claim that Earth and the Federation are free of oppression in their time. This sort of blatant erasure of huge swaths of humanity unsettles me.

            1. Right?? At some point, I want to do some recaps of the Trek series…es and discuss issues like that. It bugs the crap out of me that they make such a big deal out of how there’s no more oppression in the Federation, but they are a hugeass colonalist force.

              1. Okay, no s**t, but when I originally responded to you I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to see some retro recaps of Trek focusing on sociopolitical and sociocultural issues?” SO, I fully support you doing retro recaps of Trek.

                AND, I SERIOUSLY JUST FLAILED BECAUSE FREAKIN’ THANK YOU. The Federation and Starfleet’s colonialist and neo-imperialistic project is stated in coded language at the beginning of EVERY ToS episode (i.e. Space, the final ~frontier~ and all that).

          2. Thank you for bringing up Firefly (much as I love the series and the movie). The other unsettling thing about it is that it seems like its waxing nostalgic about the Civil War (of course, while conveniently taking slavery out of the equation). I read some critical media analysis of the series and it left me with a queasiness in my stomach after pointing out the undertones (overtones?)

    2. Pre-Moffat Who may be arguably more inclusive than other shows, but I think “less whitecentric than others while still being whitecentric” isn’t very satisfying. :/ But, as far as Martha goes, I actually considered including a few lists of women of color in mainstream sci-fi and fantasy, but most of those productions have the same issues in which the narrative is white male centric and features no more than a handful of PoC and often in isolation from other PoC. I would love to write a post or see a post from someone else discussing WoC in Sci-Fi and Fantasy and what can be done better. I’d also love to talk about WoC and PoC currently writing in the genre that do not have movies or television series for their works.

      1. That’s definitely something that has tempered my increasing love for sci-fi. In a genre that is open to infinite possibilities, it’s very disappointing when those possibilities end up being white. If a character can find love with an alien (common in sci-fi!) is it that much of a stretch to have a diverse cast? When I look at it like that it actually makes the problem stand out even more.

        1. In a genre that is open to infinite possibilities, it’s very disappointing when those possibilities end up being white.

          This, I suppose, is sort of the crux of it for me, and you stated it very well. Sci-Fi and fantasy are genres that ask us to stretch our imaginations, where entire new worlds are built and explored. These stories aren’t created in a vacuum, and so I see why these worlds are often limited in many ways. But, I also believe that doesn’t have to be true, and certainly the myriad creators of color out there have proven that doesn’t have to be true.

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