Jul. 12th, 2012

jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.

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