Media Consumers for Entertainment Equality


Racebending.com’s San Diego Comic Con Panel!

July 13, 2011

Racebending.com and Racialicious.com will be co-hosting a panel at San Diego Comic Con 2011!

Diversity and Fandom 102: How You Can Make a Difference

Sunday, July 24 · 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 24ABC

In the wake of campaigns like Racebending.com’s protests and the rise of safe spaces like Racialicious.com, fans, consumers and creators from underrepresented groups have more outlets for speaking up. This panel explores how those voices can be added to conversations with geeky business interests and fan communities.

Actor Dante Basco (Avatar: The Last Airbender), showrunner/writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman), author Malinda Lo (Huntress), Arturo Garcia (Racialicious.com), Phil Yu (AngryAsianMan.com) and USC Professor Henry Jenkins (CivicPaths Project) promise a lively discussion, moderated by Racebending.com!.

  • We’re currently collecting questions for our panelists, so you can participate even if you can’t make it!  Leave your questions in the comments section on this page!
  • Follow our Twitter page!  We’ll be live-tweeting the panel!

Our Panelists

clip_image002 Comic book writer, television writer and showrunner Javier Grillo-Marxuach has written comic books and for TV shows like Lost, Medium, and Ghost Whisperer. He’s best known for his nerdtastic comic book The Middleman, which he brought to ABC Family as a television series in 2008. clip_image004
clip_image006 Author and journalist Malinda Lo‘s young adult novels, Ash and Huntress, both feature LGBTQ women of color as protagonists. Lo has a Master’s Degree in cultural and social anthropology and has also written for AfterEllen.com clip_image008
clip_image010 Actor, dancer, and spoken word artist Dante Basco‘s breakthrough role was as Rufio in the 1991 Peter Pan film Hook. He’s probably best known to Racebending.com readers as the voice actor for Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender. clip_image012
clip_image014 Arturo Garcia is the Site Lead at Racialicious.com, a blog that tracks the intersection of race and pop culture. As one of the primary contributors to the site, Arturo has covered several fandom rallies for diversity, including RaceFail’09 and the Airbender protest. clip_image016
clip_image018 Phil Yu is the blogger behind AngryAsianMan.com, which regularly comments on the representation of Asian Americans in mainstream media. Phil has a Master’s Degree in Critical Studies and works as a content producer for Yahoo!Movies. clip_image020
clip_image022 Media scholar Professor Henry Jenkins studies fandom and activism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Check out his blog on “aca-fandom” at HenryJenkins.org clip_image024

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About the Author

Marissa Lee is one of the co-founders of Racebending.com

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  • Mike

    Will there be any video taken of the panels to be uploaded online for the benefit of those that can’t attend?

    • We’re trying to see if that will be possible! We’re hoping to at least have a transcript/summary and a live tweet-a-thon.

  • I’d like to ask the panelists what the best way for white and otherwise privileged folks (myself included) to get involved is. I’d like to be an ally, but I also don’t want to overstep, take charge where I’m not wanted, or appropriate an identity I can’t claim. Any advice?

  • sociologist-in-training

    prof jenkins….

    obviously the collective spirit of fandoms — online and off — creates spaces for individual engagement with the media products they consume, and often they move into the realm of becoming ‘prosumers’ (individuals that both consume and create media products).  

    with the onslaught of mainstream and traditional media outlets (for example film industry) now tapping into this culture of fandom to generate products and revunue, how can issues of racial justice be approached and overcome in areas of pop culture when we see an ongoing, to use george lipsitz’s phrase, possessive investment in whiteness?  

    a quick example is the reboot of the xmen film franchise in which a storyline with a blatant civil rights theme whitewashes issues of inequality, all the while taking place in the 60s.  what can fandom, which can be argued is also white dominated, do to oust or reshape these processes?

  • Smith

    To the panel at large,

    I’ve noticed some discontent with the current state of diversity in comics, even though things are gradually getting better. For instance I’ve seen many (myself included) attack the new Justice League book for only having two minority members, Element Woman and Cyborg.

    In general, would you say that calling attention to that would have a positive or negative affect? Would DC be likely to say “Hey, we aren’t diverse enough” or “Screw ’em. We’ve given them two non-white superheroes and that somehow isn’t good enough”.

  • na

    any youtube tapes of the session?

  • Smithe

    Is there a transcript or video of this panel anywhere?

    • We’re in the process of putting up an article on a panel and links to either a video or audio podcast. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or check back later this month!

  • DTX

    Personally, I’m getting tired of ALL fantasy/sci-fi movies in general that don’t have people of color. How is it that these worlds can have aliens, elves, magic of all sorts and so on, but can’t have any Black, Asian, or Latino people?

    Specifically I was watching the trailer for Disney’s new movie John Carter due out next year. I thought it looked beautiful, but it’s so frustrating that they  apparently make no effort whatsoever to have a diverse main cast (at least from what I’ve seen of it so far).

  • Cisco_Kid

    when is the panel video going to be posted?  been checking back every week so far with no luck.

    • Marissa Lee

      We are still in the process of editing it together! Thank you for your patience (and your keen interest!) We will be updating people on Twitter and Facebook as soon as it is up. You can also subscribe to our RSS!