Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters

What do Martha Jones, Tara Thornton, Guinevere, and Mercedes Jones have in common?

  • If you answered that they are major supporting characters in hit TV shows, give yourself 1 point.
  • If you answered that they are among the few fictional representations of Black women on major network television shows, give yourself 2 points.
  • If you answered that fandom, for some mysterious reason, hates the shit out of them, give yourself 5 points.
  • If you answered that fandom’s hatred of these characters are particularly gendered and racialized along stereotypes about Black women, hand yourself the internet.

The level of hatred spewed at these characters sometimes even manages to spill over onto the actors who portray them. Poor Rutina Wesley can’t do anything right in True Blood fandom. And according to some Merlin fans, Angel Coulby is probably the Antichrist. OK, I exaggerate. But not by much.

If you watch Merlin or True Blood, you’d know that some of the more melanin-challenged characters deserve that sort of vitriol waaaaaaay more than the characters it’s directed at, particularly if you consider reckless endangerment of innocent lives to be morally reprehensible. These are the same people who swoon over Franklin – a psychopathic vampire kidnapper/rapist/murderer – but wish all sorts of hellfire and brimstone onto Tara Thornton. Let’s not talk about how, in the eyes of Dr. Who fandom, Martha Jones’ chief flaw is not being someone else*. Gleeks seem to hate Mercedes just because she’s competition for Rachel. And Merlin fandom seems to believe that Morgana’s treacherous magical White girl ass is a more empowering role model for women than Guinevere’s steady, quiet strength**.

(*This reminds me way too much of The Color Purple, where Celie reveals that Mister beats her because she’s not Shug. Ugh.)

(**Funnily enough, this sort of subtle fortitude is something that I only see Black and Brown actresses pull off.)

What’s so wrong with these characters according to fandom? Hm, let’s see:

  • They have an attitude problem.
  • They’re lazy.
  • They’re mean.
  • They’re stupid.
  • They’re ungrateful.
  • They’re selfish.
  • They’re sluts.
  • ETA: They’re ugly.

Why do I feel like I need to puke and take a shower every time some of this shit shows up on my Tumblr, my LJ, or some other social media? Oh yeah, because this shit ain’t new, and it makes me sick.

I’m not going to break down the history of stereotypes against Black women because, hello, Google is your friend (until it enslaves us all to its will). This is Ars Marginal. We’re beyond that 101-level bullshit. Instead, we’re going to talk about how it affects real Black women in the real world. You know, the Black women you live with, work with, play with, love with, and so on.

When I see fandom reacting to fictional Black women this way, I wonder what they’re saying about real Black women while our backs are turned.

  • If we react angrily to being repeatedly ignored, disrespected, and/or abused, will our White co-workers say we have an attitude problem?
  • If we are open about seeking and enjoying sex, will our White friends call us slutty?
  • If we demand recognition of our talents and gifts, will our White counterparts say that we’re looking for a handout or are getting too uppity?
  • If we achieve better results with less work, will the White people in our lives call us lazy?
  • If we speak our truth without apology, will White people call us mean?
  • If we take care of ourselves, will we be called selfish?
  • If we act, speak, or think without prior White approval, will we always be seen as stepping out of line?

What about you? When you see fandom talking about Black women characters in certain ways, how does that make you feel? How do you deal with it? What do you say (if anything)? What would you like to see change about this?

51 thoughts on “Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters

  1. Totally with you. Martha’s my favourite of the companions in the new Who: she’s the smartest of them all (a medical doctor, no less!), the bravest, the most independent, and the most likely to yank back on the Doctor’s leash to say “hey, you’re off the rails here, skinny boy!”. If they just hadn’t given her the whole silly unrequited love of the Doctor thing. I’m glad she saw that it wouldn’t happen fairly quickly, and got over it, but it still annoyed me that they had to write her falling for the Doctor. She seemed to me the sort who would go on the adventures for the sake of going, to see what’s out there and interact with it, rather than tagging along because she fancied him.

    The only other character of this bunch I’ve seen is a bit of Guinevere in Merlin, and I’ve not seen enough of it to have much useful to say. I did see an episode where she got to chide Arthur about his sense of entitlement when he came to stay with her for a bit, which was pretty cool.

