Episode's 2017 Diversity Standards


#382

I wanna know what areas that POC and LGBT are in the “1%” are residing in tbh.

Like where the hell is your story based in? Texas?


#383

I don’t even want to bother reading any stories written by someone who thinks needing diversity is “asking too much.”

Like nah man nah. My attention span and patience is far too low for that.


#384

It’s pretty sad when adding a male MC would be diversity. It’s pretty sad that Episode doesn’t have the resources to allow us to write stories about the transition of a transgender person. I’d either have to make them pre or post transition.

But above all, what’s the saddest thing of all is this othering of minority people: “I can’t write about them because they’re too different and weird. I wouldn’t understand how to write them”. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all human and you’re going to find people of all walks of life, faiths and sexualities who have a lot in common with you, even if there are some differences. An American Chinese person is going to be affected also by their American nationality and upbringing. It’s likely that they’ll share more in common with you than someone who has lived in Shanghai their whole lives, since they grew up in a very similar way to you, so it’s not difficult to represent them. Probably that’s partly the fault of people asking for diversity: getting offended too quickly instead of just taking writers to a side and explaining what’s wrong and how they can do better. It scares people off. That’s something that a lot of us need to work on.

But that’s not an excuse to pretend minorities don’t exist. No one HAS to put diversity into their stories and I REALLY don’t recommend putting in diversity that’s unusual in the area you’re writing about or that you don’t understand. However, unless you live in a bubble, you’ve met and interacted with minority people: asexual, agender, transgender, bisexual, gay, aspergers, dyslexic, ADHD, ADD, physical disabilities such as an amputee, people with hearing impairments, blind, dyspraxic, bipolar, social anxiety, religious, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, socialist… these are all types of people who may not be represented in your story and are ALL over the world, regardless of skin colour.


#385

Oh my god, there have been so many long comment, I honestly appreciate that everyone’s so head in and enthusiastic about their opinions.
Really, give you hand a break.
This is going to be short:
We need to look at perspectives.
For sexuality:
The reason why there are BI stories, etc, are because authors want to give reader’s a choice, and there will be more readers if the LGBT readers are also reading. Also, the diversity topic is a really huge topic right now, LGBT stories are written for LGBT people (Mostly, I would say). As a straight person, I don’t read LGBT stories, because I can’t relate. So it’s all got to do with relating. I would say mostly LGBT people write LGBT stories, and sometimes authors write BI stories to have diversity.
For race:
Now, the ting is, being fair to races is a huge thing right now as well. Same goes for this. Now authors are implementing more races in their stories because of this controversial topic.
However, with so much of this going on, this is now becoming a cliche. I’m sure you know the pattern.
Episode’s point of view:
They are an app that makes money, and whatever is the most popular obviously helps. Episode does a lot and they are discussing with us. They run on money, and without the money, Episode won’t have this community. I know it’s incredibly frustrating when you see this view, and sometimes I feel as if it’s only money, but honestly… I can’t really defend them but it’s hard for an app to make decisions based on numerous opinions from different perspectives.
I agree, this app was made by the American developer PocketGems. So it’s more America-based. I understand that some people wouldn’t want more America based stories, but in the end, everything is up to the author. By influencing their decisions (main characters) they create something that doesn’t really belong to them, in a way, they’re out of touch, they aren’t what they envisioned. Perhaps that’s why some of these characters seem empty or with no character, just someone with diversity- and see, this happens so much it’s starting to become tiring.
Again, I understand background characters obviously should be diverse- this is real life (unless in fantastical world, but that could be too) but the main character’s are what the author’s envision- I’m pretty sure they don’t mean to not include other race’s, but this is their story. It’s their’s.
There’s an argument of not being enough diverse characters. Another way would be to make those stories yourself. After all, stories are revolved after what the author wants,
Another argument made was that minorities exist, and that you will be able to write about them because they’re the same as you. Well, everyone could have the same hobbies, etc, but if a straight person was to describe a heated passion between a LGBT couple, I still would find it pretty out of touch. It’s just not your way of thinking, and vice versa. That’s sexuality, ADHD, etc. Obviously, you could look at interviews, and that would be quite accurate. This might be able to be achieved, but the author would have to put in a lot of effort to remake their whole idea. However, I must say, it’s just, really hard, to understand, say, how does someone really feel with cancer? It’s subjective to everybody. Yes, there should be more influential, less cliche and uneducational (and I’m only talking about the ones that influence people inn a bad way) stories, but it’s not right to force this on authors. other than that, not everyone has a best friend of a different color. Yes, there is, and there are stories (especially now) with it, but if you live in different regions, it’s different. It needs to suit the story, so yes, of course in some places this would be very natural, and if in some place like America, this is very normal as well, but it’s also normal to not have a best friend of color.
Mostly, the whole argument revolves around what’s accurate. An accurate representation of LGBT, race, and place.
And, in the end, what’s important is that there isn’t a negative community towards this. It’s positive, and there isn’t a story that will portray LGBT as bad, etc (as of now).
Again, it’s only my opinion, so feel free to roast me for dinner.


