...Because We are Suuuuuuch Big Fans

I've been deleting a bunch of comments lately which, when I think about it, are part of what I shall refer to as TV Guide Syndrome.  TV Guide Syndrome often occurs in one of two ways:
1) As with Taraji P. Henson's case, a person of position/an institution claims to be a "big fan" an artist of color, yet when presented with a perfect opportunity to cast them, book them, and/or promote them...they don't.  The POC is then not-so-coincidentally passed over for a white artist, and if/when there's an outcry, a standard no-pology is issued to shut people up.

2)TVGS also occurs when members of a fandom deliberately ignore that some of their fellow fans are specifically targeting the (often) single POC on a show or in a film.  These are the types I've been deleting; they've accused me of being racist for pointing out racism, whether it's towards Zoe Saldana, Angel Coulby, or Telisha Shaw.
Fun fact, kids: "fandom" comes from, of course, "fan", which in turn is short for "fanatic", as in "absolutely crazy about a person, place, or thing".

Soooooo...if you're the editor of a magazine and an actress you totally adore is coming out with a new show, you're not going to do a piece on her show, covering her co-stars while specifically ignoring her.  In what universe does that make any kind of sense?

And if you're truly a devoted fan of an actor or musician who's being racially targeted, you're not going to go all color-blind and sing "Kumbaya".  You're going to say something to/about the haters, because if you don't, then it's no longer about being part of a fandom.  It's more about not getting the angry racist folks mad at you so they don't kick you out of whatever vaunted forum or club you're desperately clinging to, and burying your head in the sand to keep from having to confront the Big R in general.

Now, I expect this from white people; most of them don't want to alienate other white people, and most of them would rather chew off their own arm than acknowledge white racism.

Which brings us right back to why I do what I do.  I've built a blog where white approval is not the ultimate goal, and 99% of my media focus is on actors of color whose names most of us don't even know.  I have no problem pointing how the industry has stabbed them in the back and thrown them under the bus, all the while smiling and reciting platitudes.  I don't want their names to be forgotten, nor let their hard work go unnoticed.

And I'm not going to sit quiet while their own "fans" sell them down the river for a pat on the head.

Comments

  1. they've accused me of being racist for pointing out racism

    Oh I see this one is really sticking. It's a favoured tactic right about now.

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  2. "I've been deleting a bunch of comments lately which, when I think about it, are part of what I shall refer to as TV Guide Syndrome."

    "Proof that a single grain of truth can sow more discord than a thousand lies."

    And proof that you're growing and getting on people's radar.

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  3. Because we all know that ignoring dirt makes it go away.

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  4. I don't remember if you said you watched True Blood or not but the discussion on io9 about the season finale was disturbing--to say the least. This was before you first brought to light (for me) the hatred fandoms have for WOC characters. Tara's death sparked what seemed like a celebration. While her character was definitely not the best written, nothing but racism can make anyone hate Tara more than Sookie.

    With that said, I will be doing my senior thesis on this very phenomenon. My gorgeous Australian adviser has approved it and said he is very excited about it. I hope you don't mind me using your Black Girls Club post as a reference point.

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  5. I hope you don't mind me using your Black Girls Club post as a reference point.

    Go for it. The post scored over 1200 views in 2 days.

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  6. This is a good post. Can I say how annoying it is trying to have an online "discussion" in other spaces. It makes my head hurt. It causes physical discomfort, and I need to really stop looking at certain websites b/c it is bad for my psyche.

    B/c while I'm not a fan of Rhianna, I've been observing the latest hullabaloo that I think relates to this post. Rhianna was called a thing that I don't even want to type in a Dutch magazine. As part of an INTERVIEW that they conducted with her. And now many of her "fans" are arguing that she has no right to be offended by it b/c she works with rappers who are misogynists who use the N word, and of course the same tired argument that no black people can be offended by the use of the word just b/c a FEW black people use it.

