[watching] Why is fantasy TV so white?

Not open for further replies.


The Guvnor
Staff member
Yup, a light skinned representative of the slaves that the white saviour bought.

Not a good role model.
BUT don't stigmatise our hobby in particular. When the bulk of BBC panel shows are still 90% white middle class male (cf Have I got News For You, this week) then our niche isn't doing too bad by comparison. The fact that we spot it and point it out is a good thing - and, I think, one of the reasons we spot it is because we've been trained to expect better through the TTRPG hobby. (How any years has Concrete Cow has its advice on pregens up?)
There are plenty of non-Western fantasies out there. I was nodded towards the streaming service Viki that has oodles of Korean TV series on it with no white characters in sight. One of my favourite finds on Amazon Prime is the epic Baahubali, which is - iirc - a Tamil production?

There are also some excellent representative shows out there - I say again, the Dragon Prince.
What is this advice?
Note for GMs
If your game has pre-generated characters, please take a look at their demographics. If the pre-gens are mostly straight white men, ask yourself why. If that's what's required by the scenario, fine. If not, please include more diversity in the characters"

Like most things about CC simply and succinct. But it's there and it's been there for YEARS.
I personally prefer authentic white characters than shoehorning token black people into a culturally white setting.

One reason the Black Panther movie was epic was its focus on a fictional country built around authentic black African culture, themes and costumes, instead of the lame attempt by white directors in other movies to insert token ethnic minorities into worlds shaped by white people's traditions, fashion and art.
Dress code is a strong indicator of cultural Imperialism, and most European countries and America consider formal dress to be the one evolved from Imperial England and France instead of from East Asia, the Middle East or Africa.

One reason I love the Coriolis Space Opera RPG is its dominant cultural transformation of a future humanity that reaches for the stars free of the common trope of white American culture, and instead adopts a Middle Eastern aesthetic for the whole fictional universe.
Aetheism and science is another strongly Western European worldview. In many other cultures scientists are able to remain strongly scientific while still holding unto the traditions of Hindu deities or the singularity of Allah while advocating scientific breakthrough theories. Coriolis The Third Horizon captures this non-white Western worldview succinctly too.
I have shared here before, haven’t I, that when I wanted to produce a free steampunk pdf I ended up having to buy multi ethnic artwork because non existed.
I've illustrated an entire book, for a friend who is a black (African-American) author, drawing mostly African-American people, and some people of other ethnicities. She really re-educated me in terms of my own visual language. My first task involved drawing a crowd, bird's eye view, from a distance. I did this and she came back with,

"Why are these all white people!!?? I think I need a different person to illustrate my book!"

Well to me they were not white people, just shapes in a crowd, faceless, blurs, barely above stick figures. So I really had to rethink my perceptions, and asked her for another chance and also why, why, in this undefined blurred crowd, drawn only in black and white, did she only see white people? ("I See White People" became a theme for our conversations, jokingly). Having got this from her, I had to do quite a bit of research into face shapes, bone structure, and realised having only ever drawn white models and myself my repertoire had indeed been very limited. I was ever so proud of the new work I produced from this as it really challenged me, and she was actually happy with it too.

It never actually reached publication as her life moved on with a move from the US to the UK, family, etc., which is a pity. But yes, some of the points being, she wanted a book that reached out to African-American teens and couldn't find the images to support it, and struggled to find an artist to do it, she only found me though a friendship with my wife.

I've always been open about it, I just don't care to force myself on people. Plus I have a whole other life so it sometimes has to be balanced with that. Or it will. When I get a job. If I get a job. :LOL: I'm totally happy for people to contact me over doing drawing, I need more art in my life.
Apparently I own the rights to my own work because there was no contract and I never got any money, I think the author just gave up a little easily. It was a maths book. I've not found all the illustrations from it, and I'm missing my best one at the moment (recent computer crash, my files are dispersed among various USB storage devices etc.) My favourite is an African-American girl with dreds break dancing, I like it due to the movement in it, and her clothes are not your standard girly clothes but more street wear. I've put some on my Instagram account.
I'm a bit anal retentive and perfectionist when it comes to art so what I really would like to do is loosen up a bit and allow for fortuitous mistakes to happen, which might be more likely if I go back to oil painting rather than using straight pen and ink designs. I enjoy doing figures, animals, bugs, anything really. My profile picture is from a screen printed book I made about my dog, Seamus, now deceased, it was called "Seamus Flees" and was all about Seamus running away from home and visiting other dogs from around the country to see how they dealt with their flea problems, until his own fleas finally took the hint and ran off to join the flea circus.

Last edited:
Not open for further replies.