When you hear about “fans” lamenting inclusive casting and the redesigns of once buxom superheroines, you might have a certain image in mind of what those fans look like. Well, Jim Jeffries took to San Diego Comic-Con to understand why these fans are so outraged about representation for people who aren’t cis-het white men. That went about as you’d expect. Jeffries made asses of these dudes, including Youtube rabble-rouser Richard Meyer, but not without their zealous assistance!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a backlash against diversity in comic books. pic.twitter.com/kTSOUV89U7— Jim Jefferies Show (@jefferiesshow) July 25, 2018
My favorite complaint from this faction of fans is that more diverse representation is politicizing comics, as if comics weren’t political before. Captain America fought Nazis and punched Hitler in the face. Superman is an immigrant who came to America and championed its values. The X-Men were created to address how marginalized people in America are mistreated. Wonder Woman explicitly challenged society’s limited perception of women, becoming a feminist icon. Maybe the politics were always there. But the messages of the media we consumed as children went over our heads, because we were children. Perhaps as adults, fans can’t so easily turn a blind eye to the politics within the comics or superhero movies, and that can be challenging to our cozy understand of the world.
The men in Jeffries’s video feel the nerd community that was once their safe space is overrun by people who don’t look like them and don’t understand them. And yeah, that feeling can be a bummer. It’s actually the bummer that nerds who are not cis-het white men have had to live with for decades. We’ve loved properties that didn’t acknowledge our existence. We felt ignored, rejected, ostracized, even within a community that’s supposed to understand what it means to feel like an outsider. But hey, we still managed to relate and enjoy content that had heroes who didn’t look just like us. We persevered and found communities within nerd culture who shared our enthusiasms and embraced us. And these dudes have too! Though their community is one that considers a dark-skinned Superman a bridge too far, complaints about superheroine cup-size valuable, and supports calling creators whose work they don’t like “cum dumpsters.” So…maybe it’s best they keep to themselves after all.
The Jim Jeffries Show airs on Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on Comedy Central.