KH-Vids Podcast Episode #77: No Representation, Only Caucasian

Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by Misty, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Misty gimme kiss

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    It's still Tuesday in some parts of the world get off my back

    The KH-Vids Podcast is back with a brand new episode, just for you!

    Joined by @Llaverion and @Sebax, your podcast crew (@Misty, @libregkd, and @Calxiyn) begin by discussing your regularly scheduled Kingdom Hearts news and updates! We address Bill Farmer's tweet about Kingdom Hearts 3 (and subsequent backpedaling), Kingdom Hearts 2.5's sales, and the loss of Chikao Ohtsuka, the Japanese voice actor for Master Xehanort.

    From there we move along to our major topic for the week, the lack of representation for people of color in this year's Oscar nominations. We cite some horrifying statistics re: Hollywood & the Academy's 'straight white male' hegemony and the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, and branch into discussions about Disney's weird relationship with diverse films and The Interview.

    Finally, we answer user-submitted questions! @Graxe asks what we would do if we woke up wearing the Majora's Mask, @Highlandeɼ is interested in what games KHV has made us want to play, and @KHGrl15 makes us choose a fictional universe to live in!

    Please everyone listen, enjoy, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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    Download Episode #77 (MP3)
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    Interested in being a member guest on the podcast? Fill out our form here and we'll be in touch. Ask us a question by visiting this page or sending an email to podcast@kh-vids.net!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
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Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by Misty, Jan 21, 2015.

    1. Misty
      Misty
      MP3 might go down momentarily because a certain goon forgot the episode number.

      It was me. I'm the goon.
    2. Scarred Nobody
      Scarred Nobody
      - Preface: all of this is coming from the point of view of a person who loves film and happens to be considered Mexican, straight and disabled.

      - I more watch The Oscars because of the specticle and all the technical awards. And even though Niel Patrick Harris is hosting this year, I still find myself debating of whether I'm going to watch it. The only year I can say I was interested was in 2012, where I had seen most of the big Oscar movies. I was rooting for Les Mis to win, but Argo won, which was actually a really good choice considering the snub for Best Director.

      - I was someone who needed the whole "White Oscars" thing pointed out for me. I looked at the nominees, got upset that The Lego Movie wasn't nomminated for Best Animated Film, and that was it. I hadn't seen every movie that could've potentially been on the list, but from what's there, it's a very tight race. A black critic I admire, Korey Coleman, even commented on the subject saying "I've seen all the nominations, and it's all really close. It's a fair list".

      - A lot of the people who run Hollywood don't see animation as a medium that is worth-while, which is a really harsh reality. They don't see all that are nominated, and sometimes vote on something they haven't even seen. Take last year for example: Frozen won the Best Picture, which was something I was excited for (Frozen was my best film of 2013), but when I looked at the ballots, I knew it didn't earn the win. So many people didn't see the other films in the category, or just voted for Frozen because of the prestigue. And don't get me started on their views on motion capture as a performance.

      - From everything I've heard, Big Hero 6 is good, but does not deserve the nomination. And I really, really love the adaptation of Into the Woods, but it does not deserve any nominations outisde of technical stuff. In my opinion, Streep was a great witch, but the only reason she's nominated is because she was in a movie this year. Hell, the Golden Globes surprised me at how many nominations it got! I think the only reason it got so much was because of the director, whose previous work in musicals was Chicago (which is one of the best musical films ever created).

      - With "The Interview" and comedy, I follow the South Park mentality and believe that "there are no sacred cows". When I first saw the trailer for it, I thought, "oh, it's just a dumb stoner movie", and after seeing it, I was right. It's not really all that good (the only thing that had me laughing out loud was the beginning with Eminem), but it's not the worst thing that came out last year. And, they actually do bring up issues about North Korea in a (semi) serious manor. They did a lot of research and used this dumb comedy to bring that to light.

      - Rogan was actually asked by Colbert about doing a fictionalized dictator and he said something along the lines of "yeah, we were going to fictionalize the leader, but then we thought, he's feelings are we trying to protect here? Kim Jong-Un's?"

      - I don't think Lawrence was actually that big prior to The Hunger Games. I think she was up for an Oscar a few months before The Hunger Games release, but she really wasn't on anyone's radar until that came out.

      -I grew up with no real representation of disabled characters being someone with a terminal heart disease for the majority of my life. Does that suck, yes, but I wasn't too aware of it when I was a kid. I didn't watch stuff because of how healthy characters were, I watched it because it was entertaining. And this year, I've noticed a lot of stories about characters with disabilities (Fault in Our Stars, Red Band Society), all to which I have various opinions on. The one thing I do stand for is appropriate repsesentation of disabled people in the media. I'm not calling that every television show needs a disabled character; what I want is good characters who happened to be disabled, not characters whose only feature is that they are disabled (The Fault In Our Stars being this latter example). In all honesty, I think the best disabled character I've seen in the media is Elsa from Frozen.

