to scifichannel (v.) 1.The act of reassigning race, age, or gender of characters in a fictive work when adapting that work into a new medium – ostensibly for the purpose of "broadening appeal." 2. The act of casting actors of color in background roles, such as shaman, mentor, savior, or sidekick, etc., and to use those casting choices to proclaim a project’s "diversity."


1. A Whitewashed Earthsea – How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books. By Ursula K. Le Guin.

2. The Black Commentator – Magic Negro – Issue 49


One thought on “Neologism

  1. As a white guy, I used to want a black friend just like all those white heros in the movies.

    As a liberal white guy, I used to worry about being racist all the time. Is this racist? Is that? Then I realized that the main thing was that I didn’t want to _appear_ racist even to myself. This created a kind of reverse racism.

    Now, I feel that the whole “racism” thing is a cop-out. Publically, it has done a lot of good to point out injustice. Internally, it can eat one away. Or even have the opposite effect that I see in some conservatives. Ha! I _like_ offending people. If you are offended you are just a thin-skinned PC. Ha ha.

    Now, I realize that you should just be nice to everyone. Forget about racism or not. What can you do? You’re always going to offend someone. But be nice.

    It sounds so corny, but I’m starting to feel that the only really desirable things are actually corny.

    The big question is how to avoid this problem w/o having a rule-book for every case. I feel that if you apply the “be nice” thing above, it’s fine. If you were smarter, better looking, cooler, and nicer than the protaganist, would you play second fiddle? If not, then why is a character, regardless of his race doing it? Take Jeeves for example. In one of the books, I believe that they addressed this topic. Perhaps the fiction with the non-white sidekick could be enriched if they did the same.

    Or maybe they are just hopeless stereotypes.

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