I have a problem with the way we talk about problematic media.

Or, more accurately, the way we don’t talk about problematic media. 

We’ve had a lot of conversations recently about problematic content in series we like and don’t like, and it’s a topic we’ve seen debated time and again whenever a series or creator does something questionable, uncomfortable, or in some cases, criminal. While it’s difficult to reconcile enjoying something that may be doing something “bad” or was created by a creator who has done something “bad,” I think it’s important to interrogate problematic content in the media we consume to identify the ways in which it may affect real people in harmful or damaging ways, and whether supporting such works emboldens the cultural pervasiveness of this content and their creators. 

This is a complicated topic that can be approached from many perspectives, so we invited several people who have expertise in holding conversations about problematic media and discussing the ways in which it reflects upon our culture and affects people. We’re delighted to have back on the show Erica Friedman, the premier yuri scholar, historian, and founder of Yuricon and Okazu, and are excited to invite on some new guests – Ash from the Youtube Channel The King’s Speech, and The Black Manga Critic from the Youtube Channel of the same name. Together we explored our thoughts on problematic content in media, and how to hold helpful and productive discussions of them in ways that encourage cultural change. 

Huh, who would have thought you could have a civil conversation about problematic media on the internet? 


PODCAST BREAKDOWN:

00:23 – Intro
02:16 – Introducing Our Guests, the Topic, and the Goal of the Conversation
06:05 – How do we define the term “Problematic”
24:46 – Our Problematic Faves

– Hunter x Hunter
– Yu Yu Hakusho
– One Piece
– Gintama
– Takako Shimura
– Rumiko Takahashi
– Murcielago
– Vinland Saga

46:32 – What is the difference between a Problematic Fave and a Guilty Pleasure?
53:17 – Where Should We Draw the Line with Problematic Media?
1:00:40 – Being Educated About Problematic Content
1:07:43 – Being Open to Conversations About Problematic Media
1:14:40 – Reconciling Liking Problematic Media
1:18:20 – All Art is Political
1:20:40 – Catching Ourselves From Defending Problematic Media
1:23:55 – Engaging in Conversations About Problematic Media
1:41:49 – Where Have We Personally Drawn the Line with Problematic Media?
2:03:49 – Amplifying Progressive and Marginalized Voices in the Community

2:12:20 – Community Shout-Outs! 

2:21:12 – Wrap-Up 

Enjoy the show, and follow us on twitter at @manga_mavericks, on tumblr at mangamavericks.tumblr.com, and on Youtube! You can also follow the hosts on Twitter at @sniperking323 and @lumranmayasha. If you’d like to help support the show financially you can pledge to our Patreon and receive some awesome rewards like our Patreon-exclusive Bonus pods! If one-time donations are more your speed you can donate to Colton’s Ko-fi here and LumRanmaYasha’s Ko-fi here, and if you want to support LumRanmaYasha’s art and other projects you can donate to their personal Patreon. Don’t forget to also like and subscribe to us on Youtube and iTunes and leave us reviews to help us curate the show and create better content!

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About The Author Siddharth Gupta

Siddharth Gupta is an animation student at the School of Visual Arts. Currently residing in NYC, the icy cold, snow-covered neighborhoods of Minnesota will always be his home. An avid animation and comics fan since childhood, he has turned his passion towards being both a creator and a critic. He credits his love for both mediums to Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, which has also defined his artistic and comedic sensibilities. A frequent visitor to his local comic book shop, he is an avid reader and collector, and is particularly fond of manga. His favorite comics include Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, The Adventures of Tintin by Herge, Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed, and pretty much anything and everything Deadpool.