      - The Jared Leto thing was that he played a trans-female, to which they did choose a straight male to play the role. Honestly, I think Leto was the best person for the job. If you actually watch the performance, he becomes that character, and I feel no one could have done it better. I mean, Eddie Redmayne is up up for an Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking, but he doesn't really have ALS. Should I be getting upset about that, being a disabled person?

      - With the Roman Palanski thing, I will say that I will defend the art, but not the creator. For example, Orsan Scott Card has a very terrible, negative view on homosexuality that I do not agree with. That being said, Ender's Game was one of my favorite films of 2013. I loved that movie so much, I decided to pick up the book, and it contains none of those negative views. Now, if the story did have any focus on those terrible views, it would be a completely different story.

      - I'm of the mindset that you cannot have an opinion on a movie until you've actually seen it; of course, this coming from the mindset of someone who is passionately in love with movies. There have been a number of times where I go into a movie, think it'll be crap, and come out loving it (21 Jump Street). Now, there are exceptions to this rule (while I hear Birth of a Nation was innovative for its time in the way movies were made, I will never watch that film), but I honestly don't think "The Interview" gains that exception.

      - You're really making it sound like I'm a bad person for liking Frozen.

      - I think one of the draws to Donald Duck for me is because I would watch the Three Caballeros a lot when I was a kid. It can be said that I probably watched it a lot because of how it reminded me of my own culture, but part of me doubts that a bit. Again, it was something with lots of bright colors, was constantly moving, and had the stamp of Disney on it. Even though it was older than me, all those things would have any kid's attention, regardless of nationality.
    3. Sebax
      Sebax
      Ah! A couple things I have to point out:
      1. I accidentally introduced myself over the Staff Guest, and really thought I was being directed to speak. It was cut, and it was a little bit of harmless rivalry that led me to say "I agree" in the "I sound like a turd" line. It was a joke. o///o
      2. I left early because I'm helping my grandmother move. I wanted to stay. I did not get upset over the tone of the podcast, but only got caught up after I was called to help pack some boxes.
      Also, does this mean I get that fancy blue pin? : 3
    4. Plums
      Plums
      *cracks knuckles*

      I wasn't surprised about the Oscars nominees going to all white people (particularly white men), which is something I have come to expect over time, although it is still hella frustrating. Although I haven't seen it yet, I'm firmly in the camp that if Selma got nommed for a Best Picture award, that the director should have gotten a nomination for Best Director. I think I was talking to my mom about it the other day, but Selma only being put up for a single award (granted, probably the largest) does kind of reek of the implication "WELL we have this movie with black ppl in it, we're not racist see," which is tokenism at its finest.

      And I mean, it also makes you think about how odd it is that the only two movies that featured a predominately nonwhite cast are the movies about civil rights leaders and/or in positions where they are oppressed but ~noble and unyielding~. I think these movies are incredibly important for their subject matter and this is not intended to be a slight against the people who dedicated themselves to creating these types of films, but I'm exasperated with seeing these types of movies being the only big budget movies that you see predominant cast of color in. This BuzzFeed article captures it perfectly to me:

      I want to see much more diversity in the roles offered and given to people in the industry, and it has gotten to a point where I don't really have as much interest in major Hollywood productions as I used to, because I already have a pretty good idea of what subject matter to expect for people that look like me & other people in my life. This is why films like Pacific Rim are so good in my eyes because it actively challenged that status quo of racial diversity in casting; it's so good to see Idirs Elba and Rinko Kikuchi in leading roles that aren't dependant on the character's race and have such an important dynamic throughout the film.

      On the other side of this is whitewashing, particularly in films like Exodus and The Last Airbender, which are based on historical figures who were African and Inuit. That is not a good change, that's erasing what good representation there was just to have big name white actors in there for money, and that's no excuse.

      There's definietly a lot more I could say but this post is getting pretty long as is, heh. But I am extremely glad that the Internet and technology have been giving more opportunity and accessibility to people who weren't able to do these things and have chances to produce content en masse like this; like Misty, I am kind of a Huge Optimist, but I really believe that because of our generation getting involved into these issues of representation across the board and making their own material to fill in the gaps the past generations have ignored (to be frank), that change will start to roll out more quickly than it has, even if it is still at a slow pace for my impatient butt.

      edit: i kinda focused on race heavily but there is a LOT to be said about representation of women, the queer community, people with disabilities, and so on so forth.

      kingdom hearts: gender/race/sexuality/ability/etc. podcast next plz
    5. Misty
      Misty
      Yeah, that's something I was trying to get at -- it seems like a lot of the people who watch the Oscars aren't doing it exactly to support the film industry. They're doing it for the red carpet show and the amusing host and the little shows they put on during it. I mean, you hear very little about anything but the best actor and actress nominees most years (and best picture). And don't get me started on all the Leo D jokes.

