I get the word from good DC Comics sources that DC Entertainment editorial has been very strongly urged to start upping the numbers of female and non-white writers and artists on their books. And for white, male freelancers to be nudged down the submission pool.
Naturally I’m expecting the usual internet commentary which will revolve around:
- 1. I don’t care what gender or colour the creators of my comic are as long as they are good. It shouldn’t matter!
- 2. This is pure reverse-racism in action. What am I, as a struggling white male creator supposed to do now?
- 3. If more women and non-whites wanted to work in comics, they should apply. Hardly any of them try.
- 4. And the underlying “women are icky and black people scare me.”
For the first, a greater breadth of experience within a creative team can offer a greater breath of stories and storytelling and attract a wider audience. For the second, there are many options in a still white male dominate comic book industry. For the third, role models and a visible positive path to success are very important. People don’t think there’s a future for them in a role if they only see people not like them in that role. The London Metropolitan Police had to actively go out and recruit black applicants at a time when such a career move was unthinkable. And it’s necessary step for many to move outside of their comfort zone. And for the fourth, well, there you go.
UPDATE: The title originally used the term “positive discrimination”. A British English term only it seems, it has now been amended to the American-English term “affirmative action.”