From Homophobic Tweets to Black Spiderman – What’s Diversity like in Pop Culture?

This Sunday night the Oscars go live to be viewed around the world. But this year the focus shifted from the glitz and glamour, and the star-studded nominations. It is, now ex-host, Kevin Hart that has stolen the show.

Hart quit from hosting after homophobic tweets from his past resurfaced and caused public outrage. It caught our attention, regardless of how much we really care about the Oscars themselves. As wrong as he was, does he deserve to lose the job of a lifetime over a few tweets? Who among us has a stellar social media record? Let’s be honest.

Pop-culture has the amazing role of bringing (what is currently considered as) diversity into the fold to be considered as the new norm with the passage of time. So far, its track record has been colourful. God knows Anime has been accused of being too different at times, yet it is still gaining global popularity.

Star Trek was a particular trend setter in pop-culture with the first televised interracial kiss and the fist lesbian space-kiss.

Plenty can be said on how Star Trek changed the way minorities were portrayed. The series was one of the first to portray an Asian character in a non-stereotypical role with George Takei playing helmsman Hikaru Sulu. This franchise isn’t the only one of its kind. Since those early days things have definitely gotten better. Nowadays especially with “Crazy Rich Asians” being nominated for the Golden Globes. It can definitely be said that stereotypes be damned.

Marvel and DC among others have pushed for inclusion of marginalised groups throughout the years which franchises such as X-men. Diversity within the MCU continues to shine with Miles Morales in the new Spiderman. DC will also be featuring the first Latino lead in their upcoming production Blue Beetle. This year also has “Roma” getting 10 Oscar nominations despite earning €0 prior to its nomination.

To quote the Beatles “I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better, all the time”.

Since the song was released in 1967 it was meant to capture the optimism of the changing times and that is exactly what we should be focusing on. Pop-culture and the media in general is far from perfect but there has been progress.

In recent years the world had a yearly appointment to criticise the Oscars for what it is not and who it excluded, and this year these same people are celebrating the exclusion of one of their own who has made some mistakes in the past.

It is noble to seek to protect those who are marginalised and even persecuted around the world, but the solution is not persecuting those who have faults rooted in the past. There are bigger fish to fry in this world. No one is perfect, and the biggest proof of that is that no person with the desired stellar record has been found to host the Oscars.


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