Race and Fandom
Problems in Canon
Race and ethnicity has been an issue in the canons of fannish source texts for almost as long as fandom has been around. Because most Western entertainment is created and produced by white males, particularly in Hollywood, it tends to reflect the mindset and experiences of the majority of its creators. Even if these men are aware and respectful that the film and television industry has never belonged solely to white men, it may simply not occur to them to look for someone other than a white actor for a leading role.
Black man dies first
Very often in action-adventure films, a black character is killed off early in the story. Although this is a recognized problem, and even derided, it still seems as if black characters (and Asian, and native, and characters otherwise not coded as white) are killed off or written out in proportionately higher numbers than their white counterparts.. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which had been an almost frighteningly white show up till then) added a beautiful professional black man in 7th season, an LJ community called deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch started up almost immediately. Although Principal Robin Wood inexplicably did make it to the finale of Buffy, the community still actively "awaits the inevitable" in other shows.
When not killed off, characters from marginalized groups can be written in stereotyped ways. Need a drug dealer? Black man. Need a lawyer? Hey, this isn't an ethnic part. And don't even try to be the protagonist. In Angel the Series, Charles Gunn's gang background was stereotypical. Later in the series, he became a lawyer, not through the traditional avenue of study, but rather due to magical intervention!
In the 1960s, the three major TV networks responded to the Civil Rights Movement by increasing black (and to some extent Hispanic and Asian) employment, as well as visibility in prime time shows. NBC was at the forefront of this change in front of and behind the camera, welcoming Gene Roddenberry's multiracial cast in Star Trek and hiring many nonwhite technicians, NBC also presented the first dramatic series (I Spy, Julia) to show black characters in non-stereotypical roles. (Many critics argued that they were really white characters played by black actors.[note 1] However, this led to a kind of reverse stereotyping, in which black people were very often cast as physicists, brain surgeons, lawyers, college presidents, etc.
Shows set in "white world"
Many shows, perhaps due to being filmed in areas they are not set in, whitewash the setting. Roswell, for example, seemed to be one of the whitest towns in the Southwest. In reality, Hispanics make up a majority of Roswell's residents. 2.5% are black and 1.2% are Native Americans.
Angel's L.A. seemed to be almost entirely devoid of people of colour, outside the occasional (often demonic) gang. Los Angeles is almost 50% Hispanic, 9.8% black and 10% Asian. LA also has the highest population of Native Americans in California and has the second highest number of mixed race people in all American cities. Other large American cities are often portrayed as whiter than they really are.
In media fannish terminology 'whitewashing' is the practice of erasing characters of color and replacing them with white characters; or, portraying a character as white who is established in canon to be non-white. This is also a serious issue in cosplay, concerning the question of whether white fans should be allowed to play non-white characters.
It is common for book covers to depict white characters or very pale characters of indeterminate ethnicity even when the book itself is about characters of color who are described in detail and whose looks and identities are important to the plot. In the social media age, there has started to be more pushback since it is now easier and faster for large groups of people to find out about this kind of cover art, often from the disgruntled author. (Authors typically have no control over the look of their book covers.) Book publishers hesitate to put nonwhite characters on any book cover, not just the young-adult and fantasy genres, in a belief that such books will appeal only to the demographic and sell fewer copies.
Relevant books include: Justine Larbalestier's Liar, about a young black woman, but with a Eurasian-looking girl's face on the cover ; Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass, about a young black woman, but with a Mediterranean-looking white woman on the cover; Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix, a wuxia-inspired fantasy whose original cover featured a dashing Asian heroine in brilliant, eyecatching colors but was re-issued with a Twilight-looking, shadowy illustration of an ambiguous woman's face with the eyes concealed.
Fantasy author Martha Wells describes how the main character in her novel Wheel of the Infinite was affected by whitewashing:
When my fourth novel Wheel of the Infinite came out in 2000, I found out later that the cover artist Donato Giancola had to argue with the publisher to get the cover printed with the protagonist's real skin color, the way I had described her and he had drawn her. They wanted to show her skin color as gray rather than brown, and some covers were printed that way. I didn't find out about this until much later, since the authors' copies I received all had the correct skin tone. (I thought the gray Maskelles I saw occasionally were printing errors.) [....] When the book came out in paperback, the publisher reversed the cover image, so the white-skinned secondary male character was on the front and Maskelle was on the back. 
