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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

That is actually the most interesting rebuttal I've got on this point, and the most well thought out too. So thanks!

I agree with a lot of what you said, actually. It's sensible and pragmatic, when writing, to consider how a character will be received - particularly when you're writing a minority character, given the need for representation, specifically nuanced and accurate representation. If audience members did come away thinking that gay people are losers, and it is possible that would happen, then it'd definitely be a shame.

However, I do feel that with some careful writing, and some strong writing, that issue can be circumvented. It's also helped by the fact that you'd have multiple LGBT characters (Flash Thompson and Felicia Hardy as well as Peter), meaning you get a balance, and you can represent the different aspects and possibilities for different LGBT characters. That should help you get away from the "gay people are losers" possibility - Peter is well meaning but exceptionally unlucky, Flash is cruel, but has a transformative arc through which we come to sympathise with him, and Felicia is can be happy and upbeat. The fact that Peter is the protagonist will probably alleviate that too - we see him doing all sorts of amazing things as Spider-Man, we root for him as he saves people, and even though he has awful the "Parker luck", at the end of the day, we all really like him. (And wouldn't find out he was gay until the last 2 lines of the movie)

I think you're probably right to err on the side of caution, in general. But I think just because it can be difficult to properly portray minority characters, it doesn't mean that it's not worthwhile.

(Just as an aside - where you say you avoid their sexuality, do you also avoid depictions of heterosexuality? That doesn't really present the same issues you mentioned, because heterosexual people aren't an oppressed minority, as it were, but I'm curious nonetheless.)

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[–] bobroland 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

Well, I do have one antagonist who, in my mind, is gay. He's also a minor antagonist, and a nasty piece of work. Part of his character was shaped by feeling isolated growing up. Since it's not important to the story, it was never written down. That sort of thing happens when writing. You often have more backstory than ever hits the page. Sexuality comes up only when important to the story. Lead character was straight because there was a romance through story.

Anyways....

See, Peter isn't unlucky. Luck is that point on the Venn diagram where bad actions overlap accidents. Any other person, including the reader, would do a better job at being Spider-Man than Peter Parker does. We roll our eyes slightly. We identify. We've all been screw ups. It's not luck.

As for Flash....well, in a well written story, every character has an arc, but it's usually unseen. Flash works best as a force of nature. He's an obstacle. You don't care about where he's going, any more than you care about where a tornado goes. You don't need o redeem every character...and in fact you should avoid it as often as possible in a drama.

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't approach minority character as real characters...it's just that 99% of the time it's done badly. David Simon is a great writer for television because he does show deeply flawed minority characters. It's great. Problem is, the vast majority of people can't...and even if they could, there's going to be some hollywood knucklehead who is going to edit the flaws out of a minority character. Nature of the beast. We have the world as it is, not as we wish it.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

in fact you should avoid [redeeming characters] as often as possible in a drama.

Why's that, out of interest? In my head, it's less redemption, and more building on the idea that, even though Flash is a jerk to Peter, he's a big fan of Spider-Man. The idea posited online (I didn't come up with it myself, but I don't actually recall who did) was that Flash was a closeted bully, and then Spider-Man inspires him to come out. It's less redemption, because he was still a jerk, but more... understanding? But I suppose those two things can function in the same way at times.

I've never heard of David Simon - any recommendations of his work I should check out?