      It's just this weird, sensationalized event that every year seems to have less and less to do with the actual movies, but more a product of our celebrity culture.
      That's interesting -- do you think, perhaps, that you've just gotten so used to the Oscars (and Hollywood) being incredibly white that you've sort of become desensitized to it? Not trying to accuse or anything, just interested. And since I know you're super into movies, do you ever make your own list of winners for the year?
      This is really a serious issue I have with the Oscars too. Animation is looked down upon as just children's films, which we all know isn't true, and it's especially puzzling when you compare the box office success of animation films compared to non-animated. Yeah, it's because kids and families go to see them, but that still deserves to be recognized and it doesn't mean it's inherently a lesser medium. Are animated movies even allowed to be nominated for Best Picture?

      I could talk a lot about my problems with Frozen, but despite my whining I don't think it's a bad movie necessarily -- part of why I'm so grumpy about it is just the complete oversaturation of it and (imo) overblown reaction to it. For the movie itself, well, I can pull out some tumblr posts that nail down a lot of the issues with it (and expand on my own), but even with those things, it's still not a bad movie. It's an okay movie, imo; by Disney standards to call something 'okay' is pretty rare for me. Therefore, compared to how I regard most other Disney movies & my expectation for Disney movies, something being just okay is kinda bad, but I digress. All that said, we can't ignore the enormous popularity and commercial success of Frozen. I'd be really interested to know why kids have gone so gaga over it, actually! Like what is it about Frozen that just completely captured them? Maybe we should do a Frozen podcast some time, ha. I'm sure @Calxiyn will play Frozen defense squad.

      It definitely didn't deserve the win last year, not because of how good it was or wasn't, but the ballots like you said were frankly despicable. The Lego Movie being snubbed is symptomatic of the complete apathy the Academy has for animation and kids' movies, too. It's really upsetting.
      Holy **** this. It's frankly a crime that Andy Serkis hasn't received anything. I don't remember who I was talking to about this or where (it could have been on the podcast lol), but I can't wait for them to either allow mocap into best actor/actress nominees or create a separate category for it.
      This goes back to what I was saying with animation but it seems like the default is just "Best Animated Movie? Oh, we'll just give it to whatever Disney put out this year."
      As I'm sure was expected, I'm really not intending on ever seeing the movie. Here's a great post on the subject, by the way. I know that approaches "geez Misty, think for yourself" territory, but for me it's a matter of principal & I don't want to support something like this. Oh, and here's the Patton Oswalt essay I referenced: http://www.pattonoswalt.com/index.cfm?page=spew&id=167
      Right!? I was so confused when they all were telling me JLaw was a thing pre-Hunger Games. I did some googling and discovered she was nominated for Best Actress for Winter's Bone in 2010 but I still don't think she was a household name or anything. She was cute in Like Crazy, though (but my heart ultimately goes out to Felicity Jones in it).
      Oh definitely! I don't mean to say that it's impossible to relate to a character because they don't exactly match yourself, only that the representation of certain people in the media is seriously lacking. And, speaking from experience, it can be incredibly powerful to find a character that you relate with -- whether that's through simple personality or something like race, gender, disability, sexuality, etc.
      Exactly what I'd like to see! Where the character isn't written as their disability or their race or whatever, but like you say, a character who happens to be disabled.

      Frozen is definitely powerful as an allegory for disability and/or mental illness. I would maybe like to see a more explicit portrayal (like How to Train Your Dragon!) but I respect Frozen for it.
      Well it's definitely not my place to say what people should and should not be getting upset about, considering I'm white and I'm not disabled.