Ursula K. LeGuin writes this about her Earthsea characters, who are nearly all brown or black:
I had endless trouble with cover art. Not on the great cover of the first edition—a strong, red-brown profile of Ged—or with Margaret Chodos Irvine's four fine paintings on the Atheneum hardcover set, but all too often. The first British Wizard was this pallid, droopy, lily-like guy — I screamed at sight of him.
Gradually I got a little more clout, a little more say-so about covers. And very, very, very gradually publishers may be beginning to lose their blind fear of putting a nonwhite face on the cover of a book. "Hurts sales, hurts sales" is the mantra. Yeah, so? On my books, Ged with a white face is a lie, a betrayal—a betrayal of the book, and of the potential reader.
Rick Riordan has had a similar problem with his Kane Chronicles stories. The son of a mixed marriage, Carter is black while his sister looks more white. In most European countries, Carter has been depicted as white on book covers and Riordan (who is white) has fought with publishers for years for accurate pictures of Carter.
More recently, authors and readers are reporting "race-fishing" on the part of publishing companies; a non-white character is shown on the cover of a book where the main characters are white, in a cynical move to please activists while actually presenting the same old thing. Meanwhile, novels written by white authors about non-white characters, usually without sufficient research to ensure truthful depictions and prevent exploitation and appropriation, continue to be favored by publishing companies over works by non-white authors.
Often when a book, comic or manga is adapted for film or television, a character who used to be non-white will be 'whitewashed' and played by a white actor. The movie version of Avatar: The Last Airbender famously cast only white actors for the four main characters, then relented to fan pressure and cast one nonwhite actor... as the bad guy. Not to mention that Avatar's cultural influences for the four nations are: Japanese (Fire Nation), Chinese (Earth Kingdom), Inuit and indigenous (Water Tribe), and Tibetan (Air Temples). The film included no actors of the said nationalities or races.
In Roswell High, the series of books by Melinda Metz, the heroine is Liz Ortecho, of Spanish descent; when the books were adapted for the tv series Roswell, Liz' last name was changed to "Parker" and she was played by a white actress.
In a non-fannish example, Joanne Greenberg's landmark autobiographical novel I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, about a Jewish girl who loses her mind and is committed to a mental hospital, was Aryan-washed when it was made into a feature film by Roger Corman in the 1970s. Deborah Blau's name was changed to "Deborah Blake", a non-Jewish actress was cast, and all mentions of her Jewish heritage (a major plot point) were removed, along with the fact that anti-Semitic bullying was part of what drove her insane. Greenberg said later that the film "stunk on ice" and that the producers erased Deborah's Jewishness because "they were terrified."
The television miniseries adaptation of Earthsea was castigated by author Ursula LeGuin for whitewashing and tokenism:
My protagonist is Ged, a boy with red-brown skin. In the film, he's a petulant white kid. ... Race, which had been a crucial element, had been cut out of my stories. In the miniseries, Danny Glover is the only man of color among the main characters (although there are a few others among the spear-carriers). A far cry from the Earthsea I envisioned.
Perhaps due to the activism, awareness campaign and widespread discussion of the issue by many fans when the The Last Airbender casting was announced, post-Avatar whitewashing is now discussed on many mainstream media blogs, often while highly anticipated movies are still in the casting stages; for instance, the news that Natalie Portman had been offered the part of Korean character Somni-450 in the movie adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was often cited as a classic example of whitewashing.  (Korean movie star Doona Bae ended up being cast as Somni-450.)
Many media blogs also commented critically on the casting sides for Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, which called specifically for a Caucasian actress, despite Katniss being described in the books as a mixed-race character who does not resemble her blonder, paler mother and sister.  