#386

The problem with this is that there are stories made from all over the world. Episode just focuses on festuring a US narrative. It would be nice for them to not have the same formula:

  • Middle-class
  • High school or university
  • Straight girl
  • Boy troubles
  • Obsession with physical appearance
  • Trivialisation of sex
  • Bad boy
  • Nothing better to do with their lives than obsess over guys who don’t treat them well.
  • American

It would be nice for there to be a featured story which ticks less than 4 of those boxes.


#387

“Diversity is much more than race, religion or sexuality. Diversity is people, just multitudinous people who are different.

Seems like everyone ignored this.


#388

In this context people are talking about racial/ethnical diversity, gender diversity, sexual orientation diversity etc etc. There’s a lot of ways characters can be diverse, but since popular/featured stories already have a decent amount of personality diversity, that’s why we’re choosing to focus on this here :). People do complain about the lack of diversity in characters’ personalities though, just in a different way and in different wording.


#389

exactly.


#390

Right, I’m sorry, I forgot to mention I was talking in terms of LGBT and race because that was the main concern. My idea is that authors shouldn’t be forced to make stories that will create tropes. It’s up to the author on what they envision. I agree it would be amazing to have some diversity, (your mention) I’m sorry for my assumptions. It’s great to have diversity, but it comes down to what the author imagines to make the story the best way possible. Yes, it’s shown in everyday life, so it’s a good point to be represented in the background, but if people really try to force authors to do this, I think they should make their dream come true and write one. A lot goes into writing a story and authros can get really stressed.


#391

I understand this problem, and this comes down to tropes that are now simultaneously repeated because of the bigger audience that likes these stories. However, I agree they are in no way educational and should be restrained, In fact, some of them do not promote positivity at all and are harming to someone would regularly consume these. However, it again comes down to influence.
I think currently, people are changing this and I’ve seen some amazing stories out there that are really positive and heartwarming. This is developing.


#392

That’s true. I want a story with a Muslim MC someday.


#393

Well worded. As a writer myself, I don’t try to have diversity, it just comes to me. And some of my stories don’t necessarily have “full” diversity, because it depends on the genre, topic, theme, etc.


#394

I know and enjoy 2/3 stories with a Muslim MC… but unfortunately the authors hardly update


#395

Muslim Momma was a good story with a Muslim Mc but now it’s discontinued. :sweat:


#396

Really? Names?


#397

Bittersweet Wounds & My Best Friend And Her Brother, can’t find the other one I was thinking of


#398

People dont write Muslim MCs because they think all of Muslim women wear hijab. And they dont want to represent them “wrongly” Yeah, right :woman_facepalming:t2:

PSA to authors: All you have to do is just say they are Muslim and use Allah instead of God. Not all Muslims dress modest. :woman_facepalming:t2::massage_woman:t2:‍♀


#399

That’s not all. It is more to that but I get your point. And if they are scared to represent them wrongly, then ask people on the forums. But I hate it when people ask me questions about it sometimes because they do ask offensive stereotypes.


#400

And do your damn research too.


#401

Thats literally the basic of being Muslim but yeah. I live in a Muslim populated country so i know all types of Muslims lol