4 Bad Excuses for Awful Stereotypes in Recent Pop Culture
The wallets of the big media studios don't discriminate. If you want to give them money in exchange for the latest audiovisual treat, it doesn't matter what your creed, race, or orientation is -- they'll always take it. They're nice like that. However, if you want to see yourself represented in those movies, shows, or games, that's a little more complicated, because, uh ... well, you see, it's like this ... *farts forever*
That's the response the following companies might as well have given when asked why, in 2014, their products still like to pretend we're in 1954. Instead, they went with even more embarrassing excuses, such as ...
Nintendo Doesn't Want Gay Couples in Their New Game Because They're Not "Whimsical" Enough
Nintendo isn't known for straying beyond the path of the tried and tested -- we have about a hundred different Marios, a hundred different Pokemons, a hundred different Zeldas, and one or two Haunted Mansions with green Mario. And on the rare occasion that they do throw out something other than Mario/Zelda/Pokemon, we get a little glimpse of Nintendo's true deer-in-the-headlights insanity, like in Tomodachi Life. Nintendo's latest best-selling game is a "life simulator," assuming your life is a constant barrage of the hardest drugs available mixed with all the alcohol in your dad's pantry. The concept of the game is that you can take your real-life friends and have them do wacky stuff, like holding Queen concerts:
"I see a little Mii-effigy of a man ..."
Performing ritualistic dances around dead consoles:
"Kali ma! KALI MA!"
Or ... whatever's going on here.
"Finally, a game that caters to the reptilian Illuminati that lords over us all!"
Yes, you can put all your friends in Tomodachi Life! Except, surprisingly, the gay ones: They can either learn to like the opposite sex or stay out. When the game was first released in Japan, players could start relationships and marry whomever they wanted, including characters of the same sex, but this was soon found to be a glitch, and Nintendo quickly got rid of that option. Fans took to the Internet and started a campaign fighting for gay marriage in Tomodachi Life, and within a few days the campaign amassed enough attention that Nintendo was forced to respond ... in the most tone-deaf manner possible.
According to Nintendo, they "never intended to make any form of social commentary," and "The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation" (hence the fact that there are still Virtual Boys in existence in that reality). So, they say, there can't be any same-sex relationships because the game was intended to be "quirky" and "whimsical," two adjectives nobody has ever used to describe John Waters. Nintendo also tried to explain that it was simply impossible to change the code to allow gay marriages -- or, you know, the thing that was totally possible before they deleted it.
But getting married to Princess Peach, a mushroom person, and chasing her around the beach dressed as Mario? Yes, no problem there.
They're re-enacting the beach-running scene from Rocky III with a man and woman ... just like God intended.
Putting Black People in Noah Would've Removed the "Everyman" Aspect, According to Screenwriter
Earlier this spring, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of bored people stumbled into movie theaters and saw some crazy movie about Russell Crowe on a boat, only to slowly realize they'd been duped into paying for a gritty reboot of the story of Noah's Ark. And while they were watching Crowe's performance in the hope that he'll ever do anything as poignant as Gladiator ever again (he won't), they might have then noticed something else about the cast:
Wait, Jennifer Connelly? Is Noah another personality of the A Beautiful Mind guy?
Apparently, Noah shared the same casting director as classics like Friends and Birth of a Nation, because everyone's white. Considering that every attempt to locate the real Noah's Ark has been somewhere in the Middle East or Turkey, it doesn't make sense that everyone (even the random people in the crowd scenes) would be of predominantly European descent, darkled down with a layer of grime for the gritty effect 21st century movies are required to have.
But at least the "show the actor's back" poster is super original.
Of course, this is nothing new: If whitewashing is good enough for Jesus, it sure as heck is good enough for Noah. What's different in this specific case, however, is that when Noah co-writer Ari Handel was asked in a recent interview why they chose not to cast anyone of color, he said this:
"What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn't matter. They're supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Benetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise."
He went on further: "You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, 'Let's make that not a factor, because we're trying to deal with everyman.'" And that, you see, is why no one was distracted by the all-white cast, and why no one asked him that question just now. There's also the subtle implication that non-white audiences are perfectly capable of relating to the white everyman, while white audiences will obviously freak out at the slightest hint of diversity.
"That guy in the back looks half-Asian! Burn this fucking theater down!"
Don't Expect a Gay Bachelor, Because Pizzas Aren't Hamburgers
For over a decade, The Bachelor has reminded audiences that if you put two dozen single people in a house and make them think they have to win the one human prize, they'll all suddenly fall in love with said prize and do whatever it takes to beat everyone else -- which is going to make aliens and/or future archaeologists think we had the weirdest mating customs ever. Anyway, with the growing marriage equality movement, it's only natural that people should begin to wonder if there's ever going to be a Gay Bachelor.
The answer? Probably not. Because pizza.
How dare you speak like that in front of the slice!
You see, earlier this year, Bachelor star Juan Pablo caused a small controversy by saying there should never be a gay Bachelor because it would give a "bad example to kids" (and reality TV is known for featuring model examples of human behavior). This could be brushed off as only one person on the show being terrible, but then Bachelor host Chris Harrison was asked what he thought about the situation. Harrison answered:
"The question is: Is it a good business decision? Look, if you've been making pizzas for 12 years and you've made millions of dollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, 'Hey, you should make hamburgers.' Why? I have a great business model, and I don't know if hamburgers are going to sell."
Well, confusing food analogies aside, he does have a good point. If the show ever tried to do a spinoff that completely changed the format, it'd probably fail misera-
People can handle 25 penises -- 26 would send them over the edge. Except for Season 5, where there were 30 dudes.
Oh. And The Bachelorette is on its 10th season? Huh. Still, something tells us we're more likely to see Bachelor Babies, Bachelor Dogs, and Bachelor Literally Pieces of Food Fucking Each Other than we are to see a Gay Bachelor from these people anytime soon.
The Next Assassin's Creed Won't Have Playable Female Characters Because It's "Too Much Work" Animating Them
This year's E3 kicked off with a pixelated blast, with major game-changing announcements for all your favorite and relevant gaming consoles, and also the [please fill in the name of the console you don't like]. A slew of new video games were revealed, along with a slew of new imaginative stories and a slew of new protagonists ... all of whom look the same.
But why is it that companies are still overwhelmingly using dudes as protagonists when roughly half of all gamers are women? Well, when a certain developer from Ubisoft was asked why the multiplayer mode in the next installment of the Assassin's Creed series didn't have female characters, he answered that they got cut because they'd be too much work -- specifically, they'd have to redo 8,000 animations to show a lady assassin sneaking around and killing people. And apparently this is a common problem in Ubisoft: Another developer was asked why the Far Cry series has never showcased any female leads, and he answered, "We just couldn't squeeze in the time." See, they totally wanted more diversity, but just couldn't do it.
But that's apparently bullshit. Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper said that a female Assassin's Creed character could be easily animated in "a day or two." Yeah, well, what does that guy know about changing male characters to female? A lot, actually: He did exactly that in Mass Effect 2. Sure, OK, but what does he know about animating hooded killers specifically? A lot, too: He was the director of animation on Assassin's Creed 3. So we're gonna go ahead and guess he's not just talking out of his ass.
Of course, AC3 is the one where this happens, so who the hell knows.
But the point is, maybe next time Ubisoft can perhaps have "playable female character" up there next to "playable male character," instead of somewhere down at the bottom of the list next to "realistic rabbit fur swaying in the wind" and "the sound of farting clouds on rainy nights." Just an idea, developers. Or, hey, you could stop with the crap excuses and just do the work! That would work, too!
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