Besides whitewashing, there is also simply the production choice of casting a white actress or actor in a part that could be played by any race. See Livejournal blogger peri-peteia's Nyota Uhura is Not a White Girl, which argues that Uhura in Star Trek The Original Series, played by black actress Nichelle Nichols, was not a real character and was written intentionally to be viewed as less than a real person by her white male colleagues. [Nichols might strongly disagree, but onward.] Gene Roddenberry tended to write/cast all female characters as less than real people. But if the criteria for "real person" is, as the article suggests, the ability to engage in sexual relationships, the author has a point, but it was NBC at fault, not the show's writers. NBC pioneered the hiring of non-whites in front of and behind the camera, but fear of alienating southern viewers by suggesting interracial romance led to all but one of the female guest stars being played by white actresses. An entire subplot in "The Alternative Factor" had to be cut out after being filmed because the network got nervous at the depiction of romance between Lazarus (white actor Robert Brown) and Lt. Charlene Masters (black actress Janet MacLachlan). However, Uhura was shown as being attracted to other African or Afro-American crew members, especially in "The Man Trap"; from the beginning she was also shown flirting outrageously with Spock, but this was okay because he was an alien (and played by a perceptibly Eurasian actor).
(Term origin started with the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie debacle.) (Also link http://www.racebending.com/v4/]
- [Something here about racist reactions to actors of color being cast as canonically-white characters-- the rumor of African British actor Paterson Joseph being cast as the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who (in 2022, Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa has since been cast), or African British actor Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor, etc.?]
- [See also fan response to Afro-American actor Larry Fishburne playing Perry White in Man of Steel.]
- [See also the casting of Afro-American Kandyse McClure as Sue Snell in the 2009 remake of Carrie.]
- [See also response to Ultimate Spiderman II in which an alternative universe Spider-Man is part Afro-American, part Hispanic.]
- Are the Perry White and Sue Snell castings choices of "these characters are black" or simply "played by a black actor"? Similar questions were raised around Tim Russ playing a Vulcan on Star Trek: Voyager, until Word of God announced that Tuvok himself was supposed to be black; there are different races of Vulcans as there are different races of earth people.
Racebending can also be a fannish response to whitewashing, or a conscious casting choice by the director for her or his own reasons. For example, Jackie Burke, the heroine of Elmore Leonard's novel Rum Punch, is white. Quentin Tarantino changed her name to Jackie Brown and made her black for the purpose of working with Pam Grier in his film adaptation. Part of the reason was Samuel L. Jackson had been cast as the sadistic crime boss Ordell and Tarantino, besides being a huge fan of Grier, felt he needed a woman who could believably stand up to Jackson. Leonard reportedly loved the change.
In 2022, author Rick Riordan approved the casting of Afro-American actress Leah Jeffries to play Annabeth Chase in the upcoming film version of his novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In the stories, Annabeth is Greek-American and blonde. Aside from the usual and expected wave of racist trolling which led Ms. Jeffries' TikTok account to be deleted, many fans questioned the decision as having possibly come from social pressure, while others understood it in terms of one of the stories' core messages, that appearance matters less than "individual greatness". Riordan insisted that Annabeth could be played by a black actress, that Ms. Jeffries would be superb, and that her race would matter less than her ability to bring a complex and beloved character to life.
You either are not aware, or have dismissed, Leah’s years of hard work honing her craft, her talent, her tenacity, her focus, her screen presence. You refuse to believe her selection could have been based on merit. Without having seen her play the part, you have pre-judged her (pre + judge = prejudice) and decided she must have been hired simply to fill a quota or tick a diversity box. And by the way, these criticisms have come from across the political spectrum, right and left.... I have been clear, as the author, that I was looking for the best actors to inhabit and bring to life the personalities of these characters, and that physical appearance was secondary for me... You are judging her appropriateness for this role solely and exclusively on how she looks. She is a Black girl playing someone who was described in the books as white. Friends, that is racism.
Another controversy is appropriation. Firefly came under quite a bit of criticism for its use of Chinese culture and language while including few if any visibly Chinese characters, eventually even leading to protest vids being created about the issue: Secret Asian Man  and How Much Is That Geisha In the Window? .
Some sources take a more metaphorical approach to race, which is not without its pitfalls. Harry Potter seems to be a homily against racism, but it also seems to advocate racial segregation. The Stargate Universe often uses actors who do not read as white to play the aliens.
The Magical Negro
Another frequent misuse of race in fannish sources is "the magical negro", a term popularized by director Spike Lee. The magical negro serves as a plot device to help the protagonist get out of trouble, typically through helping the white character recognize his own faults and overcome them. Although he has magical powers, his magic is ostensibly directed toward helping and enlightening a white, usually male, character.