    Besides, screw just being companions, anyway. I wanna see the Doctor regenerate as a Black woman next time. We’ve now established in TV canon that Time Lords can regenerate trans-genderedly (in The Doctor’s Wife, he mentions that “The Corsair” regenerated as a woman a couple of times), so I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t be, save that the whiteboynerdrage could power an extragalactic probe mission.

    Great post! I’ve been thinking of doing a look at the roles and eventual fates of named POC in new Who, from Mickey Smith and Nine’s horridly racist treatment of him in S1, through to Rita in S6’s episode 12.

    • Re: Martha Jones falling for the Doctor

      I can almost see that as a relief, as Black women, especially professional and competent Black women, are all too often presented as asexual by default.

      • Oh, fair enough – I hadn’t considered that aspect, thanks for pointing out my privilege there.

        I think the whole “Doctor and anyone” thing skeeves me out somewhat anyway, just because hello AGE DIFFERENCE. I mean, I’m all for not being ageist about one’s tastes in partners, but dude is over 900 years old. How infantile must…well, everyone seem to him? Just makes me shudder some.

        I also was kind of annoyed that they paired off Martha with Mickey in Ten’s Farewell Tour, as the only thing they have in common is being, ahem, Londoners. And Martha had also been engaged to another doctor only a few months earlier, who was off doing Doctors-Without-Borders stuff somewhere, so how come suddenly Mickey? Not that I’m opposed to Mickey, (who ought really to have boxed Nine’s giant ears for him, more than once), I just had never seen the two even interact much at all, so seeing them suddenly paired had kind of a “well, no duh, Black characters end up with Black characters!” feel to it, to me.

    • “Besides, screw just being companions, anyway. I wanna see the Doctor regenerate as a Black woman next time. We’ve now established in TV canon that Time Lords can regenerate trans-genderedly (in The Doctor’s Wife, he mentions that “The Corsair” regenerated as a woman a couple of times), so I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t be, save that the whiteboynerdrage could power an extragalactic probe mission.”

      You know i would love to watch Dr. Who if they made a Black/Latina or Middle Eastern Woman as the new Doctor. But since this is fandom we are talking about. I’ll take that as a no.

  2. I don’t have a lot to do with fandom, so it’s always a bucket of cold water when I do stray into a conversation like that. It isn’t just the things people say, but the expectation that if you do like the characters, you have to do so apologetically (“I know she isn’t very good, but I like her anyway”). It’s not allowed to simply like the character.

    Which is why I don’t have a lot to do with fandom. I mainly talk to other people in my family if I want to discuss a show.

  3. You can also add Storm, Uhura, Vanessa from Gossip Girl, and Bonnie Bennett from the Vampire Diaries to the list of black women who get dumped on treated like shit in fandom.

    Which amazes me the level of hypocrisy from the white fauxial justice Tumblrinas. They swoon over Damon’s abusive psychotic ass (we’re talking about someone who regularly abuses and murders women) and they love Caroline’s racist transphobic ass (to be fair she’s matured a bit since season one) but Bonnie is the one person they hate with a passion.

    The only competent character who everyone has to turn to to stop the season’s big bad because she’s the only one with enough power to battle the supernatural but somehow she’s the antichrist. And no RVC Bard, you weren’t exaggerating about Gwen either.

    That’s like Chuck from Gossip Girl. This guy regularly dogs women out and he damn near raped Jenny in season one yet Vanessa is the most hated character.

    Not the sociopathic ex model who had drugged Jenny and tried to have her raped, but Vanessa.

    And I also find it curious when we talk about pairings for instance and white fans only want to pair the black woman with another POC with that separate but equal tone. Because heaven forbid she snags a white guy. I was on a forum one time andd people were talking about potential suitors for Storm and they listed all of the men of color (most of whom she never had an interest in). I then mentioned she could also date white men and listed some of the white characters.

    Pearl clutching commenced and the BS about how she’s too good for them. And when I asked which male character was good enough for Storm…..


    Why do I stand tall with black women. They are my mothers, my sisters, my family, my loved ones. I see the pain and crap they have to deal with in their day to day and white fandom and white SJ and white feminists have made it clear, they have no intentions in stepping up. So that’s why I stand in solidarity with them.

    • In Marvel Adventures Avengers, Storm totally gets Thor as a boyfriend, and it is AWESOME.

