Cartoon blog 45: Representation in creators vs representation in characters

Hey here is something that never happens to me. When I’m watching a show like Breaking Bad, I don’t say to myself : “Wow, this is so good, I wish there was an Indian character to represent me in the show.”

I respect representation as long as it comes from the author, or the auteur depending on whether they have an original vision or not. I’ve heard arguments especially for popular intellectual properties that if there is no representation then the show runner, the writers, the director, the creator, etc, must be racist.

Let’s say there was an Indian antagonist, a brutal bad guy, should I be offended that the representation is wrong?

I firmly believe that we should let the people tell good stories. I’ll enjoy good honest stories because it will reflect the human experience accurately without any required filters. And since I happen to be human, so I can relate.

But forcefully inserting characters just to show you are progressive makes me cringe.

OK let’s say representation becomes a requirement for the creative work, for storytelling, how would the creators know what they define as representation is objectively correct or is proportionate to the actual real human population of the world?

And if the studio starts conducting surveys to dictate what characters the author should and shouldn’t use in a story, it stops being true characters, and start becoming ingredients in a product, NOT a work of ART.

Seth Godin beautifully said that ART is what Humans make, well if the ART is flawed, doesn’t it make it more HUMAN?

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again ART is all about how people feel when they create it and how they feel when they enjoy it. If you want real representation I vote for representation of creators, not artificial extracts included in a Art made into a commodity.

If you are fighting for representation, STOP FIGHTING, START CREATING. Create so much and so creatively that they can’t ignore your voice.

Bonne journée.


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A cartoonist, teacher, podcast, Youtuber

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