If you want to know what racism and anti-blackness in fandom looks like you just have to take a look at the tags for Supergirl and James Olsen these days, and watch fandom mischaracterize (ie lie) about what a black character has done, demonize him, and spew all sort of hatred for a canon couple featuring a black man and fandom’s favorite white woman. Bonus for the way these fans throw disabled fans under the bus by gleefully using an ableist term to name the ship they dislike.
The James Olsen tag is mostly comprised by hate for his character. These people shipping two white women misguidedly claim that a romance between a black man and a white woman is “heteronormative”, misappropiating the word, because there’s nothing “normative” about interracial romances, and very rarely we get to see a black man as romantic and desirable.
They take one episode in s2 where James (along with everybody else in Kara’s life, including Alex, a white woman people have no problem shipping Lena with) distrusted Lena and then ADMITED HE WAS WRONG and apologized in the same episode and they claim that “James has spent years distrusting Lena or talking trash behind her back”. They take that episode and one scene in this season where James worried Lena might have accidentally caused the lead poisoning (he explicitly said he believed it wasn’t on purpose, and this is what Lena herself believed) while, in true Fandom Racism 101, they ignore or erase all their positive interactions, like James saving Lena’s life twice (he took a bullet for her), or defending her and her company in the first episode of the season, or his offers of help and support for her as head of CatCo despite Lena trying to profesionally sideline him even though James had been in charge of the company for a whole season, or how he straight up told her he saw her as more than a extension of her brother. Fandom paints their mutual , good-natured (and obviously romantic) banter in the office as unhealthy, toxic and misogynistic.
James started Supergirl as the male lead and the romantic interest of the protagonist, only to be sidelined and his relationship erased from the show’s canon for the sake of pairing Kara with a problematic frat boy that forced into the trope of “woman has to make shitty white boy a better man” yet now fandom is claiming Karamel is better than James/Lena. Hell, you can even see a few posts where they say Lena has more chemistry with the man who tried to kill her, destroy her company and framed her for poisoning children than with James. And then they claim that it (or the running joke about how Lena has more chsmitry with inanimate objects than a black man) has nothing to do with race, and they are just being critical of the ship (where do their critical faculties go when it comes to their own fandom? No one knows).
They claim the James/Lena romance have “no chemistry” (an accusation historically levelled at interracial romances on tv, including James/Kara in season 1 of Supergirl) or that it was rushed, despite the fact that every romance on Supergirl is rushed (but they don’t complain about the other romances) and that James/Lena had been set up since the first episode of this season.
The lack of self-awareness in this fandom is atonishing. They do not realize how it looks when they post about an interracial romance with screams of “ew!”, “gross!” or “disgusting!”. They will use the fact that they ship two white women to belittle any other kind of representation, or excuse their blatant racism – when they themselves had pretended to be the “woke” group in fandom, criticizing the racism in sidelining James as a romantic interest for Mon-el or in casting a white woman for a Latinx character with Maggie. Those critcisms are valid but now it’s clear these people were only faking concern for racial representation, since they’ve turned around and treated James and James/Lena this way. And as a white queer person I’m tired of their bullish behavior in thinking marginalization as LGBT trumps race issues (making QWOC feel unwelcome in this fandom in the process) and using queer oppression to not practice intersectionality and spread racism in this already racist fandom. It’s offensive to our community and I’m tired.
I’m going to leave some receipts here, in case anyone wants to claim this never happens, because the Supergirl fandom needs to start being critical of these things.
tl;dr: the Supergirl fandom needs to take out the trash and stop this lastest hate campaign against a black character
Alex Danvers is not, and can never be, Batwoman.
And no, this isn’t people being like “this adaptation isnt exactly like the comics and so i hate it”. no.
this is “kate kane is a canon jewish character, who is extremely into her religion, even obscure aspects of it. she does not practice casually, it is a big part of her character and taking that representation away would be antisemetic as fuck”.
this is “queer women aren’t interchangeable characters that you can just swap out as you please”.
this is “kate kane became batwoman to serve because she was discharged from the military, when she loved serving her country because she refused to lie about her sexuality and therefore to have alex danvers, an openly gay officer in a government agency become batwoman would be the antithesis of the batwoman mantle and would disrespect the characters entire history.”
your headcanons about alex danvers being batwoman arent as harmless as you might think. they are promoting and endorsing jewish erasure and homophobia just because you want to see alex being a vigilante.
