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🤮 Barnes & Noble GOES WOKE: Race-swapping classic books for Black History Month

Social media backlash accused Barnes & Noble of 'literary blackface.'


Bookseller Barnes & Noble has dropped a planned promotion for Black History Month "following social media backlash accusing the company of 'literary blackface,'" writes I-Hsien Sherwood. The push aimed to reimagine covers of a dozen classic books written primarily by white authors with images of people of color. The so-called "Diverse Editions" were published by Penguin Random House as part of a campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day New York. But the effort met with controversy when critics charged that the project missed the point of elevating people of color. Detractors said the effort "divorces the images of the characters from the context of the books," writes Sherwood, and critics contended that Barnes & Noble "could have chosen to feature classic literature by authors of color rather than print new editions of books that are already commonplace."  

Race-swapping and pandering is just pure laziness and unnecessary. There have been complaints about period dramas cause it's mostly white people, well then, just create new period pieces set in different countries and cultures. Imagine a TV adaptation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms or Dream of the Red Chamber which they take place in ancient China.

What B&N did is just pure laziness and its tokenism. For Black History month, Barnes and Noble could've simply highlighted books written by black authors, old and new. It would've been that simple. Fools. The reason why they did this was to encourage and inspire young African-Americans to read and write their own stories. Well, this is not the answer.

Also to mention, Penguin Random House has always been a woke company and has been a decline for quite some time. They are known to have their "Penguin Classics" line, containing lists of titles of classical literary works, but recently added books to that line that are not really classics for ideological/publicity reasons. This has caused controversy and debate.

Anyway, Race-swapping and forced unnatural diversity is stupid and unnecessary. It's okay to have an all-white cast like Friends or an all-black cast like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, an all-Asian cast like The Host (movie), etc. NO ONE CARES about diversity. Tokenism isn't great either, which was a trend in the 90s-00s.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers original cast look back 25 years later | | EW.comEthicist For Hire: July 2013

The best thing to do is MAKE YOUR OWN characters or original work, don't use an existing story and race-swapping characters whose original ethnicity was supposed to be.

Battlestar galactica, Beets and Bears on PinterestBattlestar Galactica (1978) / Characters - TV Tropes

I'm not encouraging it, but There's has been SOME exceptions with some debate, like Battlestar Galactica 2003 remake, which doesn't try to be the original but tries to be different and just uses the original as a template. It had major race-swapping and gender-swapping, Boomer was originally a Black man then changed to an Asian woman, Starbuck was a guy then changed to a woman, and Colonel Tie was Black then changed to White, but those characters are COMPLETELY different from their original incarnations with different backgrounds and personalities. The original and the remake cannot be compared because they are very different. Ever since no one has complained. NOBODY

There has been controversy over the MCU about the character of Agent Nick Fury. He was originally white in the comics but black in the movies. The MCU Nick Fury is most likely based on the Ultimate Marvel version (which appeared in 2001) and not the Orignal version from the comics. In the comics, Nick Fury has a black son named Nick Jr (appeared in 2012 with mixed response).

White Token from Season 1. : southparkIn 2008, a Hollywood heist movie, 21, caused race-casting controversy.

According to Wikipedia:

A race-based controversy arose over the decision to make the majority of the characters white Americans, even though the main players in the book Bringing Down the House, upon which the film 21 is based, were mainly Asian Americans. The lead role was given to London-born Jim Sturgess, who required a dialect coach to speak with an American accent.

Jeff Ma, who was the real-life inspiration for the character Ben Campbell and served as a consultant on the film, was attacked as being a "race traitor" on several blogs for not insisting that his character be Asian-American. In response, Ma said, "I'm not sure they understand how little control I had in the movie-making process; I didn't get to cast it." Ma said that the controversy was "overblown" and that the important aspect is that a talented actor would portray him. Ma, who is Chinese American, told USA Today, "I would have been a lot more insulted if they had chosen someone who was Japanese or Korean, just to have an Asian playing me."

Nick Rogers of The Enterprise wrote, "The real-life students mostly were Asian-Americans, but 21 whitewashes its cast and disappointingly lumps its only Asian-American actors (Aaron Yoo and Liza Lapira) into one-note designations as the team's kleptomaniac and a slot-playing 'loser.'"

The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) reported on their website: "After the 'white-washing' issue was raised on Entertainment Weekly's website, producer Dana Brunetti wrote: "Believe me, I would have LOVED to cast Asians in the lead roles, but the truth is, we didn't have access to any bankable Asian-American actors that we wanted."

Conclusion: I'm going to say it again. MAKE YOUR OWN characters and unique story, don't use existing material, and race-swap it, that's rude and lazy. Imagine an all-white cast about samurais. (It was rare in real-life just to let you know.) Watch Dannaphan's take on this. VIDEO

Image tagged in weaboo,japanaholic,japan,otaku,samurai,white - Imgflip

First Picture Credit: Barnes & Noble, TBWA/Chiat/Day

Last Edit: 12/23/22


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