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Saturday, February 16, 2013 

The real reason black writers may not be working for mainstream companies

A week or two ago, a writer for Comics Alliance (via New York Daily News) wrote about the lack of writers of black descent at DC and Marvel. He says that there's been no serious effort to bring black writers into the fold. To some extent, it may be right, and the people running the show now are of very questionable character as it is. But I think there's another, very plausible reason why few writers of black background - or even Asian and Latino background - are being hired by the majors: if the companies won't allow any creative freedom for the hired hands, why should they want to work for them in the first place?

Just like white writers, even black writers don't all take kindly to being hired only symbolically for writing assignments. Even they value creative freedom that the majors aren't giving. The late Dwayne McDuffie was a leading example of a writer of black descent who was given the assignment of writing the Justice League several years ago, only to discover that a strict editorial mandate was hindering his freedom, and he even said so on his website after awhile.

So what happened? Dan DiDio found out, and fired him instantly, in a prime example of an editor who's opposed to free speech. Why would any self-respecting writer of black background want to work for them if they're going to be so incredibly restrictive to the point of firing them if they dare voice their dissent?

Exactly. Even writers of black, Latino and Asian descent value creative freedom, and DiDio and Joe Quesada weren't helping one bit by lording such a mandate over everything, right down to the forced crossovers. That's what the Comics Alliance article is missing here. That isn't saying there isn't discrimination lurking behind the scenes at the big two, and it'd be foolish to think it couldn't happen. But diversity shouldn't be the sole concern, and hiring writers based more on their race than on their talent while not even respecting their creative freedom is ridiculous, and if the writers from minority groups don't get the freedom to deal with the franchises the way many fans would appreciate, then they can't possibly expect the writers to want to take the jobs in the first place. That's what the diversity obsessives are missing.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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