Hi, everyone. I am still pretty new to episode and the forums (I only started about a year ago), so please forgive me if I am wrong about any of this information. But, I would like to share some of what I have noticed on this thread and my opinion on this topic. This comment is mainly referring to EPISODE and their stories and diversity, not user stories.
Now before I get into the nitty-gritty of this all, I would like to discuss the meaning of diversity itself. This is my perspective of the meaning of diversity, and I know that it might not necessarily be the same as others’. Anywho, I digress, the definition of diversity is: a range of different things, or variety. Diversity is a very broad term, and there are many different sub-categories including but not limited to: sexual preferences, racial diversity, cultural diversity, mental disorders, etc.
Sure it is important for user stories to have diversity, but I do not think that it is as important as the Episode-created and featured stories. Here is my reasoning: The stories you see on the shelves, on your home page, and that are promoted are the stories made and chosen by Episode. These are the stories that are more likely to be read because they are easier to be found, and not everyone wants to go and look deep into the depths of Episode to find a story with good diversity. I think there are are probably lots of great user stories out there with good plot and good diversity, but they would be harder to find because it is not promoted by Episode or have less. THIS is why it is so important for episode to include more diversity in their stories. Because whether they like it or not, Episode is a form of media; and, if they continue to not include diversity in their stories or show it in a stereotypical way, then they will just be upholding the stereotypes surrounding people/things that are different from the norm.
Here is what I think we need in terms of diversity: Diversity is not just having a character with a different skin color, or putting a hijab on a character. You see, at the core, people are different. Now, I am not saying this to segregate people and but them into boxes. What I mean is people come from different walks of life and have different perspectives on certain things. An african-american, homosexual, christian may not have the same beliefs as a caucasian, heterosexual, christian. While people have similarities, they also have differences, and that should be shown in these stories.
Episode, I understand that you may have a specific people that you market towards which shows the types of stories you will create, but you do not always need a diverse story, to have diverse characters. And what I mean by this is, you don’t need to always have a story centering on a “diverse” person to have diverse characters. You can easily add diverse characters to stories such as “The K*ss List” and “Positively Princess” if those are the stories that you get more reader retention in. Now, it would be nice to eventually get a story with a “diverse” character as the MC, but it is all about baby steps.
I think the main thing we are angry about is that you posted this at the end of 2016, and have produced many stories since then and we don’t see ANY of these promises incorporated in the stories you produced. Maybe we would be a bit more patient if we saw baby steps being taken to add more diversity into stories, but we don’t. And we are beginning to wonder if this is is just a group of empty promises.
- It is important for Episode-Created, featured, and promoted stories to have a diverse cast because those are the stories that readers are more likely to see and read.
- Diversity is not just having a character with a different skin color, or putting a hijab on character. It is, at the core, having a character with a different personality and views on life and SHOWING that.
- A story does not always need to be centered on a “diverse” person to include “diverse” characters. You can easily add more diverse characters to the types of stories that you market.
I am not going to give you a list of things I think you should have for your 2019 standards, I think that is something that you as a company should reflect on yourselves. But, as I see how important this is to the Episode community, I sincerely hope you take time to reflect on the content you produce and how you can work to improve it over the next year or two.
Okay, I think that is it. Thank you so much for reading. Please reply if you think I have left something out, or if you are confused on one of my statements. I am sorry if I offended anyone, that was not my goal, but to just share my opinion on this topic.