This post was recently inspired by a discussion by my beautiful and brilliant internet wife RVC Bard.
When marginalized viewers critique arts & entertainment, we often look at how themes of race, gender, orientation, etc. are handled with the marginalized characters and the narrative. Obviously that’s understandable given how little representation we receive, and we understand the power of perception and how it affects minorities in real life.
However rarely do we ever consider how whiteness, white culture and white privilege play out in stories and how characters are afforded advantages and how certain dynamics play out simply by being white. More than that, but the audience perception and reaction to said dynamics differ greatly because of white privilege. Not surprisingly the astute will note many double standards at play. Because whiteness is considered the default, the norm, universal, it’s rarely examined or critiqued.
That is until today.
The following are white characters who could only operate as white characters because to do otherwise would result in a different story with a different interpretation from the audience.