The "magic" these characters possess is not necessarily of the variety one would expect to see in works of fantasy. It is often some type of amorphous mystical knowledge or even just home-grown, folksy common sense. Outside of fandom, it is common to apply the term "magical negro" to obviously non-magical characters who otherwise fit this description (self-sacrificing or at least extremely wise and experienced mentors who are only ever seen helping the white hero).
The shows Lost, and Heroes (especially 3rd season) are among many that have been criticized for this trope. Some fans cite Whoopi Goldberg's performances in Ghost, where she plays a Spiritualist medium, and in Star Trek: The Next Generation where she plays an infinitely wise 700-year-old barkeeper.  In Stephen King's novel and subsequent TV miniseries The Stand, the character of Mother Abagail has strong elements of this trope. For film, Constantine is also regarded as guilty of this trope, with Midnite being the wise 'keeper' of the balance. Casting black men as God (for instance, in the Bruce Almighty films) is considered "magical Negro" by some analysts.
"I have received letters that broke my heart, from adolescents of color in this country and in England, telling me that when they realized that Ged and the other Archipelagans in the Earthsea books are not white people, they felt included in the world of literary and movie fantasy for the first time." Ursula K. LeGuin
Most participants in media fandom are women with some higher education, disposable income, and leisure time. Fandom also tends to perceive itself as primarily white, and fans of color can be marginalized. 
Many source texts focus on young, attractive, able-bodied white characters, and even when a canon includes characters of color, those characters often receive less fannish attention. Some white fans have described themselves as frightened of writing characters of color in case they make mistakes that might offend fans of color. When race fail flaps happen, this fear is magnified. While this may be a legitimate fear, the result is the same: fewer fanworks with characters of color.
Sometimes, when fans do write about characters of color, they write about them in offensive ways. They may also use offensive language to describe white characters or theoretically race-neutral situations.
Other times when fans write about characters of color, they uncritically amplify mistakes the fannish source is making in regards to race (discussed above), rather than confronting and challenging them.
Examples of controversies include:
- Daily Deviant (2007)
- RaceFail '09
- The J2 Haiti Fic (2010)
- Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint (2016)
- Top!Joe (trope) (2021)
The "Tone" Argument
Discussions of portrayals of characters of colour are often heated and divisive, and make fans of colour feel less welcome in fandom. One of the reasons fans of colour feel less welcome after these discussions is rather than having their issues addressed, instead it immediately goes meta, and they are accused of having an offensive, aggressive, or oversensitive tone.
Many fans defend their lack of interest in particular characters of color as a matter of personal preference. While, of course, this is a valid point about a given character, these "personal preferences" are often the same across many fans and many fandoms. It is common for large numbers of fans to "just happen" to not like or not create fanworks about any characters of color even when these fans are unaware of any racism or bias on their part.
The Fandom Secret on the right is an example of a fan noticing this trend in their own tastes. (Or, given the anonymous nature of Fandom Secrets, it may be a parody of these attitudes or an attempt to stir up wank or generate serious discussion.) The full text reads "I would have adored her if... I would have slashed them if... I would have watched this if... I'm not racist, at least I don't mean to be. I just can't seem to get past this." The corresponding photos are of Martha from Doctor Who, Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice, and Shawn and Gus from Psych. The fandoms for all three shows are well known for imbroglios about a prominent black character and his/her relative lack of popularity.
This widespread pattern has led some fans to try to more actively incorporate characters of color in their fanworks. The challenges Dark Agenda and Chromatic Vision are examples of this type of effort.
(The "I'm Not Racist Even Though My Preferences Are Racist" argument.)
Racism in Slash Fandom
See White Cock.
Media cons, Slash cons
Conversations about race and fandom have happened in person as well. Escapade has had panels on Race in fandom; most notably, "The Absence of Color in Black and White Fanfiction" run by LadyJax and Coniraya, two fans of color, in 2006, "Identity Politics in Fandom" run by Kass and Nyssa23 (one white fan and one fan of color) in 2008 and "Becoming Better Allies: Consciousness-Raising for White Fans" run by arallara and smallbeer in 2009, about which arallara wrote:
[I]n this report, I want to both summarize the substance of the discussion in the panel and contextualize it in terms of how Sinead and I approached the panel and what our goals were. I hope very much that more panels like this will happen at cons, and more connections can be made among white fans who want to be better allies to the people of color in fandom. I want to talk about how I was thinking about my decisions as a moderator, and how I think things worked, because I'm really interested in people's feedback on how to keep having this conversation, differently or better where necessary.