    I mean, using their logic, should I be able to punch any and all white people in the face b/c some of them probably use the n-word? B/c reading their crap online has my fists itching...

    @Jas.rey, I think that white people like Sookie b/c she's just as narcissistic as they are. So to hate her would be to hate themselves and their own BS. And honestly, as disappointing as that finale was, if it frees up Tara from being the good black friend who goes running behind the self-centered bish who manages to ruin your life at every turn, then good for her. But we also know that Rutina Weasley is now going to have the same problems that other lovely black actresses have in Holly-white.

    Seriously, why do black women even grow up wanting to be actresses?

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  7. Oh, just wanted to give you a mini-round of applause for all of the rage, racism, and vitriol that you filter out, but goodness, how do you keep it from getting to you? I mean, I just can't look anymore and have to add more things to my banned list.

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  8. "Soooooo...if you're the editor of a magazine and an actress you totally adore is coming out with a new show, you're not going to do a piece on her show, covering her co-stars while specifically ignoring her. In what universe does that make any kind of sense?"

    That's the thing though. Whiteness does not operate on sense. Those who are lost in whiteness will see "white" first and foremost above all else. It doesn't matter if they are - in this case - co-stars of the show. It doesn't matter if they have no talent which explains the rise of Lady Gaga (lol). As long as it's white, it's all right and worthy of being the center of positive attention.

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  9. @Nicthommi
    "Seriously, why do black women even grow up wanting to be actresses?"

    I want to be a screenwriter, which is probably more unlikely to happen then being an actress. It's going to take a lot of mental preparation for the bullshit I know I'll encounter.

    "I think that white people like Sookie b/c she's just as narcissistic as they are. So to hate her would be to hate themselves and their own BS."

    That's so true. She loved Eric when he was brain damaged twat but suddenly couldn't love him when he had a mind of his own again. Anyways, I hope Rutina can find better work than True Blood and I hope the (bad) writers leave Lafayette alone but, alas, Hollywhite always manages to make my nightmares come true.

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  10. "I mean, using their logic, should I be able to punch any and all white people in the face b/c some of them probably use the n-word? B/c reading their crap online has my fists itching..."

    I once went to a house party where, as soon as I walked through the door, some white guy--sober, I might add--comes up to me and goes "What's up my nigga?" I was promptly scolded by the other guests for being rude by rightfully cussing his ass out.

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  11. I agree with @Nicthommi whenever I read some of the comments on other blogs I forget that they aren't being moderated by you. I've stopped visiting many of the blogs I used to visit because of the comment sections.

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  12. I've stopped visiting many of the blogs I used to visit because of the comment sections.

    As have I.

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  13. Oh, just wanted to give you a mini-round of applause for all of the rage, racism, and vitriol that you filter out, but goodness, how do you keep it from getting to you?

    Basically, but countering. For every snarky comment or post I see about artists of color, I do a post and I promote the artist.

    I also am very vocal towards my fellow WoC; I tell my female coworkers flat-out all the time how lovely they are, how awesome their outfits are, and I listen to them when they talk. Because we need that. We need that for ourselves and one another, even if it's from strangers.

    As WoC we get a lot of negative messages hurled our way all day every day; we need to counter it by smiling at one another and sharing some kind words.

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  14. I've been warned, threatened and banned on so many boards for pointing out racism that I don't even bother visiting fan websites. My last fight was for Tara from True Blood and so help me god I just don't have it in me anymore. It is a virtual lynch mob out there. If they could they would string these black actresses up by the neck they would. They'll accept the black man if he's either a. gay or b. sexy as hell. If they want to bone him or go shopping with him he's safe. Their hate is so virulent and so nasty. It's like looking at a bunch or rabid dogs in a pit. disgusting. The only way a black actress can get by is if she's the sassy black friend that's just so supportive and has no life outside her white best friend.

