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Sunday, July 12, 2015 

DiDio says there's lack of diverse representation, years after DC's attempts failed

Dan DiDio told the BBC that the medium's got no proper representation minorities, obscuring the problem with bad writing:
Graphic novels, comic books or animated stories - everyone knows at least one character from one of them, be it Superman or Spider-Man.

But the big names dominating the books and Hollywood are all white, says a Radio 1 and 1Xtra Stories documentary.

One of the biggest comic book publishers, DC Comics, says that the lack of diversity in publications is an industry-wide problem.

It believes there's been an increase in the number of people from different racial backgrounds interested in its content.

Dan Didio, who is co-publisher of DC Entertainment, agrees that there "doesn't seem to really be a proper representation of ethnic characters across the entire industry".
All these years after their own contrived and forced replacements of at least 3 white heroes with characters of different racial backgrounds in the same costume, which all failed? And all of which were built off of their most notorious product of the 2000s, Identity Crisis. Based on that, how does DiDio know there's ever been an increase in people from different racial backgrounds who want to read their content if they didn't care the last time? And how does he know they approve of the way he got to those points?
"It's something we've been aware of for a while, and we've made some great steps along the way to improve diversity in our product.

"What we've done is we've introduced new characters as well as re-introduce characters with names that people might recognise from earlier incarnations, such as Firestorm, and introduced them as African-American or with the Adam as Asian in order to help diversify our line."
The "Adam"? I thought that was Atom! Again, unmentioned here is how they went to such lengths to get there via Identity Crisis, or how the changes were failures, and put serious doubt over the notion people from different racial backgrounds are really clamoring for representation in their products at the white heroes/co-stars' expenses. Certainly not the way they went about it, which was to make the white protagonists out to look worthless. And DiDio's staff ignored all the heroes/co-stars of different racial background they already had worth using, like Black Lightning, Vixen, Cyborg, John Stewart, Mal Duncan, Lady Shiva, Cassandra Cain, and even Vibe could've been revived if they needed a hero of Latino background (he actually was 2 years ago). They could also have reversed the fates of Beth Chapel and Yolanda Montez from Infinity Inc, who were both killed in Eclipso: The Darkness Within back in 1993.

And if they really, truly had to replace white heroes and co-stars, what was keeping them from just giving the white heroes a respectable resignation from their roles before the new heroes of different races took over? If they'd done it that way, and avoided trolling the readers, any misgivings could've been a lot less and they could've moved forward a lot more easily. Instead, they went miles out of their way to minimize serious issues while publishing a publicity stunt at all costs.
Dan said that he had noticed an increase in ethnic minorities going to comic book conventions who are "hungry" for material they can relate to and engage with.

"I can't speak for other companies, I can only speak for myself but I think there's a level of awareness and a level of urgency that we all realise that we have to be really reflective of these times.
Then create new characters and roles, if superheroes are that important. I tend to doubt he really noticed anything, except what he personally wants to. He acts like ethnic minorities don't care about story merit, which is very insulting.

And there's no "urgency" for diversity. What they have to do is show patience and craft organically, but obviously, they won't.
"There's a very hungry audience, excited audience and the reason why we know that exists is because we go to the conventions and we hear from our stores and you hear the make-up of the people shopping in those stores."
Without sales figures, I don't think his claim holds up. They've long scuttled their chances to build up a larger audience by emphasizing organic character focus and refraining from crossovers, so whatever "hungry" audience he speaks of would just be looking to dine at the smaller publishers' restaurants.
But he said the problem isn't just a "DC or Marvel" problem, but "leaders in the industry should lead by example" and they should "set the standard".
Everybody except DiDio, obviously. How do we know there aren't writers out there who've conceived the racial backgrounds he says are such a big deal for smaller publishers and titles? I'm sure there's been more than meets the eye for many years, and he clearly isn't interested in promoting any of them.
The other question being posed in the documentary is the lack of female ethnic minorities in comic books.
They obviously haven't researched any of the ladies I mentioned above. Nor do they seem let down by how DC's editors wiped out two of them in the early 90s. They don't even bring up Billy Tucci's Shi, one heroine of Asian background from a creator-owned book. Honestly, I'm not sure who this BBC documentary is for, nor why they have zero interest in trying to right wrongs that were performed against heroes of racial background whose past scripting was far better than what they get today.

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Damage control at its finest. Also, the reason the post-2004 characters failed? They had no personality of their own beyond racial characteristics or forced character traits that didn't reach out to readers.

Ever notice how pasty white guys like DiDio never seem to resign so an "underrepresented minority" can take his place -- to get "better" ethnic numbers throughout the industry?

And "the Adam" ... LMAO!!!

Then I guess race-lifting Wally West, Morgan Edge, Etta Candy and Firestorm don't count? Not to mention, Gary Stu Teen Titan Bunker (gay and Mexican, how realistic), plus Cyborg being promoted to Justice League, they don't count? On the actual plus side, New 52 Cheshire is pretty awesome (no, really). The logic here is that if they're not headliners, then it's "meh." Lame.

And +1 to Hube on the affirmative action issue. Come on, DiDio, you can do it!

Oh, BBC, perdition will freeze before you do something right.

With the "the Adam" bit, I find the fault lies on both sides: DiDio for bungling the name and BBC for not correcting that mistake before posting it.

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