Buddy Cop Slash
Black-white duos have been a staple of the buddy cop genre in US entertainment since the 1980s. Many fans have noted that while white-white buddy cop shows often generate large slash fandoms, canons with a similar dynamic and a black lead often have fandoms that pair off the white lead and one of the other white characters. That is, if they have any fandom at all. Fandoms/sources that are frequently mentioned in this context include Psych, Miami Vice, the Lethal Weapon franchise, ...
White Feminism at the Expense of Racism and Misogynoir
Many black women and women of color have criticized white women in fandom, as well as the white feminism they consciously or subconsciously endorse. This is particularly due to the fact that fandom has a significant population of white women as well as many white self-identified feminists, many of whom seem not to have made any attempt to turn a critical eye on their white privilege, attitudes towards nonwhites, and personal assumptions based on their own identities as (default white) women.
Further reading: The Power of Black Women in Fandom
Hypocrisy, Fetishization, and Double Standards
Zutara shippers in Avatar: The Last Airbender have been known to fetishize the dark-skinned Katara as an "exotic beauty" for the light-skinned Zuko to drool over while calling Mai, an example of classical Asian beauty, "ugly" or "manly looking".  
Others have called out the behavior of extreme Lotura shippers in the Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom. These fans will claim Lotor is a better and more "feminist" match for Allura, but in the same breath claim a prince will make her happier than a commoner from Cuba while accusing Lance of forcing himself on her. Since Lotor is a light-skinned prince and Lance is a dark-skinned Cuban commoner, fans are quick to call out the thinly veiled racism and classism.  One particular piece of meta by a Lotura shipper even stated that Lance, along with fellow leading man of color Hunk and female protagonist Pidge, were "unnecessary" compared to Keith, Shiro, and Allura.  [note 2]
Some fans also claim mixed-race ships are "racist" for "pairing the POC with their white oppressors". While the argument claims to be against the "white savior" narrative in some cases, other fans will point out that it reads far too close to miscegenation and segregation laws of the old days. 
Science Fiction Fandom
Science fiction fandom, while skewing more male, is likewise perceived as a very white endeavor. However, SF and speculative fantasy works by and about Afro-Americans have existed since at least the 19th century. And as with female authors using male names, Afro-American authors may have concealed their racial heritage in order to get published. Jess Nevins says:
A fully accurate history of black speculative fiction would be book length and would be impossible to write. As Harlan Ellison once noted to Samuel Delany, nothing is known of dozens of the writers of the pulps of the first half of the 20th century. Many of them might have been women or people of color. The same is true of many dime novel authors in the 19th century — all that we know of them are their names. They, too, could have been black.
Or Native, Hispanic, or Asian-American, for all of that.
In recent decades, debates in the SF community such as "RaceFail '09" have focused on a lack of published writers of color and offensive appropriation of African, Asian, Indigenous Australian, Latin American, and Native American cultures or histories as settings for stories.
The issue of race in science fiction fandom often has to do with which racial groups make it to the future and what historical landscapes serve as the templates for fantasy worlds. K. Tempest Bradford has written on how editors can and should elicit additional material about people of color or written by authors of color. A discussion at the feminist science-fiction convention WisCon in 1999 led to the founding of the Carl Brandon Society; Wiscon has carried on an ongoing discussion about race and appropriation.
