Fantastic Beasts’ Queer Representation Is The Worst Kind Of Meaningless

So many blockbusters like to boast about their queer representation when it often boils down to a handful of seconds that can be edited out without compromise in order to satiate international markets. The Chinese and Russian censors aren’t too fond of LGBTQ+ people, so will ask companies like Disney or Warner Bros. to make such inclusions deliberately minimal or remove them altogether just to make sure potential audiences don’t catch the gay. We wouldn’t want that now would we?

It sucks, and we’ve now seen Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Avengers: Endgame all boast about the groundbreaking nature of their representation before removing scenes altogether in order to maximise profits and avoid offending certain territories. It’s a cowardly surrender to capitalism and governmental bigotry, made even more painful when media outlets praise these moments for moving the needle and helping to normalise the presence of queer people in blockbusters.

They aren’t, and highlighting them as premiere examples is hugely damaging to overall progress. Corporations can claim they are supporting LGBTQ+ people with moments like this to pull them into fold, only to tear all of this goodwill asunder behind the scenes because in the end we are little more than a demographic who needs to be pleased, and in doing so the profits increase, and we remain happy. I don’t think it’s good enough anymore.

When independent creators, smaller animated shows, and streaming service originals are seeking to further queer representation in the shadow of cinematic juggernauts it feels almost damaging to fawn over seconds of dialogue or shots so minimal they can be removed in seconds instead of standing in support of things that actually make a difference. When infamous TERF and all-around terrible human being JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay, she did so after the books and films had been released. His character was dead, so it wasn’t until the release of Fantastic Beasts where fans would see his queerness explored on screen. Well, I hope you enjoyed the six precious seconds and two lines of dialogue that make up all of this representation. That’s it. We won, homophobia is banished forever.

It’s pathetic, and not something any of us should ever settle for. Given the controversy surrounding Harry Potter I’m not sure anyone should be looking towards it for queer representation anyway, especially given Rowling’s views on trans people and growing irrelevance at the global box office. A cheeky bit of gay pandering was a devious trump card, a way to draw in fans of the franchise who are either queer and aren’t aware of Rowling’s views towards trans people, or aren’t allied with us enough to care.

You’re doing yourself a disservice by either being pleased by such an inclusion or supporting it, and I’m pleading with you to believe in better and hold companies like this to account when they keep on pulling bullshit. We don’t matter to the ones on top, and the sooner we see that the better.

Source: Read Full Article