Friday, April 15, 2016

Trans-Baiting, Disney Politics, and the Ancient One in Doctor Strange

This was a lengthy rant subtracted from my Doctor Strange teaser trailer review of yesterday. Because, take a look at that once again. Remember the Ancient One I mentioned? The really old Tibetan guy who trained Doctor Strange?

Who did they get to play this old wise man of Tibet?

Tilda Swinton, the nearest white female.

Gah! Space alien! Kill it, kill it!
For the love of God, what the Hell did they do to the Ancient One? Did they think that Mister Miagi was too cliche, so they turned the little old Chinese man with phenomenal cosmic power into a "gender ambiguous" bald Caucasian woman? I'm with John C. Wright on this, I am not amused.

Damn it, that thing with the Ancient One grates on me the more I think about it. Especially since the last time I saw Swinton play "gender ambiguous" was ... wait for it ... the film Constantine with Keanu Reeves, another major suck-fest that I'm sure she'd like to wipe off of her resume (I think I stopped 30 minutes into the film).

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, weren't we just dealing with the racist pricks bitching that the casting of Iron Fist, a blond-haired, blue-eyed character in the comics, was too white?

So, are we suffering from a sudden dearth of Chinese, or even Asian actors? Did I miss the sudden disappearance of Jackie Chan? Because an older Chan would have been amazing as the Ancient One.

And in a comment of Wright's regarding the politically correct, he notes
How do these Morlocks think? Putting a bald white woman into the place of the Ancient One, a senior citizen Oriental man — how does that help minority representation or diversity or whatever their stupid buzzword of the day is today? So now we want fewer Tibetans, Chinese and Japanese in films? How does that work?
The answer, sir, is that it doesn't work, and that they think that going "gender neutral" will dodge bitching from people who, I'm certain, Disney expects to scream "cultural appropriation," or some other damn thing.

Again, quoting from Wright
What is sad is everything else in the teaser looks perfect, and comes straight from the comic — the selfish doctor, the car accident, him seeking a magical solution in which he does not believe in the mystic East — just as Stan Lee and Steve Ditko wrote it.
The rational by studio exec Kevin Feige?
In a time when Marvelites are calling out their favorite movie studio on the lack of female characters in these films, in comes Tilda---
Stop, Kevin. Stop right there. No one is calling for generic "female characters." We've been calling for a Black Widow film. Or a Captain Marvel film.

What we have not wanted is for you f**kers to play gender-bending with classic comic book characters. You tried to split the baby, and it didn't exactly work like how you wanted.

If you want to go and make a She Hulk or a Jessica Drew film, Kevin, be my guest, knock yourself out, I would love to see what you guys did with that.

I would have had you people do a Quake film, but you already done screwed that up on Agents of SHIELD. Nicely done, dumbass.

Remember how this SHOULD HAVE GONE?

How about a Hellcat film? Remember her? She was rewritten as the plucky best friend on Jessica Jones, and stole a whole swath of the series. I'd be happy with more of her.

How about an Elektra film that doesn't suck? I hear you already have an actress for that one.

Or Silver Sable! That was an awesome character. How about giving her a movie?

Or how about Night Nurse, the movie?

Or maybe .... or that ... or the other thing.... AND HAVE I MADE MY POINT YET?

Oh, and Mr. Feige, did you not notice that you DIDN'T GIVE ANYONE a female character? No. What you did was create a genderless character. Do you understand the difference between the two? Can you wrap your brain around the difference? Not only did you fail in what you say fans wanted, you lied about what you actually did, and hoped no one would notice.

Guess what, jackass? We noticed. Enjoy the slavering hordes who will come after you. Or are you expecting that the people you hear calling for "women" will be content with some trans-variant?

Hey, if you wanted more women in the cast, maybe instead of screwing up the Ancient One, you could have added Doctor Strange's partner in magic, Clea.

You know, the woman who has been part of his comics for over fifty years? Ruler of her own reality? According to Wikipedia, in terms of raw power, she's actually more powerful than Doctor Strange himself.