- Black Is Beautiful Exchange
- Carl Brandon Society
- Chromatic Recasting
- Chromatic Vision
- Dark Agenda
- International Blog Against Racism Week
- Ironic Racism
- Kaleidoscope Fanwork Exchange
- The Negro And Science Fiction
- People of Color OC stories POC fics
- RaceFail '09
- Social Justice
- Steven Universe Critical bloggers on Tumblr frequently critique and create meta for Steven Universe on the topic of how certain characters, such as Garnet and Bismuth, were treated in terms of their race
- A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names
- Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint, a meta essay by Franzeska in response to accusations of racism in fandom that warranted a lot of criticism, especially from fans of color
- What Shipping Richonne Taught Me About Racism, a blog post by Sharon, posted on BlackGirlNerds, about her experience of racism in The Walking Dead fandom concerning the pairing of Rick Grimes/Michonne, also known as Richonne
See Also: Timeline of Race and Fandom Meta
- The New York Review of Science Fiction: "Racism and Science Fiction" by Samuel R. Delany, Archived version (1998)
- Racialicious -- the intersection of race and pop culture
- Aang Ain't White and Racebending for the fan campaign to protest the all-white lead casting for the Avatar: The Last Airbender live action movie, The Last Airbender
- My *Other* Problem With Recent DC Events by Te (2006)
- coffeeandink - How to Suppress Discussions of Racism, Archived version (June 7, 2006)
- Some advice for white people in fandom by zvi loves tv (September 2006)
- Dog whistles and Insults, by zvi likes tv, July 30, 2007 (includes nearly 700 comments)
- we're in another universe. you're not in charge anymore., Archived version, by ciderpress, July 30, 2007
- In which our heroine suggests that some words are more equal than others, Archived version, by spiralsheep, July 30, 2007
- Of Death Eaters, Fans and Racism, Archived version, by witchwillow, July 30, 2007
- Have a nice day and fuck you very much, Archived version, post by liviapenn, July 30, 2007 (259 comments)
- What do you mean "we," white woman? (archived) by ithiliana (January 2009)
- Sarah N. Gatson and Robin Anne Reid, Race and ethnicity in fandom. In "Race and Ethnicity in Fandom," edited by Robin Anne Reid and Sarah Gatson, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 8, 2011. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2011.0392.
- Fear of Fucking Up: Not Actually A Good Excuse For Erasing Characters of Color by stitchmediamix (Accessed 17 September 2017)
- Fansplaining: Episode 22: Race and Fandom Parts 1 and 2
- For Women of Color, the Price of Fandom Can Be Too High (Accessed 17 September 2017)
- When white people talk about racism in fandom (Accessed 17 September 2017)
- The (Chocolate-Covered) Raisin Analogy by timemachineyeah (Accessed 17 September 2017)
- The FIYAH #BlackSpecFic Roundtable at firesidefiction (Accessed 17 September 2017)
- Colin Campbell, "Gaming’s toxic men, explained." Polygon, July 25, 2018. Not just more reportage on what is happening, but interviews with "writers and academics who have studied and published useful work on the problem of misogyny and racism in gaming and in popular entertainment. Most have experienced harassment and abuse from toxic gamers." They start talking about racism about midway down the page.
- a case for more fanworks about black and brown women, or when Discourse isn’t enough by irresistible-revolution (2018)
- Abigail De Kosnik and andré carrington, Fans of color, fandoms of color. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 29 (March 15, 2019). https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2019.1783.
- Melanie McFarland, "Let's all stop ignoring The Fandom Menace. It's real, and it's winning." Salon, June 30, 2022. More on misogyny and racism in fandoms for popular entertainment, focusing on the practice of review bombing -- a barrage of negative reviews to manipulate the algorithms and make a targeted show look bad.
Fannish Resources For and By Fans of Color
- fandomhatespeopleofcolor at Tumblr
- nerdsagainstfandomracism at Tumblr
- diversehighfantasy at Tumblr
- @nerdyasians at Twitter
- fandomhatesblackpeople at Tumblr
- @BlackGirlNerds at Twitter
- @wearemitu at Twitter
- mcufandomhatespeopleofcolor at Tumblr.
- See Harlan Ellison's review of the Barefoot in the Park television series in The Glass Teat, entry 81, October 9, 1970. Essentially, the show had black actors behaving in ways that would be anathema to actual black people (of any social class). When Ellison had worked on a script with black characters, a black colleague had explained to him that, for instance, a black woman would never leave her husband's side at a party to hug and kiss other men even if they were old friends. This kind of "harmless flirtation" was stylish for white women at that time, but was inappropriate for a married black woman because black men had been demasculinized for so long that in the midst of the civil rights movement, it was important for their wives to support and respect them publicly. "The mickeymouse behavior of white women with other men at parties -- hugging, kissing, fawning, flirting -- would be anathema and deadly at a black party. That is a difference in white and black thinking and social conduct."
- Granted, Allura is dark-skinned and Shiro is Japanese, but Lance and Hunk's non-white origins were a major selling point for the diversity of the show's main cast
- Black Dude Dies First, TV Tropes, (accessed 24 October 2008)
- See treatment of Rainbow Sun Frank's character Aiden Ford in Stargate Atlantis, for example.
- deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch
- The term "people of color" is used throughout this article, but many fans of all races dislike this term. For a detailed breakdown as to why "people of color" is or can be objectionable, see St. Riley Santos, I Hate the Phrase 'Person of Color', Kinja, 2014-09-13. "People of color" is viewed as too broad a term, too "one size fits all", often providing an excuse to exclude black people from a discussion or presentation (Nadra Widatalla, Op-Ed: The term ‘people of color’ erases black people. Let’s retire it, LA Times, April 28, 2019) or to not address issues that affect specifically blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and so on (Joshua Adams, Why We Need to Stop Saying ‘People of Color’ When We Mean ‘Black People’, Medium, Oct. 17, 2018).
- This hasn't always been the case. E.L. Konigsburg's beloved classic Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, published in 1967, went through several editions where the covers clearly depicted a Black and white schoolgirl friendship and Halloween-atmosphere, amateur witchcraft. However, the cover for the 40th anniversary edition was drenched in flowers and pastels and showed a white girl's hands holding a toad.
- Justine Larbalestier, Ain't That a Shame (updated) Posted July 23, 2009. Last accessed October 13, 2011.
- Justine Larbalestier, The New Cover Posted August 6, 2009. Last accessed October 13, 2011.
- Jezebel, Magic Under Glass: The White-Washing Of Young Adult Fiction Continues
- Bookshop, i don't want to be this person. Dear Publishing Industry, stop FORCING me to be this person.
- Martha Wells, Martha Wells: Cover Art Posted June 5, 2011. Last accessed October 14, 2011.
- Yvonne Gilbert's 1984 covers also made sure that Ged was dark.
- Ursula K. LeGuin, A Whitewashed Earthsea: How The Sci-Fi Channel Wrecked My Books. In Slate, Dec. 16, 2004. See also the Index of Earthsea Comments and Links by LeGuin and others about this issue.
- Rick Riordan cheers end of book covers that 'whitewash' his black hero. The Guardian, 18 November 2015.
- Larissa Irankunda, "“Race-Fishing” Book Covers Is Not Only Problematic—It Directly Hurts Authors of Color." The Mary Sue, March 16, 2021.
- Ursula K. LeGuin, A Whitewashed Earthsea (accessed 23 May 2012)
- "When it was reported last year that the role had been offered to Natalie Portman, the Internet hummed with the sound of thousands of fans riffling through their paperbacks to confirm that Sonmi-450 was definitely, definitely a Korean character. The role had been, in Hollywood terms, whitewashed." Word & Film, Cloud Atlas Casting Coup: ‘Whitewashing’ Crisis Averted Posted September 12, 2011. Last accessed October 13, 2011.
- "Katniss' ethnic background is never spelled out in familiar terms in the story, which makes sense, given that it takes place in either an alternate universe or a distant-future Earth in which former countries' names have become obsolete. Still, she is indicated to be of mixed ancestry, and her dark, olive-colored skin is mentioned repeatedly. In fact, she describes not resembling her mother and sister, who have pale skin and hair and thus could pass for members of a higher class." Bitch Magazine, The Hunger Games Film Whitens its Warrior March March 21, 2011. Last accessed October 13, 2011.
- "The debate over Katniss’s on-screen ethnicity (or lack thereof) has raged in the Hunger Games fan community ever since a film adaptation was announced, owing to author Collins’ seemingly specific descriptions of the young heroine’s ethnicity. Described as having dark hair, olive skin, and gray eyes (in contrast to her fair-haired mother and sister), Katniss is thought by some readers to be of Mediterranean, Latin, Asian, or mixed descent." Movieline, Oh No They Didn’t: The Hunger Games Casting for ‘Underfed’ White Teenage Girls Posted March 01, 2011. Last accessed October 13, 2011.
- Fans of the show may remember Nichols' feisty interplay with George Takei in "Mirror, Mirror", and shirtless Takei in "The Naked Time" striding onto the bridge and declaiming "Aha! Fair maiden!" to which Nichols snapped back an ad-libbed "Sorry, neither!!!" So much for Uhura as a non-sexual non-character.
- A similar Word of God Watsonian explanation existed for why there were two types of Klingons in the original series.
- Meredith Borders, "How Leonard’s Jackie Burke Became Tarantino’s JACKIE BROWN." Birth Movies Death, August 23, 2013.