      Of course Marvel, not wanting a series that was actually fun to read, cancelled that line and all their Marvel Adventures lines.

    • Hmm…I think this is where you and I actually disagree on something Neo. On the forums I’ve visited, I’ve come across Storm being paired with “any” white guy, even ones that have admitted to not seeing her in that fashion anymore, that aren’t worthy of her status as African royalty, and that she would have no possible chemistry with. Like over used Wolverine, who’s a damn homeless bum (and a womanizer to boot) but is somehow good enough for a black African woman from a noble lineage.

      At the same time, comic books seem to have a problem with strong black couples “period”, and mainly sets POC’s up with non-POC’s in romantic pairings. It’s as if over the years comics have trying too hard to promote the image of racial solidarity and it comes off as “overly happy, shiny, well-wishing” that in the end teeters on the brink of the racist and (in this case) almost patronizing disclaimer “my black best friend”.

      • “At the same time, comic books seem to have a problem with strong black couples “period”, and mainly sets POC’s up with non-POC’s in romantic pairings. It’s as if over the years comics have trying too hard to promote the image of racial solidarity and it comes off as “overly happy, shiny, well-wishing” that in the end teeters on the brink of the racist and (in this case) almost patronizing disclaimer “my black best friend”.”

        Well that’s that you call marrying the native most common with white guys in fiction, but don’t let a black man or any other young POC get a WOC. I mean look at the Runaways.

      • “Like over used Wolverine, who’s a damn homeless bum (and a womanizer to boot) but is somehow good enough for a black African woman from a noble lineage.”

        Yet conveniently no one points this out when the innocent Jean Grey is about to cheat on Scott with Logan.

        “On the forums I’ve visited,……”

        Not disputing your observations or experiences but based on what I’ve witnessed on the forums I’ve frequented, I think mine still stand as well for the reasons listed.

        • “Not disputing your observations or experiences but based on what I’ve witnessed on the forums I’ve frequented, I think mine still stand as well for the reasons listed.”

          Oh, I know Neo…

          I don’t put too much weight on anecdotal evidence, myself. I just wanted to give another point of view. And btw, signing up for Live Journal (for your blog) is such a pain. Every username I want to use is in use. Even the African RP’ing character names that I’ve used in the past!

          • I think it allows you to login/comment via Facebook so if you want to use that, let me know and I’ll add you.

    • I couldn’t help but noticed that with fandom they have a female cast caste system Like:

      1. White Woman
      2. Asian Woman
      3. Native American Woman
      4. Black/Latina Woman
      5. Middle Eastern Woman.

      Like everything is perfect. If you have a white girl, but don’t have a black female character. Also speaking of whom, I remember watching Transformers 3. I could help but notice a scene with a Latina woman yelling at her boss in Spanish while wear tight mini skirt. Then the boss turns to Shia said never that in the office. He said without missing a beat a “Latin meltdown”. But hey in Transformers Black woman don’t exist so they have stereotype another race of people close to it. Now if they put a black woman as the love intrest in the movie, Fans of the movie would of boycott it.

  4. This is part of why I stay away from fandoms and message boards and just try to enjoy something, because it’s hard to have an intelligent conversation about something without it delving into the stupid.

    The vitroil directed at these characters is infuriating just because it seems to me that the fangirls who hate hate on the fact that they can’t relate to the character whose skin colour isn’t the same as theirs. That all of a sudden, there’s this character of colour who is ‘taking away’ their favourite in the show just by being there and interacting with them or even being in a relationship with them.

    I remember some of the crap I heard directed at Uhura in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek and it boggled my mind, just from the irony of it. After all (athough Star Trek does have problems in representing diversity), it’s meant to be this future where we do all get along, and as soon as Uhura is shown as being with Spock, of having this deep, strong relationship with him, the fangirls loose their crap. That kind of relationship was hinted at all the way back in the original series.

    They’re acting like “Oh, you can’t have that, it’s ours… oh, that too, that’s not for you. Oh, that too, and that, and that… but here! You can have this!” Which makes for a pretty accurate reflection of real life. The only difference is that most wouldn’t say that to someone’s face.

