Around the ol’ Pajiba Slack, Genevieve has coined the verb Rowling. It’s “when someone tries to shoehorn in representation via outside sources.” Dumbledore was revealed as gay after the books, but not within them. Deadpool was announced as pansexual in the movie, but he didn’t do anything to show that. In fact, he ended up with the girl at the end (my only problem with the whole movie.) And now? Well, Jonathan Kasdan decided to Rowling Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Asked about Lando’s possible sexual fluidity (“Is he pansexual?” — i.e. not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender or gender identity), the younger Kasdan replied, “I would say yes. There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee Williams’ [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.” via The Hollywood Reporter
In the flick, Lando refers to Han as “baby” a few times. Then there’s the fact that Calrissian is liquid sex that takes on the form of Glover or original Lando Billy Dee Williams. But just because someone is sexy, sexual, or flirty, does that make them pansexual? Bisexual? Gay? Are there romantic relationships or spoken attractions in the actual movie or television show? Then how is it representation?
This idea of naming a character’s sexuality after the movie or books are done when no indication existed otherwise? It’s like studios are making sexuality and representation an Easter Egg instead of providing actual backstory or actually attempting to shine a light on different sexualities. It’s not right to do the least amount of work and then toss in a “yeah, sure. They’re gender fluid/pansexual/bisexual/gay. Can I have my pat on the back and a cookie with rainbow chips for being such a good ally?”
If a character is something, show us. If the movie, book, or show isn’t the time to fully flesh out a character, when is that time??? Representation shouldn’t be treated as a marketing ploy or hidden in fleeting glances or ambiguous bits of dialogue that require hours of investigation to unearth. It should be properly shown in a way that is appropriate and not shoehorned into the plot or character. It should be treated like every white, heterosexual cis character that gets to reveal their race, sexual proclivity, and gender within the first five minutes of appearing onscreen. An afterthought isn’t equality and it sure as hell doesn’t earn you a GLAAD Award for your piss-poor efforts.