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  15. @Pepp, oh yeah, sassy black friend. They LOVE having those. And usually it's such an egregious choice since the sassy friend is so much more attractive and appealing than her self-centered, angsty, annoying white friend who she is advising (and who usually is juggling men while sassy black friend sleeps along).

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  16. Nicthommi,

    Now ain't some crap? These same Rhinanna "fans" were up in arms when Chris Brown hit her( I'm not a big fans of hers as well, but far as what happened to Chris,it wasn't right what he did. At the same time, I thought that some ofhersame fans(*coughing*..racists)used this incident to show their racism in a cowardly way)

    I'm glad Rihanna told them off. I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. I always laugh at those racists who think that Black people and other minorities are just supposed to sit back, use us up and put us down.Pleeezz! I just wish that racists for once like the her " fans" stop using other people's incidents as a veil for them to express their racial views to others. Eventually, their real selves will come out.

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  17. Ive personally given up on certain message boards, blogs and forums in general, because many people want to stew in their own willful ignorance. Calling out racism, homophobia, and other prejudices seems to make you the bad guy in this day and age. I ran across a youtube video of an interview involving a heavy set black woman. Some of the comments were so disgusting with people calling this young woman, the n word and a gorilla. When others called out the bigotry people said they were being too pc. Its a sad time we live in and there aren't very many "safe" places to discuss race.

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  18. I couldn't post this at Womanist Musings (I think it hates my version of Firefox). Emerson and Caviziel (I'm sure I spelt that wrong but whatever) are cowards for allowing TV Guide to ignore Henson. She is their co-worker and yet they still did the interview. Bullshit like that helps contribute to racism but hey as long as they get their publicity who cares AMIRITE?

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  19. Bullshit like that helps contribute to racism but hey as long as they get their publicity who cares AMIRITE?

    BINGO!!!!

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  20. @ M
    At the same time, I thought that some ofhersame fans(*coughing*..racists)used this incident to show their racism in a cowardly way

    Yes. It especially pissed me off when Anderson Cooper had Eminem on his show, who had numerous domestic violence incident with his babies mother and openly says degrading violently things about women in his songs but he had no problem with Slim Shady's white ass.

    Then he goes on rant about Chris Brown, who for the most part does nothing but make love songs and dance. Mmm inconsistent much?

    It annoys me because these jounalists aren't doing it entirely in defense of Rhianna. They're doing it to sate their hunger to find a black man to demonize and vilify.

    BTW I'm not excusing Chris Brown at all. I don't like him or his music( a few songs but I think he can dance well, singing he can't really do).

    This Thread:
    Pfft. I stay away from fandom like the plague.

    I like True Blood for it being so forward on LGBT but Tara's treatment by fandom pissed me off.

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  21. @Student
    PREEEEEACH!! Damn right they didn't give a CRAP about Rhianna especially since the media doesn't seem to care about black women any OTHER time[like those who are murdered or go missing]. Nor do they ever see DV as a problem when it's a white male like Charlie Sheen or Mickey Rourke gee wonder why. As for Ms Henson I noticed the same thing with Glee funny how Miss down for gay rights Jane Lynch doesn't seem to give a rat's ASS about her black and Asian co-stars getting left out.

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  22. @Jas.Rey, I hope you are able to reach your dream, and I guess that honestly, as black people NOTHING comes easy so it's not a good reason to give up or not pursue something.

    I mean, I work in tech in the Silicon Valley, and trust me, black people are a rare sight out here(at both work and in daily life) and no one cares. I flew through Atlanta returning from a trip back east for the holidays, and it was nice to just be immersed in a sea of black and brown for a change, and also just to be someplace where people liked black women b/c honestly, they just don't out here. They aren't nice or polite in any way, and it was nice to be in the South where men of all races actually treated me like I was there.

    It can happen. Someone I knew in undergrad has been really successful but of course we know that blacks in front of or behind the camera are rare. But black tech CEOs and execs are probably more rare than that.

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