and not only all of that on the actual batwoman side, but you know what else? its disrespectful and out of character for alex danvers as well. you know what alex danvers is? she is a government agent who loves serving in the agency and as part of a team. she would have literally no reason to become batwoman. she doesnt see bad things happening everyday and decide she can do something to help, like kara and james, because she is already doing that with the deo. she doesnt see the bat symbol as a call to arms to serve the people, like kate kane. alex danvers has a job that is incredibly fulfilling to her, and that she already helps and saves people in.
alex danvers has no motivation to become batwoman, and any that she does have would no doubt be extremely disrespectful to the characters history, as she will never be kicked out of the deo, a job she loves, for refusing to lie about her sexuality, and she will never see the bat symbol as a call to arms in the same way that kate kane did.
jewish characters should not and will not be erased.
queer women are not interchangeable.
so kindly fuck off, because alex danvers is not batwoman and she can never be batwoman.
king mehcad brooks ended kermel
The Supergirl fandom (and by that I mean the Kara/Mon-el fandom) needs to stop saying Kara and Manuel are not white, that they are white-passing because they are aliens. THEY ARE WHITE. They are not white-passing and for white fans like me to be discussing that they are is truly offensive.
I get it, fandom, you are feeling “pressed” because people are RIGHTFULLY accusing your shitty ship of only existing through racist network decisions to erase Kara’s romance with James and to kick James out of the main storyline. You also realize that your ship taps into a few misogynistic tropes in that it’s the woman doing all the emotional labor to make the man a better person – as opposed to Karolsen, where they both supported each other and said how much they admired each other since the beginning. It’s hard to defend your shitty ship from these legit concerns. But co-opting social justice language to make your (extremely racist) point and pretend your white ship is “actually, really, interracial, if you think about it” is only making things worse. You wonder why everybody hates you? This is why everybody hates you.
PS. For the love of god stop saying Kara and Manuel are not white.
The idea that anyone in the Supergirl fandom is out here claiming that Mon-el and Kara aren’t white because they’re aliens makes me so mad that I could probably spit fire.
Especially because this is something that has been addressed in at least one comic, that Superman (and subsequent members of the Superfamily from Krypton) is as beloved as he is and as welcomed by society as he is because he appears to be white and was raised by white america and he’s nonthreatening because of it.
I love to joke and say that Batman’s “real” superpower is his white privilege, but honestly, we can’t ignore how much Superman benefits from it too. And in that vein, so do Kara and Mon-el.
To suggest otherwise, especially in the context of “don’t complain about this ship being created to appeal to racists who hated James/Kara because it’s ~really~ intersectional and inclusive”, is to show how utterly ignorant fandom is and how comfortable the institution is with unchecked bigotry disguised as progressiveness.
ETA: I didn’t properly remember the comic I’d read where the conversation about Superman’s privilege happened and it was… dissatisfying when I went to look it up again. So if you want to read about that and get info on another 90s comic that does a fairly better job of clearly pointing out Supes’ white privilege full stop, just… click anywhere because I made this one big link.
do you ever think about how supergirl went from being a show that racebent jimmy olsen and presented a black man as the main love interest
kara danvers is now dating a former slave owner.
from a black man to a slave owner. DAMN. that is just…so typical CW.
I watched two episodes of Supergirl – 1×13 and 2×13 and recorded the amount of time in each episode that a female character got to speak. I chose these episodes because 2×13 is the most recently aired, and for a fair comparison, I selected the 13th episode of season 1.
1×13 had 22 minutes and 46 seconds of dialogue spoken by female characters, which is just slightly over half the episode (43 minutes long). The remaining time was made up of all male character dialogue, all establishing shots and scenes with no spoken dialogue (e.g. fight scenes).
2×13 had 10 minutes and 57 seconds of dialogue spoken by female characters, which is around a quarter of the episode.
When people say that Supergirl is no longer focusing on female characters, this is what we mean.
When we say that Supergirl is now a secondary character in her own show, this is what we mean.
When we say that it’s no longer Supergirl, we mean that a show that is supposed to be about women now only lets them speak for 25% of the time.
I am disgusted. This show that I loved so much in season 1, that was about brilliant, smart, brave complicated women becoming heroes in their own ways, and supporting each other, has become something I don’t even recognize.
How can a show with a female character as the lead and title character only have the women talk for 25% of an episode?
And it’s not like Supergirl herself just got 25% of the time – that’s split between the five female characters who got to talk (Kara, Alex, Maggie, Lyra and I counted the Kryptonian computer because it was a female voice).
This is not Supergirl. This is why I’m angry. A show that I loved, that used to be about women, now only lets them talk for 25% of the screen time. This is not okay.