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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

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7 responses to “This is why the “it’s just sci-fi, it shouldn’t have to be PC” argument is crap”

  1. Beppie

    This is something that has always bothered me greatly about the “Utopia” episode of Doctor Who (from S3) — although there are a few people of colour at the end of the universe the “basic shape” that humanity has returned to is overwhelmingly white — I have a really hard time believing this would be the case, and Britain is surely a racially diverse enough country that this could have been taken into consideration during the casting.

  2. Merryn

    Dr Who is usually pretty good on racial diversity.

  3. Beppie

    Yes, Doctor Who is usually good (though not perfect) when it’s portraying contemporary times — I’ll have to do some digging to find the statistics, but I know someone did a count of PoC in Doctor Who and found that it averaged at about 33%, which is higher than the cencus data for Britain would suggest. However, “Utopia” is set in the far distant future, and the Doctor refers to the last remaining humans as “the basic shape” of humanity — and they are overwhelmingly white.

  4. DeusExMacintosh

    Well it would make sense in the “survival of the fittest” sense – not that white people are racially superior, but that the traditional and entrenched social and financial privilege means they are better placed to survive the various emergencies that have led up to the end of the race. The poor are always hardest hit by natural disasters because wealthier people can use their money to mitigate the effects (owning their own transport to get out in time, rebuilding faster or moving elsewhere to start over – think Hurricane Katrina). If the poor are more likely to be POC when the collapse starts, then your survivors are more likely to be white. It’s interesting to consider that the “basic shape of humanity” on the ship still includes class distinction, whereas the wild people outside seem likely to be organised on tribal lines. Is class what it takes to be really Human?

  5. kaninchenzero

    @DeusExMacintosh: That is Hobbes’s war of all against all, not Darwin. Darwin was well aware that many species’ adaptations included altruism and cooperation; direct competition tends to be expensive and wasteful.

    Also an extraordinarily vile justification for the overwhelming presence of $PRIVILEGED people in entertainments produced now for the consumption of people — many of whom happen to be other than $PRIVILEGED and [expletive] well deserve to be represented in their own [expletive] cultures. So even if events happen to turn out in just that genocidal way at some point in the future it doesn’t have a [expletive] thing to do with the stories we’re telling and selling about ourselves today.

    Which is the topic at hand. Even when those stories take the form of speculative fiction set in a possible future.

  6. Anna

    At the core, all these fictional worlds are saying: “I don’t like you and I don’t want you to be here, so I’m creating a world where you don’t exist”. That’s not just refusing to be PC. That’s blatant exclusion.

    I find this a very thought-provoking way of presenting this. I have to go away now and think.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..SIGNAL BOOST: (Canada) Feedback on Permanent Disability Verification Form (Student Loans) =-.

  7. makomk

    kaninchenzero: in the context of that Doctor Who episode, it seems like a pretty good explanation; we later find out that the remaining survivors are not exactly nice people despite what the Doctor thinks. (Another possible reason: people of colour in TV series tend to get noticed, and having them making up a large proportion of the survivors would send the wrong message entirely given that they’re evil. Notice that Doctor Who villains seem to be largely white.)

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