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Blacks in the world of gaming, fantasy

Michael McGee | 4/14/2014, 11:10 a.m.
All-Con panel: Hana Li, Ashley Easter, Callie Calypso and Frank Hui, examined the media representation of racial, religious and sexual diversity in fandom during the 2014 All-Con in Addison. Mike McGee

“All her [online] comments were just negative,” Li said. “‘Why is this Sparkle Black?’ ‘This Sparkle can’t be Black; she’s smart’… My Little Pony wasn’t created with any race in mind; they’re ponies. This is an example of how it’s not the creator’s fault, but fandom ran away with it, and ignorance is rampant.”

Hui shared his thoughts about Hollywood movie casting patterns and what could be done.

“Money means not taking risks; it’s safety,” he said. “That’s why they latch onto whatever’s the biggest thing – because somebody did take a risk and was willing to gamble that there was an audience for the material.”

Hui submitted the Oscar-nominated films Brokeback Mountain, Transamaerica and Capote as evidence that depicting diversity can be a risk that pays off, which then creates a mainstream trend. “And suddenly the big film festivals, I mean the ones where you can get a deal, they’ll always make a point of having LBGT-targeted film because they now know there is an audience.

“You’ve got to do it for yourself. You can’t rely on Hollywood if you want to get that diversity.”

After the discussion, Easter stated that she did have hope for fandom and better representation in the media.

“Nerd culture in general tends to be really accepting. I have really high hopes that we’re going to see more minority and LBGT main characters in the future,” she admitted.