So, it’s 2015, the time of resolutions, and I’ve been getting a lot of questions from pushy fans about being more inclusive in my work.
I like pushy fans. I LOVE pushy fans and I’ve been trying to think of a way to let you know that I hear you and also to push myself to be more diverse in what I do.
Not every brand can be every thing. It’s difficult to talk about race among robots. Historical novels should probably not make JFK a woman. A pre-school show might have trouble explaining class-based disparity in our society. We may also fall short or mess up for other reasons (technical, timing, lack of power ourselves, etc).
But the important thing is that in 2015 we as writers, artists and creators need to be challenging ourselves to do better. Inclusion needs to be at the forefront of our minds. We need to be looking at what we make and asking not “Should I be diverse?” but “Why would I not be diverse?” Because while you may need to keep the preexisting character white/male/whatever for your next liscenced story, does the beat cop he speaks to need to be white? Does every woman in the coffee shop need to be size 0? Do aliens on another world need to be heterosexual? Why?
I put up this sign in my office to remind myself that the answer is usually NO, they don’t. The world is a huge and complex place and my writing needs to do everything it can to express that.
I challenge any other creator who reads this to do something similar. Give yourself a daily reminder to do better, with every story, with every scene. Tell your fans and your friends about it. We may fall short; we likely will fall short, but if we’re going to make resolutions every year this seems a much better one than weight loss. Resolve to be diverse in your work, because the world is already diverse…we just aren’t good at writing it yet.