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Wednesday, December 20, 2017 

Cebulski didn't have to apologize

The social justice advocates railing on with their manufactured controversy about a white man using a Japanese pen name are continuing with their idiocy, with the Atlantic being the latest to waste time villifying C.B. Cebulski for even dreaming of using an Asian pseudonym, which was not an issue over a decade ago. Yet they admit something that's never been an issue decades before:
The comics industry has a long history of people adopting pen names. Editors and writers have used them to disguise small staff sizes, or to quietly freelance for the competition. When Stan Lieber and Jacob Kurtzberg published their groundbreaking comics as “Stan Lee” and “Jack Kirby” in 1958, they did so at a time when many American Jews were changing their names to assimilate into mainstream society. Pressures to conform to a white, Anglicized identity can often fall on people with so-called “ethnic” names. In one pertinent example, Chloe Wang—the star of Marvel Television’s Agents of SHIELD—has said she goes by Chloe Bennet in order to get roles.

Cebulski’s deception calls to mind a longer, more pernicious tradition of white writers posing as people of color for cultural cachet. Often, these individuals have adopted Asian identities. The 18th-century hoaxer George Psalmanazar claimed to be a “savage” from the island of Taiwan and published a book full of its imaginary customs and history. The fictitious poet Araki Yasusada, whose work was published to warm reviews in literary journals in the 1990s, is widely suspected to be a white man named Kent Johnson. In 2015, The New Yorker’s Hua Hsu observed that the poet Michael Derrick Hudson, who was criticized for publishing under the pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou, had engaged in the practice of “Orientalist profiteering.” “When it comes to such hoaxes,” Hsu wrote, “it seems somehow easier to fake Asia, a land still distant and inscrutable to many Americans; while other hoaxes work because of their thoroughness and care, the Asian-themed sort often get by with only a few details, as long as those details seem just ‘Asian’ enough.”
I guess they don't want to admit the reason Lee and Kirby took the names they did (the latter derives from Irish) was because they may have been worried about anti-semitism. It was the WW2 era, after all. And they weren't doing it out of sleazy motivations. Even in Japan today, some mangakas can use pen names too, along with their European counterparts.

But if it wasn't wrong for early comics writers to take pen names based on Anglican/Irish names, why is it wrong to take those based on Asian ones? Why, what if a black man or woman wanted to do that? If the SJW crowd gave blacks and Latinos a pass, that would only prove the whole controversy was manufactured. And let me note that as a guy of Jewish background, I have no problem with any writers wanting to take up Israeli sounding names; in fact, I invite them to do so right now. All that's requested is they keep a selfless MO, is all, and that's more than can be said for the SJWs antagonizing Cebulski now.
What galls Kanayama, Chow, and other critics is the fact that Cebulski doesn’t seem to have faced any visible consequences for his actions, despite his assurances that “this is all old news that has been dealt with.” According to the Bleeding Cool report, Cebulski’s admission earlier in 2017 sparked significant anger within the company, which, it appears, was learning of it for the first time. But while he was apparently penalized, it’s unclear to the public exactly what steps Marvel took. At the very least, it’s certain that Marvel did not regard the affair as a dealbreaker for the top job. (The journalist Graeme McMillan joked that the implication is that the promotion itself is a punishment.)
Excuse me? I thought all his colleagues knew he'd used a pseydonym, mainly his editors and publishers who oversaw his stories, and they say in the same article that Marvel confirmed he'd used a pen name. This is just stupid. If there's anybody they should reserve their beef with, if it really matters to them, it's the higher echelons in charge of Marvel's publishing. Anyway, Cebulski wrote the magazine the following:
I’m truly sorry for the pain, anger, and disappointment I caused over my poor choice of pseudonym. That was never my intention. Throughout my career in anime, manga, and comics, I’ve made it a point to listen and learn from my mistakes, which is exactly what I’ve been trying to do with this misstep. Building honest relationships with creators has always been important to me, and I’ve continued to do that in my new position. I’ve spoken with talent close to this issue, and have had candid and productive conversations about how we can improve the industry and build better stories, while being mindful of the voices behind them. My passion has always been about bringing the best talent from across the world to work on the best stories in the world, and I’m hopeful that fans and creators alike will join us in that continued mission.
Honestly, he didn't need to say anything. Certainly not if Japanese mangakas have no issues with his choice of pen name. All the rest would do well to let go of the issue and concentrate on far more important matters.

The article also notes:
Some Marvel staffers had already spoken out in Cebulski’s defense. Sana Amanat, the Pakistani American editor who co-created the new Ms. Marvel, expressed her support of Cebulski in late November [...]
In her case, I'm sure she said so to curry favor with him, even though she's one of the worst political propagandists they're employing now, and they'd do well to part ways with her, along with the Islamic propaganda series that's already tanking deservedly in sales.

As noted before, it's unclear if Cebulski's appointment guarantees improvements, and the SJWs obviously aren't interested in any. Is it any wonder Mary Jane Watson's marriage to Spider-Man may never be restored?

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Many fans read manga not just for entertaining stories, but because they want to learn about and feel a connection with Japanese culture. Learning the writer with the Japanese name is really just some white dude with no native link to the culture leaves them feeling cheated.

This kind of concern about names isn't just a mainstream liberal thing. It is little different from when Donald Trump taunted John Stewart for having an English-sounding name, one of his implied anti-Semitic slurs from the last election campaign.

It's one thing if you use a pseudonym to write a story. It's another matter entirely to create a whole biography and use a frontman for said pseudonym.

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