I draw the webcomic Manly Guys Doing Manly Things and work on cartoons you might see on TV sometimes.
I don’t believe a creator of anything should ever be told what they can and can not do. Hate their work, despise it, like it, love it, have a burning indifference, whatever. That’s your right as a consumer to feel however you want about it. You make your decisions to either support it or don’t. But to presume that they should change what they want to create based on anyone’s views but their own is disgusting to me.
I see so many people saying how George R. R. Martin needs to change so and so because of just about every kind of -ism you can pull out of your ass and how they won’t read his books because of how offended they are.
Well why do you give a shit? If you’re not buying or reading the books because of whatever reason, why should he change the story he wants to tell because of it? I don’t think any changes made are going to sway you, imaginary example person, so what’s the point?
I mean, look at Dead or Alive. They made a big effort to tone down the sexuality and focus more on the FIGHTING rather than the sex appeal and, surprise! I don’t think anyone who said they hated Dead or Alive previously because of the big bouncing titties suddenly changed their mind and played Dead or Alive 5 after learning about the change of direction by the devs.
Iiiiiiiii can’t say I agree with that, creators can get stuffed inside their own heads and if people just leave them in a criticism-free bubble they never have a reason to reconsider how they’ve been handling themselves or if they’ve just been making a lot of the same mistakes everyone else does. Do the people making Once Upon A Time intentionally kill off every black character in the show the same episode they appear? I’d like to think not, maybe if someone confronted them about it at a ComicCon panel or drummed up some press about it they’d pull their heads out of the ground and realize “wow this is a really shitty thing we’re doing, we should not do that”. Maybe if Ryan Murphy got some heat about his weird woman issues he’d stretch his brain to come up with a story for one that doesn’t involve being raped or extorting men with their vaginas. Who knows?
Any time you’re writing about someone who isn’t you, you have the potential to get it terribly wrong. A lot of the time these issues seem to be more a case of ignorance than intent to offend. You want to include a gay character but you don’t know any gay people and don’t have anyone to consult on the matter so your mind inadvertently writes The Gay Person On TV. This ends up being offensive to real life gay people who are tired of seeing The Gay Person On TV, and they tell you as much. You can either get offended that they dared criticize your (inherently flawed) vision or consider that maybe you were stepping into some pitfalls you didn’t intend to and think about how you can pull in the reigns so people can enjoy your story they way you wanted them to.
You cannot please everybody, even just attempting to would totally wash out any point you were trying to make and turn the whole thing into media pablum. But that doesn’t mean you should be a brick wall to criticism. You can’t look at the most extreme voices and cite them as proof that all dissenting opinions are radical and wrong. The radical voices are on both sides, anyway, like how people ranting about sexism in Bayonetta are no less obnoxious than people who insist that you’re over-reacting if you had any kind of criticism about Bayonetta. It’s important to at least consider what people are reacting negatively to, and whether or not that was your intended effect.