      I've not seen the movie but I'm sure Leto did a great job with it, that's part of being a good actor -- but imo, these things have a lot of power when they're portrayed by a person who matches whatever the role calls for, and that creates an opportunity for those people to break into the industry (because, let's face it, there's not a heck of a lot of opportunity for trans women in Hollywood). The best and most obvious example would be Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black. When casting for the role of Sophia, Jenji Kohan insisted that they cast an actual trans woman, and I'm so pleased the role went to Laverne Cox. The episode focusing on her transition (and those that follow) plays with such a real authenticity and has made a trans woman somewhat of a household name -- not to mention that her OITNB fame has gotten Laverne Cox on a number of talk shows and other notice (Time magazine!) which does wonders for trans awareness.
      I tried to get at this with Pocahontas, by saying you're not a bad person for liking something problematic as long as you acknowledge the problematic aspects. I think you're taking the right approach. The problem is people like Roman Polanski being given sort of a clean slate by a lot of Hollywood because he's made good movies. The thing is, nobody and nothing is completely unproblematic. That doesn't mean we're not allowed to like anything, that'd be ludicrous. But we do have to be aware of those problematic things and not pretend they never happened (which you're not doing obviously).
      I'm glad! I was a little worried, ha. Sorry if I gave you a hard time! It's totally okay to argue with me on the podcast everyone, I like it.
      People have pulled out similar defenses with 12 Years a Slave last year, like "oh hollywood isn't racist look at all the awards 12 years a slave got"
      which........ is not how it works ..........................
      Yes!

      And Pacific Rim is so important to me on many levels but Mako and Stacker's relationship is huge. Huge. A terminally ill black man raising a Japanese girl? And he's clearly celebrating her culture, since Mako obviously has a connection to it -- I mean hell, the two seem to naturally speak Japanese to one another. And Pacific Rim being set in the not-so-distant future is really special to me too and fits so well with the overall hopefulness of the movie: that this future is one that includes all different sorts of people in such a wonderful and positive way and omg I might have to watch Pacific Rim tonight. It's like Star Trek, in that way -- it's imagining a future where a black woman will serve on the bridge of the Enterprise and be one of the most important people there. That's the sort of future I want to see.
      And so did the podcast! Which is okay since that was really the focus of the uproar over the Oscars this year, but we can -- and will -- talk a lot about other sorts of representation too.
      oh god don't even get me started
    6. Scarred Nobody
      Scarred Nobody
      I wouldn't say I'm desensitized, it's just that I don't notice race casting too much. Granted, it would be nice to see Hollywood show more representation of different races, but it doesn't affect me when I watch a movie. And I did make a list of top movies this year, but it's less Award winning stuff and more stuff that I loved from this past year. If I had to pick for stuff though, Jake Gyllanhal would've been my best actor for "Nightcrawler", Amy Adams for best actress for Big Eyes, Carrie Coon for best supporting actress for Gone Girl, and (believe it or not) Tyler Perry for best supporting actor for Gone Girl.

      Very rarely does animation make it into the best picture category. The only time I'm aware of it is with Beauty and the Beast, which was the first animated film to be nominated for best picture. The most recent time I think an animated film was nominated for best picture was Up. It kinda sucks that animation isn't taken so seriously, especially with some of the films that actually won the Oscar that have mature storytelling.

      And since you brought it up, in a way, I don't understand why economists are so interested in this year's awards. All I've been hearing is that "there are no blockbusters in this year's best picture category" (except for American Sniper, which hadn't be widely released at that point). I thought it was a given that films can be good, regardless of their box office draw.

      Yeah, that's been going on for a while. I mean, I saw Brave a while back, and I legitimately thought that wasn't a good movie and was surprised that won the Oscar. And I know that it was a film with very mixed reviews among critics at the time, so that may have been because of the Disney/Pixar name. Same can be said with the Cars 2 nomination.

      Yeah; I think the only people talking about her at that time were hard core film people, which I really wasn't one back at that time. Plus, Winter's Bone was a film that didn't get that big of a theatrical release, so it was a film that most people hadn't seen.[/quote][/quote]
    7. tamale
      tamale
      My mom had Fox News on the other day and one of the anchors got asked what he thought of the Selma snubs. I kid you not, he immediately evaded the question, turned it around, and started talking about The Lego Movie not getting nominated. Ughhhh.

      Yep. Beauty and the Beast and Up were both Best Picture nominees.
      That's possibly the thing I hate the most about the Oscars; at least the Golden Globes give other companies a chance; How to Train Your Dragon 2 actually got the win this year, even. But last year (or the year before), the third Madoka movie was actually in the running for an Animated Picture Oscar nomination, and I think anyone who's watched it can definitely tell you it should've gotten a nomination and not just because we're weeb trash. But true to form, the Academy only picked one movie from each major company, with admissions that they didn't even watch most or all of the movies. This year, not even nominating The Lego Movie or The Book of Life is highway robbery. I'm also dumbfounded that Studio Ghibli hasn't had an Oscar win since Spirited Away more than ten years ago. and not just because i'm weeb trash
      Frick yes. Best Supporting Actor should've been his long ago for Lord of the Rings.
    8. Rik
      Rik
      Misty, your title game is on point!
    9. Misty
      Misty
      Thanks! @cstar and @Stardust helped with this one, I was having trouble. I don't think anything will top "Disney Gettin' Busy in 2015," though.