I'd say she'd be played by Rachel McAdams, but unless we're making Clea a nurse, that's not it. In fact, there's nothing in Clea's biography that indicates that she's a nurse. And according to the film's Wiki page, Rachel McAdam's is playing a nurse from Strange's past.  Now, I know the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed some things -- eg: Jane Foster was never an astrophysicist, and where is Donald Blake, anyway? -- but if McAdams is going to play Clea, there would be no real point in having the Ancient One be gender bended into looking like a freaking space alien.

No, seriously, this is pissing me the hell off. The politically correct nimrods have bitched, whined, kicked and screamed about "minorities and women" in film, but they not only screw over this opportunity by giving it to the nearest white person, the character is completely and utterly neutered. Literally.

Sad thing is? Had they just given it to, oh, I don't know, Bai Ling and made the Ancient One a woman, plain and simple, I don't think I would have cared half as much. She would at least have been Asian. And, frankly, she could have been made to look older (she's 50 this year, and still in amazing shape). And, frankly, she already has some interesting, sharp features that would work as far as a character that can bend space and time and probably throw fireballs as a starter kit. And let's face it, not even traditional Asian cultural misogyny would be able to hold up against a woman who can KILL YOU WITH HER BRAIN.

But to make the character a white "neuter" and then blame the fans for it pisses me off no end, especially since this is an outright and outrageous lie. It is slander. It is libel. If Feige were pointing to a specific person, I'd ask if it were actionable.

When you have something that you're going to experiment with a classical character, don't make that experiment front and center of your trailer.

Kevin Feige took any enthusiasm that I might have had and stomped on it with his PC BS about the Ancient One. And you know what? Maybe I would have been less pissed off it they had at least gotten an Asian woman.... Or an Asian actor.... Or an older actor who could pretend to be ancient...

Or maybe they would have made a better impression on me had they NOT decided to make this choice that smacks of trans-pandering, at the height of the transgender political BS going the rounds.Maybe this would have gone over well had they even come out and admitted that they were doing it for political reasons, instead of blaming us, the fans, for this stupidity.

Maybe if they had handled this in any other way imaginable., I might not be so annoyed just thinking about it for longer than five seconds.

Let's make a deal, Kevin. See this amazingly awesome poster?

Give me the movie that this poster promises, and I will consider forgiving you your idiocy.


That is all.


  1. I still don't get any of this.

    Iron Fist is being played by a white actor which matches the comic book character's look, but that is racist because the martial arts guy should be played by an "asian" (Who cares if he's Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, right? Sufficient skin pigmentation is all that matters) to fulfill a stereotype. The internet goes ballistic.

    The Ancient One, originally an old Tibetan man with a beard is a cast as a white person that looks nothing like the original character and the internet doesn't make a sound.

    Iron Fist looking like the original character = bad. The Ancient One not looking anything like the original character = good.

    This is one hard thought process to follow. Almost like Political Correctness makes no sense at all.

    1. I'm too tired to figure out Twitpic right now. So this is yours if you want to use it.

      Great post

  2. There's a Japanese Manga film coming out with Scarlett Johansen playing the lead and the SJWs are up in arms over a white actress playing an Asian character. Wonder if they'll say a peep about what happened here with the Ancient One?

    1. Quite honestly, the complaints about Motoko don't really apply, and I'm a huge Shirow fan. Why: She's a cyborg. I'll have to dig out the manga to look it up again, but wasn't she like, put into a modified sexybot body? So the cute/sexy features of Johanssen fit right in with that. And hell, you can't claim Black Widow was in any way or form not badass.

  3. I'm still seeing that movie, because Dr. Strange was one of my favorite Marvel characters, and Cumberbatch is one of my favorite actors.

    I didn't mind Constantine - kinda enjoyed it (yeah, I know...) but doing this to the Ancient One was seriously stupid.

    1. I hope to see the movie itself. I'm just hoping that it's not 40 minutes of Tilda Swinton ..... which is in part from a reluctance to see yet ANOTHER origin story. I'm relatively certain that Cumberbatch can save almost any project.

      Though I would have forgiven everything if they made the in-joke that the Ancient One was played by Martin Freeman, but that's just for the Sherlock in joke.

      Yes, this was very, very stupid on their part. Now they're trying to walk it back and say "We didn't want to offend the Chinese." Well, then, if that were the case, MAKE UP A COUNTRY THAT DOESN'T EXIST!!!!


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