  5. when i read hate for black female characters in the fandom it makes me feel like shit, obvi lol. i deal with it by knowing that they themselves may not know where their hate is coming from, or may be too afraid to acknowledge it because no one wants to be called “prejudice” or “racist” or anything like that. maybe a lot of them do feel they have awesome legit reasons to dislike that character, and don’t realize that these reasons are somewhat rooted in racism. i usually say nothing when i see hate, just because i don’t know these people so i feel like why should i care? their ignorance is only reflecting badly on them, not on me. but at the same time what they’re saying does hurt me by extension. sometimes if i feel like they’re way off base and i don’t really understand it, i will say something. but i always say it with respect. or at least i try to.

    what i would like to see change…their thinking, obvi. i like to think of all people as good and not prejudiced in any way initially. i grew up in a very diverse midsized city so i was fortunate enough to grow up with people who were used to all types of people and didn’t really hold race or sexual orientation or religious beliefs or whatever against people. it is sad that as i’ve gotten older i’ve realized these types of communities are the exception and not the rule. my father told me not two weeks ago that unless people have interacted with others who are different than them, than they are going to be prejudiced about them in some way, whether they mean to be or not. i would like to think that’s not true, but my own personal experiences tell me that there is some truth to that statement. i guess that’s why i get so frustrated with writers and the like when their portrayal of non-majority characters is crap. because television is a lens into other cultures and people for those who live in nondiverse settings, and they need to see that we, just like them, have a variety of characteristics and are different. we’re not the negative stereotype that you so often see. when television shows like glee, which claims to be about supporting underdogs and acceptance, reiterate these negative stereotypes, they’re not doing us any favors. they’re only making our fight that much harder. so i’d love to see them change, and maybe then the fandoms will change too.

        • I’m going to call bull on that one, because if the reverse was true like if the population of a city has a small population of white people, They show will still focus on white people. Also it’s an American Show despite demographics. So ideally the show was suppose to be diverse which that’s what America is, but the diversity of the cast is shifted to the background as usual.

          I mean if media can ignore demographics in the benefit of white people, the why not do it for black people?

  6. This is absolute truth. And also, let’s add another name to this list- Bonnie Bennett. Seriously. If you ever do watch The Vampire Diaries, stay as far away as you can from the fandom. Don’t even poke it with a stick because it’s filled with hypocrisy and unjustified hatred and fangirls. I can’t even begin to tell you the shit Bonnie fans have to go through on a daily basis defending her, just because she happens to be the only character on the show with a decent moral compass. Great article!

    • from what LA Noire had taught me was that people don’t like others witha moral compass. Outside of the game, people think that POC with a moral compass are weak characters. Like you can have black woman acting “ghetto” but don’t let have her own storyline. In fact in the Orginal Star Trek Nichelle Nichols wanted to quit because of it.

      Also I do notice that there is a lack of good black/brown actresses in Urban Fantasy. I mean Buffy would of been great if it really was a Urban fantasy.

  7. I don’t watch a lot of tell-lie-vision myself, however, I do watch TrueBlood regularly, which are based on Charlaine Harrison’s books ‘The Sookie Stackhouse Novels’, and I can tell you, the HBO series took quite a turn from the books as far as the characters and their personalities go, and the order in which events take place, and the setting of the events. And Tara’s character is only one among a few who have had a make over for the series, but her’s is the most out of whack with the book, next to Eric. The great disparity between Tara’s character in the book, and Tara’s character on True Blood are stricking for all the reasons that the OP originally stated as the to why the Fandom have issues with Tara.

    In TrueBlood, Tara’s character is portrayed as
    having an attitude problem.
    a slut.

    In the “Sookie Stackhouse Novels, (which the series is supposed to be based on) Tara’s character has the following trait’s
    Generous and thoughtful-When sookies house catches on fire, her hoopdie also goes up in fames, so the next day, Tara shows up with her Chevy Malibu (she actually had a relationship had with Franklin without know what she was getting herself into until it was too late, as he was using his Glamour to try and control her) to GIVE to Sookie, because she was going to sell it since Franklin brought her a brand new camaro.

