I’m not going to pontificate on this blog about the importance of representation. Knowing my audience, I’d be preaching to the choir anyway. So let’s not do that. We all know why representation in fiction is important. The media you consume is created by people, not corporations. People draw comics, write songs, make movies, paint, sculpt, program games. Some do it independently and some do it for large corporations, but everything is made by creative people who are passionate about their work. We create because we must. To do otherwise would be anathema to who were are.
Obviously when you make things for large corporations, they have notes. I understand that big studios have a reputation of caring about profit more than art. I just have a hard time swallowing the idea that the men and women who go through the arduous process of getting a television series to air, have "virtual signaling" at the top of their priorities. To believe otherwise shows an extreme lack of understanding of how the creative process works.
I really don’t believe there are creative people and non-creative people. We all tell stories. We all play make believe. Some of us dedicate our lives to developing it as a craft or a profession, but all people are capable of great feats of imagination. When the people behind Doctor Who sat down to start planning the show beyond Peter Capaldi, they were worried about taking the franchise in exciting new directions while remaining deferential to its legacy. And the reason they cast Jodie Whittaker is because everyone felt electrified by her take on the character. To imagine anything else is pretty ridiculous. Because unless the showrunners are complete idiots, they understand that only by creating something they genuinely believe in do they have any hope of making something that resonates with their audience.
I love Star Trek: Voyager. And when Kate Mulgrew was cast as Captain Janeway, I don’t remember this outrage. Maybe it was there, but the internet wasn’t and so it was better concealed. Either way, something has happened to fandom that’s ugly. We are living in a golden era of content. Television, movies, comics and gaming have never been better or had as much reach. Never have stories had as much potential for good as they have before.
People create because they must. To do anything but encourage their efforts is, frankly, shameful.