Saturday, September 19, 2009

In Consumer Society Only White People Have Worth

Platinum Studios1 apparently has the Disney Media Machinery looking at one of its properties as a vehicle for a young Disney star. Racebending ensues.

Poof! By the magic of insistent marketing engineers, an Asian hero becomes White, most likely because the world of marketing believes white sells, everything else cuts into profit. And as we all know when Disney does a movie there are posters, McDonald tie-ins, soda promotions, t-shirts and toys, other paraphernalia in the Disney stores, an animated tv pilot in the wings - to further grasp the magical demographic of future 18-35 year old white males who are assumed to have more money than girls, women, minorities and anyone over fifty. They're also assumed to be more open to brand imprinting for life long brand loyalty.

Of course this attitude totally confuses in terms of the live action of Avatar:TLA (from whence we get the term racebending) because Nickolodeon and thus Paramount seemed to be doing pretty well already with toys, books and artwork about Asian characters. But then again, I'm not in charge of a multi-billion dollar enterprise, so my perspective on 'doing well' and 'profitable' is more than likely small.

No doubt racebending Aang quadruples perspective market share or something like that. Just like Tommy Zhou becoming Yet Another White Man Doing Asian Martial Arts Better Than Asians - while undoubtedly being more spiritual, noble and heroic than Asian peoples equals more sh*t to sell in a self perpetuating storytelling product selling culture.

No doubt someone will want to point or comment about Tyler Perry or say that Asians need to make their own stuff. To which I say pre-emptively now: The Gatekeepers Of The Film Industry Are White Men Who Grew Up In Segregation & Who Prioritize Profit Over Morals, Art or Citizenship.

Also note how Perry's success comes from a Mammy figure with a gun and representing black American culture and people as insular and separate and the scope is very traditional. The women are 'strong' and 'self sacrificing' and the men are dutiful, wistful, hardworking 'hands'. That's not telling black stories, that's telling white stories about blacks.

1. Platinum Studios was last rumored to be near bankruptcy, it gave up WOWIO to another business also transferring the debts it owes various comic artists. To say that marketing plays only a mild or even a traditionally expected role in the decision to whitewash and disnefy is to be swimming in reckless denial; That is, unless your value of 'traditional' includes profit geared, self perpetuating racism.