    Tara is Sookie’s best-friend, and doesn’t mind telling her how she feels or what she thinks, especially when asked her opinion (which Sookie does quite often), no attitude problem involved, she is very compassionate and cares about Sookies well being in a sisterly way (which I can say trueblood does capture in a way)

    Lazy? Tara is a small business owner, the owner of a boutique (Tara’s Togs) as sookie describe (the book is narrated from Sookie’s perspective, Tara makes a decent living, actually much better than she as points out more than once in the book when she’s considering her own financial struggles as a waitress with no benefits, who has to take the financial responsiblities of he house her grandmother left to her after her murder. Infact, there are many times that Sookie looks up to Tara preservarence in the face of all her adversary, having come from a broken home were both her parents were alcoholics and verbally and physically abused her. Like in Trueblood, there were times that Tara escaped to Sookie’s house where her grandmother would take care of Tara and put clean clothes on her.

    Mean?, not hardly!

    Stupid?, her character is actually smarter than the ones that talk *ish about her. Not only in the book, but also in the series. In an interview, the director Alan Ball even stated that Tara is probably the smartest person in Bon Temps.

    ungrateful? How so?

    Selfish? another explaination is needed here?

    A slut, quite the contrary, by the 5th or 6th book, Tara is happily married and by the 7th, her and her husband are expecting twins. In the book, Sookie, because she is telepathic, explains why she doesn’t date; explaining it’s hard to be with a guy who’s constantly wishing she was Tara, or when making out, and hearing their fantasy in their head the secret desire her friend Tara. ( here she describes how Tara has a body that the boys in school always swooned over), and even though some white women might’ve been bitter if in the same situation, I like how Charlaine doesn’t make Sookie one to be one of these insecure, jealous and bitter white women. You know the one’s, who have that exaggerated sense of entitlement who acts like someone owes her something when she she’s standing on top of her smashed pedestal.

    One has to wonder the intent of the directors who re-made Tara’s character into this misrepresentation of what a black woman is deep down. I was very disappointed in the HBO adaptation of the novels. That’s why I stick to reading instead of the idiot box. This crazy stuff from the Fandom just doesn’t surprised me at all.

    Just dropping off my 2cents


    • “In TrueBlood, Tara’s character is portrayed as having an attitude problem.
      a slut.”


    • Wow Afroetry, never knew she was that loved in the books. would have loved to see that on the show and have the white fangirls die of bitterness. Gawd the hatred for Tara on IMDB is so creepy. Then you have those saying “oh it has nothing to do with race, we love Laffy’. YEA OK like Laffy being gay has nothing to do with it. He’s comic relief and isnt a love interest for the white women of Bon Temps aka he’s safe in their mind.

  8. I noticed that mainstream use stereotype and fandom as an excuse for not wanting to show POC characters. Like they make awful stereotypes about black woman, then the fandom talk alot of junk about the character. Hollywood use that as an excuse for not showing POC especially WOC. It’s cycle they use.

    Riddle me this: Why is it that people like the Wire which shows negative stereotypes of black people, but hate the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency? Which is mind you a POC show in Botswana

  9. Yes, it is glaringly obvious the kind of mental acrobatics certain aspects of those fandoms go through to justify their hatred. I find their response to UK’s Being Human and Misfits particularly fascinating. With BH, Annie is so undeniably charismatic and sweet, and her chemistry with Mitchell is so off the charts, that the best that the undercover racists could come up with is “she’s annoying” or “Mitchell and George’s bromance is way better.” As for Misfits, I actually haven’t seen much hate toward Alisha, but rather ignoring her, or begrudgingly acknowledging that she’s “cute” or saying how she’s soooo lucky that Simon would choose to date HER (imagine that! Or as Nathan would say, “In what kind of f***ed up world would that be allowed to happen?”), when the show makes it quite clear that HE is the one who feels so lucky to be with this drop-dead gorgeous woman.

    The Gwen hate is the most appalling to me. Merlin has been on for 3 seasons now. It’s quite clear that the producers intentionally made the show ahistorical, fantastical and allegorical – and they intend to keep it that way, so why keep complaining about their casting choices? Do they really think Merlin is gonna pull a Fresh Prince and abruptly cast a new Gwen with a paler actress? (BTW, Fresh Prince gets a permanent side eye for that. I remember being so confused when they replaced the original Vivian with no explanation). Talking dragons and goblins and 6th century sandwiches, clothing dye and bunsen burners are acceptable, but a black Guinevere makes their heads explode? FOH.

  10. You know now that you mentioned it. With game X-men Destiny, I noticed that the characters you play is two white guys and a stereotypical looking Japanese girl. Can I pick someone who is not a stereotypical POC. Then I realized that there are no Black females in video games. only as NPC (Non-playable characters). Like only time there will be if there are ghetto-fabulous.

