(DG26) That Could Be Me!: Diversity, Inclusivity, and Representation in the Media

Room 302 - Education

Saturday July 1, 2017 - 4:00 pm to 4:50 pm

The comic book universe and media have been increasingly diverse within the last two years. With Luke Cage, Riri Williams, Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, and the upcoming Black Panther film, comics and their associated medium are more inclusive and depict relatively positive images of underrepresented groups. Representation matters. It is important for individuals, especially children and adolescents, to see images of themselves in the media, even in fiction. However, there continue to be problematic themes of hyper-masculinity, stereotypical behavior for minority groups, over-sexualization, and emphasis on traditional gender roles in comics and their associated media. Controversies regarding character race/ethnicity and sexuality changes continue to run rampant on social media and message boards. Additionally, individuals have questioned the importance of diversity and inclusivity. In April, Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel stated “What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity. They didn't want female characters out there. That's what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don't know that that's really true, but that's what we saw in sales.” Is “diversity” a buzz word? Is “diversity” actually too “political?” Where does diversity fit into Comic Con? Our panel will discuss the importance of inclusivity and representation in the media.