Wokism in Film, Media, and the Theatre

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I went to see The Little Mermaid at Cupcake Theater last Friday. This is important for two reasons–first, because wokism was very much present in the performance. And, because I ended up talking with my Lyft driver about wokism on the ride there.

The driver seemed to feel that it pulled him out of an experience that was meant to be an escape. For me, it’s about seeing myself on the big screen for the first time.

My Experience

I’m a strong, independent, asexual woman. Most women on the big screen have a love interest that they are submissive to or that is their entire focus. Captain Marvel wasn’t like that.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind romance in a story, but when that’s the only focus, when the female character has no personality or nothing going for her other than being in love (Twilight anyone?), or she starts out strong, and after falling in love with her love interest, she becomes all about him instead of being worthy in and of herself.

Mary Sue

I read recently that this was where the term Mary Sue had come from in writing. The term refers to a female character that is too powerful–like Captain Marvel.

So, does allowing for strong female characters, LGBTQ+, or other ethnicities have the spotlight or being included bother me? Under most circumstances? No.

Remakes and the Multiverse

The only time that it bothers me is if it is a remake, and there is no mention of the original, like with Charmed. My issue isn’t that they changed the ethnicity of the characters. My issue was that they made no mention of the original sisters. In Spiderman, they have the spiderverse, so there can be numerous other iterations of Spiderman, but they don’t have that in the Charmed Universe. Had they included the original sisters somehow, even just as a mention, then it wouldn’t have mattered to me that they changed the characters.

When they changed Cursed Child to focus on the relationship between Albus and Scorpius, it didn’t bother me. That wasn’t how I read the story, but I took no issue with that interpretation. And, when Flounder (a female in this performance) was in love with Ariel, and Scuttle (a male) found Prince Eric attractive, I thought it was hilarious, and I felt happy for those that were finally being represented.

I guess for all of us, it’s a journey, learning and coming to understand how people different from us feel and that things can be different than they used to be. I personally support wokism in film, media, and the theatre. What about you?

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