You may have heard the news that the Iron Man comic will pass the mantel to Riri Williams, a black female teenager. Great news for diversity in comics, but there’s a catch: the series will be written by Brian Michael Bendis, who’s white and male.
In June 2016, comic writer Mark Miller revealed he’s rebooting his Kick-Ass comic with a black female superheroine. Great news for diversity in comics, but there’s a catch (stop me if you’ve heard this one): Mark Miller is white.
In other book news, author Ben Winters was hailed as “fearless” in the New York Times for mixing “slavery and sci-fi”. Can you guess what comes next? Yep, he’s white.
And the one show you’d think had black writers penning stories and dialogue for black female characters apparently doesn’t. Sad to say, Orange is the New Black missed a huge opportunity there.
The above examples are just the tip of the ice berg, yet despite the small sample there’s already a disturbing pattern of mostly white creators having the privilege of writing characters of color. This is happening even though authors of color were exploring issues like slavery in science fiction long before authors like Ben Winters were even born. But they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as folks like Bendis and Miller. Check out those marketing platforms—The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter...nice gigs if you can get them.