A legendary comic book artist took a swipe at the “race swapping” of characters in modern entertainment and described the process as part of a “woke period” in a video posted Jan. 5.
On his YouTube channel, writer and artist Chuck Dixon was asked by a fan if he “ever thought about doing a fantasy type character like a Conan or an Elric type character in a pre-colonial Africa type setting.”
“This is such an awesome question and it’s one I’ve asked myself over and over and over again,” Dixon replied. “We’re seeing now, and it’s all due to this sort of woke period in entertainment – we’re seeing a lot of gender and race swapping of characters.”
“And generally, here in the United States, when they race swap a character they replace a white character with an African American,” Dixon added. “If you notice, they never replace an Asian or Native American character with African American, it’s always a white character. And I don’t know what the point of that is.”
Recently, some comic characters were subject to drastic changes. Superman was revealed to be bisexual, the white character “Domino” was cast as African American in “Deadpool 2,” and when Marvel comics announced a female “Thor.”
Dixon also argued that there are some instances when changing a character’s race works for the material. He mentioned Denzel Washington’s recent portrayal of Macbeth in “The Tragedy Of Macbeth,” saying that “That’s fine with me because Shakespeare is malleable that way,” and “Shakespeare’s plays aren’t historical dramas. They’re not historical recreations.”
Dixon went on to say that he doesn’t care about “cultural appropriation,” calling it “nonsense,” and argued that historical stories from an African American perspective tend to be negative.
“It always has to deal with racism in some way as if that’s the only thing that matters in African American history,” he said.
The artist instead argued that there is a “rich tapestry” in pre-colonial Africa for storytelling, and that there must be “heroes and villains” to build new stories on.
Dixon is noted for his “record run” on DC Comics’ “Batman,” during which time he co-created the character Bane, according to his website. Dixon also worked on comics including Marvel’s “The Punisher,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Nightwing,” “The Simpsons,” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”