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Saturday, November 07, 2015 

Hunger Games cast member says publishers won't give minorities a chance

The Santa Monica Daily Press says that Amandla Stenberg, a cast member in the Hunger Games film, wants to challenge the "status quo" in comics with brand new creations, although the paper's not being wholly honest here:
In a time where the popularity of comics and genre TV and movies is greater than ever before, there is still a tremendous lack of representation for women and people of color. Even more rare is the combination of the two, where women of color are the face of a franchise or the creators behind it. Actress and activist Amandla Stenberg seeks to change all that.

Best known for her role of Rue in the hit film “The Hunger Games,” Amandla is a multi-faceted creator who can now add comic book author to her resume. Debuting Nov. 4, she is co-writing the comic book series “NIOBE: She is Life” for Stranger Comics. “NIOBE: She is Life” is a coming of age tale of love, loss, and redemption. Niobe Ayutami is a young, black, half elf, half human warrior woman who is destined to be the savior of an entire world.
Okay, that's a good idea. But if the paper's saying there's lack of representation in superhero tales and other such books, they forget that there have been people of different skin color featured in various comics over the past decades. It's the following, however, that's more eyebrow-raising.
When asked about the general lack of creators of color in comics, Stranger Comics CEO and “NIOBE” co-author Sebastian Jones said, “There is no lack. We are everywhere. But there are few companies willing to let us tell our tales. That is one of the reasons I started Stranger Comics and why I actively pursue a diverse range of creators.”
Ah, now this is more revealing. Despite suggestions to the contrary, it is possible that the Big Two for starters aren't so keen on hiring folks of different race except under special circumstances like Ta-Nehisi Coates, whom they hired for entirely political reasons. Those who don't wear ultra-liberal politics on their sleeve are probably the ones whom they pass over, and smaller companies may have this problem too.

Creating brand new characters is a good step, and works far better than hijacking the roles of established characters as DC and now Marvel have been doing. But hiring writers symbolically most certainly isn't.

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More like, "minorities without substantial boardroom backing and tons of money" to me.

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