Geekiary Anniversary Day Five: 5 Tropes We Hope End Soon
Welcome to Six Days of The Geekiary!
To celebrate our six-year anniversary, we’ll be highlighting things that matter most to us here at The Geekiary. Today we’re talking about 5 Tropes We Hope End Soon.
Five Tropes We Hope End Soon
Bury Your Gays
Ah, burying your gays, also known as “Another Dead Lesbian.” We hate it!
This trope is defined on TV Tropes as the following:
The Bury Your Gays trope in media, including all its variants, is a homophobic cliché. It is the presentation of deaths of LGBT characters where these characters are nominally able to be viewed as more expendable than their heteronormative counterparts. In this way, the death is treated as exceptional in its circumstances. So it can be fairly said that, in aggregate, queer characters are more likely to die than straight characters. Indeed, it may be because they seem to have less purpose compared to straight characters, or that the supposed natural conclusion of their story is an early death.
We’ve called out a lot of shows for this trope. We’ve been known to quit shows over this trope. I wrote a break up letter with The 100 when it killed their lesbian character (though we have continued to review The 100). I also stopped watching Star Trek Discovery, though I’ve heard maybe I should forgive them for this one. And, of course, there’s the Voltron controversy. To put it simply, we’re tired of this one. Maybe shows should take a note from Wynonna Earp and basically make their queer characters bullet proof.
Fridging, also know as “Stuffed in a Refrigerator,” sucks. It’s the worst, you guys.
This trope is defined on TV Tropes as the following:
A character is killed off in a particularly gruesome manner and left to be found just to offend or insult someone, or to cause someone serious anguish. The usual victims are those who matter to the hero, specifically best buddies, love interests, and sidekicks. In some cases, the doomed character may be killed by natural forces or by a character who doesn’t have the intent to cause someone else angst—in this case, the intent comes solely from the writer, who wants to rouse strong emotions in another character. If the said character was killed by a villain, this guarantees to become a motivation for a Revenge plot or an immediate Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
Let’s be real, most of the characters that get fridged are women and most of the people that get launched on their Roaring Rampage of Revenge are men. This isn’t always 100% the case, but it’s pretty damn close. We’re tired of it. We’ve talked about Supernatural fridging women. We’ve talked about fridging on Arrow. We’ve talked about in in the context of CBS’s terrible track record with diversity. And we’re going to keep talking about it until it’s no longer such an obvious and terrible trope.
Oh boy. Queerbaiting. Stop pulling the rug out from under us, you guys.
Queerbaiting is defined on Wikipedia as the following:
Queerbaiting is the practice of hinting at, but then not actually depicting, a same-sex romantic relationship between characters in a work of fiction, mainly in film or television. The potential romance may be ignored, explicitly rejected or made fun of.
The derogatory term “queerbaiting” is meant to imply that this is done for the purpose of attracting (“baiting”) a queer audience with the ultimately unrealized suggestion of relationships that appeal to them. The concept arose in and has been popularized through Internet discussions among the fandom of popular films and television series.
We’ve talked about queerbaiting on Teen Wolf. We’ve talked about queerbaiting on Voltron. We’ve talked about queerbaiting in Star Wars. We’ve talked queerbaiting in the context of slash shipping in general. Hell, we talk about it so much that Jeff Davis called us out on our commentary on queerbaiting before.
Basically, we talk about it a lot because we want it to stop being a thing. Queer fans are not here to be strung along and never have representation delivered.
Whitewashing is also terrible and should end ASAP. We’re better than this.
Whitewashing is defined in Wikipedia as the following:
Whitewashing is a casting practice in the film industry of the United States in which white actors are cast in historically non-white character roles or in roles which are scripted for non-white characters. The film industry has a history of frequently casting white actors for roles about non-white characters. By downplaying the roles that such figures have had in cultural events, the practice is seen as a form of censorship analogous to the whitewashing of criticism.
There’s a lot of this going on in Hollywood and we’ve expressed our displeasure with whitewashing in Pan, whitewashing in Death Note, whitewashing in Ghost in the Shell, and whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness. This practice is still far too common and we hope it ends soon.
This one might be a head-scratcher to you because it isn’t that common of a term. After much discussion among Geekiary staff we decided that it’s the best we could find for the trend we’ve seen lately in Hollywood. It’s not perfectly analogous to “whitewashing,” but it’s close. Essentially, cisgender and straight actors are often given trans or queer roles while trans and queer actors are left jobless. This type of part is often seen as a fast track to an Oscar for cisgender heterosexual actors while the community they are portraying on screen gets sidelined.
The most recent and most prominent example of this is when Scarlett Johansson was cast for a trans role very shortly after she was cast in a whitewashed role. Another example of this is a straight actor being cast for a stereotypical gay role in Jungle Cruise. However, special shout out to Sense8 who actually had a transwoman playing a transwoman. It is possible to create roles and give those roles to the community you are intending to portray. Hollywood just doesn’t seem to like doing it all that often and actors are eager to pick up roles they view as Oscar bait.
Check out our other Geekiary Anniversary posts!
- Day One: WonderCon
- Day Two: 2 Sequels That Were Better Than The Original
- Day Three: 3 Upcoming Website Projects
- Day Four: 4 Happy Netflix Shows To Silence The Screaming Void
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.
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