Can a story be too diverse?

  • No! Diversity is great and there can never be too much
  • Kind of…
  • Yes.

0 voters

1 Like

I dont know about too diverse but it is bad to just throw in a bunch of different characters from different races, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds etc. For the one and only sole purpose of diversity. Your diversity should be authentic accurate respectful and add to the narrative in one way or another. You shouldn’t just have a checklist thats just okay i need a Black character, a muslin character, a gay character, a hispanic character, etc. Because thats not really diversity it’s tokenism

26 Likes

it depends on a lot of things.

if its a Scandinavian Viking story, having black and Asian people everywhere, is really weird. same if its a Japanese story, then dropping black people and white people into it, is weird.

again. if its a Viking story, Vikings are Asa religionThor Odin, a catholic person you could get away with adding, but jewsish Muslim and buddist, that dont belong.

diversity need to complement the story, it shouldn’t take over it.

a way I explain diversity is, its a spice. and that spice needs to be able to fit with the food.you cant just throw ten diffrent spices into a recipe without tasting it, and some can have more spices than others. also the spice isnt needed for the food, its an extra kick to make it better.

there exist many great stories with 0 diversity. diveristy add, but its not a story, same way spice add, but its not food. you can not rely on the spice alone

9 Likes

So in a nutshell, what you’re saying is that the amount of diversity you need in your story depends on the time period. If it’s in the early period times, like the 1600s, you won’t need much, but if we’re in the 2000s, you’ll need more than just 2 races, ethnicities, and nationalities.

5 Likes

it depends on the story actually. not just time , though that can play in.

example a story here in 2020, in korea, that is a 99% asian country, so evryone is the story should baiscly be asian. I live in Denmark, we are white here. if I made a story there happened here, evryone would be white. there might be a black person and a muslim, but here people are mostly white.

then there is a story taken place, in America, that country is diverse, having a cast where evryone is white, that is out of the ordinary.

a story depends on the place. and time,

then there is my story, its a fantasy, no specific time or place, that means it’s out of the rules of what diversity makes sense. and I can add it the way I want.

7 Likes

Okay, got it

1 Like

I don’t believe there can never be too much diversity, it does kinda become a problem when it’s the only thing that gets in the author’s head or when they treat it more like a checklist more than anything.

8 Likes

You know what, this is an interesting question. I’m absolutely pro diversity, however I can understand why it could become weird if brought to some extent.

I feel like in stories, diversity is a narrative device used to represent minorities and to bring them to the same ‘level’ as anyone outside them. Realistically, minorities (most of them at least) are called like that for a reason. For example, in my country Islam is only observed by a small percentage of the population. Having a story taking place in an ‘average’ random city in my country and having half of the cast be Muslim is going to look odd. Likewise, a story taking place in an arab country would feel weird if half of its cast is Christian.

Why? Because that’s not the reality of things. And this is where the metaphor of diversity as a spice comes in, it has to be used but done in proportion to your story’s characteristics. However, we could always argue that human beings are complex creatures and diversity doesn’t only imply race or religion. So what I do is really think about probabilities.

How likely is it for me to meet people like this character of mine in this setting? From here, I decide how many characters that are part of a minority I think is reasonable to include in the story, both as main/secondary characters and as background characters. And I mean, this is something else I’ve seen people say. Adding minorities to a story just to tick boxes isn’t right, but that doesn’t mean that your cast can’t be very diverse. In my opinion, if your story takes place in a setting where big diversity would feel realistic, then why not? Even if it’s just background characters, would it be wrong to make them look ‘diverse’ as a whole just because they stay in the background and we’ll never even hear them speak? That’s not ticking boxes imo, that’s making a realistic-looking background.

On the flip side, having a story displaying no diversity at all is just equally as unrealistic as having a half Muslim cast in an average Italian classroom.

So to answer the question, I believe that in some cases there could be too much diversity, simply because it wouldn’t look realistic in that setting. Too much diversity of one kind though. Let’s not forget that diversity comes in different ‘categories’. Having at least a little bit of everything (in proportion) - even if not explicitly shown/described and even if it’s just as a ‘trait’ - where your story setting allows it, is the least you could do imo. Does a person need to have a reason to be born in a religious context, with colored skin, or with a disability? The question is, how likely are they to be born like that in a given setting.

And so, adding diversity just to tick boxes is basically adding random diversity in a specific setting where it probably wouldn’t be witnessed that way.

6 Likes

If they’re not depicted in the right way then yes. everyone should do their research about cultures, ethnicities, religions, etc. that they don’t know about before adding them into their story.

1 Like

Just represent the community your story is set in. If it’s a historical, do the research.
But be aware of personal or cultural racial bias; It may not even occur to you that your assumptions are biased.

Especially if you’re living in a mono cultural community. I had an argument with someone at work over #BLM because he’d only lived in a small white town his whole life and couldn’t even acknowledge that there might be a race problem with the police but that’s another story.

5 Likes

It’s very possible to do diversity poorly, but there’s no such thing as putting too many different kinds of people in a story.

1 Like

There can only be too much if you do it wrong. I’ve seen a few authors who knew nothing about a culture or a race or a sexuality, and tried to add it to their story.

3 Likes

I mean NO

1 Like

Yes. Sometimes it can become very forced and poorly written and really detracts from the beauty of diversity. Diversity should be integrated naturally into stories, not jammed in to make a check mark on a to do list.

4 Likes

Okay now, I’mma put yes

1 Like

Diversity isn’t a bad thing at all, the only dilemma I got is when authors don’t do any basic research about someone’s cultural settings or any settings that has to do with them being a minority or the cause of diversity.

So the execution of diversity really depends on the cultural settings of the countries, time and story; great example is-

I live in Saudi Arabia and there’s BARELY any diversity over here (Cough cough Only Dubai has a huge grab of diversity cause of it’s catch of westernized themes), it’s mostly full of brown people who are ultraconservative muslims; so it’s REALLY REALLY weird for me to see a show that is settled in Saudi Arabia and has alot of westernized or white folks running around.

1 Like

agreed

1 Like

In my opinion, if a story becomes so focused on diversity that it’s just checking off boxes (as mentioned above), it can become too much. It starts to feel like a certain character is of a specific ethnicity/orientation just to include that target demographic without adding any depth to the character. A character’s contribution to the story should be more than their national origin or skin tone; every character needs to serve a function beyond checking off a certain box.

2 Likes

There’s no such thing as too much diversity. I live in an extremely diverse community with people of different backgrounds and culture. And as someone who is LGBT+, I usually attract friends who are LGBT+ too. If someone made a movie about my life, people would complain about it being too “diverse”. People just have to realize that not everyone lives in a world with only straight white people. Some people live in homogeneous communities-- that’s fine. And some people dont. It just gets frustrating when people complain about forced diversity when the same type of “forced” diversity seen in those stories can be reflected in REAL LIFE.

I’m not sure if i make coherent sense.

1 Like

Don’t worry! Your post is completely coherent.
Tangent: I like your handle and profile picture.

1 Like