    There was also alot of fan hatred in Resident Evil then they had the black characters. Even then the fans hate her but fap to the Hentai pics of her.

    • The fan hatred from Resident Evil was over Japan depicting black Africans as mindless savages, who are being gunned down while they still look overly human. Despite the fact that they are rotting zombies, which was a trademark trait of them throughout the series. Once this was brought to everyone’s attention, they (“Capcom”, the game’s developer) slapped a lightskinned native black African woman (who has a British accent) as the main white male lead’s partner.

      This is the same Resident Evil series that has a history of killing off every single black character. Some of which are ONLY on screen for the moment of their death. A trend that is quite common with Japanese video games/anime, on top of the horribly negative portrayal of blacks in general.

      • “This is the same Resident Evil series that has a history of killing off every single black character. Some of which are ONLY on screen for the moment of their death. A trend that is quite common with Japanese video games/anime, on top of the horribly negative portrayal of blacks in general.”

        mind you in regards of race in Japan it’s split, You do have some anime that has black characters and not just token, then you have the ones that kiss up to American that excludes Black people. But I can’t comment too much on it because it’s a far different culture than the US and the US has contaminated the culture.

  11. I’ve never seen “True Blood” or “Merlin”, but I know where you’re coming from with negative reactions coming from fans about black women. It drives me to the highest level of rage where they stick to white characters no matter what character they play. It’s insane.

    • It’s true, black woman are seen differently. Like a white woman can play anything she wants, but a black woman is only seen one why. Why do you think the ditched Lena Horne for Liz Taylor for the role of Cleopatra.

      • *blink* Lena Horne was in the running for that role? O_O Really?

        Yes, not surprised by that shift at all.

          • To be honest, I have never seen the movie, but I’ve seen enough pop culture references to it to put it together. I did hear the movie was a bloated box office flop (now considered a classic), so maybe it was a good thing Lena was replaced. You know they’d blame her for the picture’s failure.

  12. Here’s something I’ve been wondering. (I’ve only watched the first two seasons of TB and it’s been some time, and I haven’t the strongest of memories). Since Tara was introduced in True Blood, I loved her, and that never changed. I actually didn’t know (white) fandom hates her, but it doesn’t really surprise me, either (I’m with white male geeks a lot, and they are constantly hating female characters I love, and if they’re POC, it multiplies, with Michelle Rodriguez for whatever reason being Worst Of All). But here’s the thing: After rooting for her so much, it occured to me that the portrayal of her character reminded me of stereotypes I’d read criticized – the Strong Black Woman, Sapphire, etc., – like Lafayette who was totally awesome, and a drug dealer – and so I felt kind of guilty, and didn’t know what to think anymore. So now I’m glad I’m free to love her ;), but still I don’t really get it. Please feel free to mock me.

  13. I can never believe the level of scorn directed at Rutina Wesley and Freema Agyeman. It doesn’t even end with Dr. Who and True Blood; it actually follows them to their other work. And it doesn’t take the form of saying red flag things (lazy, etc.). Instead, people pretend to be discerning critics and say Freema’s “out of her range” and has “an annoying presence” in Law and Order (i.e., get off our all-white show), or doubt that Rutina “can pull off” her role in The Submission. (Source: IMDB, which seems to have no moderation at all.) I don’t love Rutina’s Southern accent any more than I do anyone else’s in True Blood, but Tara’s the stretch for her, not the character in the play, who’s much closer to her intrinsic Julliard-trained show-biz-honed manner of speech and carriage. True Blood was a step down for her culturally, so why would anyone wonder if she could “pull off” the kinds of plays she’s always performed in?

    She and Freema are not only beautiful and beautifully spoken women, they’re women who played the talent game and won. I can’t fathom why anyone would have anything bad to say about either one even if they were racist. It would be like someone’s dad getting upset about seeing Lena Horne sing well.

    I actually found myself here because I was googling *Terra Nova*, “black women* and *racist* to find out why there are four distinct pairings between women of color and white men on the show and none between black men and white women or black men and women — all the more disquieting because it’s a show about “colonization” and the old signifiers are in place even if there are no indigenous people in the world being colonized.

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