- viz. Amy Zimmerman, The Persecution of Kelly Marie Tran: How ‘Star Wars’ Fandom Became Overrun By Alt-Right Trolls. Daily Beast, 2018-06-06.
- Rick Riordan, Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase. Blog post dated May 10, 2022.
- '"Huh," I said to myself. "I wonder how you would do a vid about the lack of a character. It would be kind of hard to find shots of them. Kind of."' Shati, new vid - Firefly Secret Asian Man, posted 9 October 2008. (accessed 24 October 2008)
- Vid: How Much Is that Geisha in the Window? by Lierdumoa, posted 22 August 2008. (Accessed 24 October 2008)
- An Idiot’s Guide to the Magical Negro
- See Magical Negro on Wikipedia (Accessed August 26, 2010)
- Stephen King's Magical Negroes, page found 2011-04-25.
- Magic Negroes at The Black Commentator July 3, 2003, page found 2011-04-25.
- Three Vectors of the Magical Negro at LaughingBone blog for Sept. 3, 2005, page found 2011-04-25.
- Magical Negro at TvTropes, page found 2011-04-25.
- By Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, "Stephen King's Super-Duper Magical Negroes, Strange Horizons, 25 October 2004.
- Rita Kempley, Understanding the Magical Negro. Editorial from DVRepublic, "the liberated zone of cyberspace."
- Link to FOCcing cabal goes here
- Pam Noles, The Shame of Earthsea. Reprinted on Infinite Matrix, 2006-01-04, page found 2011-04-25.
- Pam Noles, The Shame of Earthsea II: A Public Response. In And We Shall March, 2006-01-22, page found 2011-04-25.
- "When you add this issue -- so common that my fellow fans-of-color *all* have the same horror story to tell about one fandom or another -- to the undeniable fact that, in any given fandom *with* characters of color there will be *objectively* fewer fan-fiction stories written about them full stop..." Te, My *Other* Problem with Recent DCU Events Livejournal post, 20 September, 2006. (Accessed 18 October 2008)
- "The reason we feel this is important and such a sensitive issue is that all these hair jokes unintentionally propagate racism.…Chad is gorgeous and his hair is big and curly and beautiful, and we don’t need be people who would tell him otherwise. If you love him the way I do – or the way Ryan does – please don’t include petty hair insults in your stories." elvensorceress, A VERY IMPORTANT Note from the Mods, livejournal post to the idontdance community, 9 November 2007, (Accessed 20 October 2008)
- Dog Whistles and Insults zvi, Livejournal Post, last edit 31 July 2007, (accessed 20 October 2008)
- zvi, Tone: Let's approach this from the other direction, 31 January 2008. Accessed 24 October 2008.
- zvi, What I learned about tone, 8 February 2008. Accessed 24 October 2008.
- For an example of a canon interracial homosexual relationship (yes, you read that right) which the creators intended as offhand and not a hugely major plot point (although it became one for many fans), see Welcome To Night Vale.
- Escapade Panel Report - "Becoming Better Allies: Consciousness-Raising for White Fans", accessed October 31, 2011
- See Salt and Pepper on TV Tropes. (Accessed August 26, 2010)
- Fandom and the Intersection of Feminism and Race by diversehighfantasy on Tumblr
- "I feel like white women have a tendancy to expect Every Single Woman to watch/ like/ support their New “Revolutionary” (White) Feminist TV Shows and Movies, and believe that women who don’t are being Bad Feminists..." by nerdsagainstfandomracism on Tumblr
- White (sic) are you so critical of only white women and not white men? by visibilityofcolor on Tumblr
- Kataang Caps
- Meta Archive
- no shade/disrespect to those who just ship lot/ura like nice reasonable people
- Garrison Trio Are Unneccesary - By Handmaiden of Horror
- I have no issue with mlm ships, I’m literally a fucking lesbian....
- Citing Sam Moskowitz, André Carrington notes in Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2016) that Warren Fitzgerald, an African American (or not), who was president of the Scienceers in 1929, was almost the sole exception as far as notable fans were concerned. "As of the early 1950s, there hadn't been a Black participant of any stature in fandom since Fitzgerald." (p. 31).
- Or female using male names, for that matter. The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction." io9, Sept. 27, 2012.