Arturo R. Garcia, my new favorite blogger over at Racialicious has unearthed a doozy about the NBC series Heroes. Now before I put my spin on it or reveal the juicy, let me say I used to love Heroes. During the first two seasons I'd tune in like an addict. It was something about the diversity of cast, the superhero slant and my secret wish to fly above Brooklyn, in my Steve Maddens, finding injustice and whooping its tail. I must admit I haven't watched Hereos for the last two seasons: I've been busy "scratchin and survivin" during this economic crunch. I guess that's why I didn't notice the downsizing of color on the show. Arturo R. Garcia at Racialicious did notice. In a recent post Garcia brings light to an online debate between a former Heroes fan and Foz McDermott, an employee from the show. I believe the former fan complained about the decrease in diversity and white male privilege in Hollywood and Foz McDermott had this to say:
"Holy crap lady… if you are indeed a lady… that is hilarious. In a business that is scared of and run by pussy organizations that are so scared of being sued about everything, being OVERLY PC is the actual problem. Being a white male in the business of Hollywood is NOT easy. There are programs and incentives to help everyone except white males…
Let me be clear: I have no real problem with helping anyone. I think that certain people and groups have been crapped on for a long time, and making ways to help people were necessary…at one time. I don’t personally believe in it at all now. I actually think it has gone too far. Like when you have to fill a position and you have 3 candidates and the best person is the best for the job, and the one that is not the best fit is forced upon you because of diversity quotas and not their skill. that actually makes me sick. It is nothing BUT racism. Not reverse racism, that term doesn’t even exist. making a choice and hiring anyone for any reason BECAUSE of their race IS racism.
I am from South Philadelphia, where I come from, I AM the minority. I am not saying that equals being a slave or coming from a family that had a generation that survived or worse… didn’t survive the holocaust, I am just saying that I WASNT picked for things BECAUSE I am white. It made ME work harder. It is a small scale, but i can relate a bit…. A BIT… I never thought I was deserving of something because I am white. That is bullshit. But what I have done is talk to my friends about it, a lot of whom are of color, and most are sane and have something to the effect of “ya, its fucked up, but I’ll take it.” Yes! I agree! take it!! I am not mad at anyone that can take advantage of a flawed system. Go For It…hell if there was an italian discount on Ferraris, I would be doing it."
Interesting stuff. A little naive and neo-archaic, but interesting nonetheless. Foz McDermott clearly doesn't appreciate the ongoing injustices inflicted upon white men in Hollywood. Now before I join Arturo R. Garcia's cyber-march against blatant racism in HollyWeird I have to say I know plenty of white execs in the industry who are great and know a good writer when they read one. But on the flip side, there are execs who are holding onto white privilege like the last piece of gold on the planet. Recently, I've heard stories about certain new TV shows that refuse to meet with writers of colors. I've heard one show in particular, a black show, that will certainly take meetings with black writers, but will NOT hire them. Come on, that's crazy.
I have no idea what's behind NBC's Heroes and the disappearance of color on the show. But if Foz McDermott is an extension of the show's stance on race, well, then maybe the lack of color is informed by white male privilege in Hollywood backlash, spearheaded by McDermott. I'm reaching for straws, but hey, straw-reaching creates convo, and it's fun.
P.S. This will be my last post on ON THE DIG for awhile. Due to economics, etc, the blogs are shutting down until further notice. I've had an amazing time digging up the good, the bad and the ugly of our intriguing culture. I've learned a lot here. I made some folks mad. I made some folks happy. And I've certainly had my share of humble pie. You can always visit me at digablepoet.blogspot.com (or my forthcoming website). I won't be posting there often, but swing through every now and then and check in on me.
Until next time,
Keith Josef Adkins
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.