Dear White Men: I Don’t Want Your Media Hot Takes

Media analysis is a thriving topic on social media. From Instagram, to Tumblr, but especially Youtube. For the most part, it’s been a really excellent movement. We should be critically viewing our favorite media and in doing so we often gain a new type of enjoyment. I’ve been watching media analysis channels like Lindsay Ellis, Jenny Nicholson, and Everything Great About, for going on five years. In that time the community has gone from a niche group of reasonably unpopular channels doing twenty minute or so deep dives into movies and tv, into a massive group that does everything from two hour analysis of the Twilight Renaissance, to weekly half hour episodes breaking down why new movies coming out are better than critics often claim. 

Some of these channels are run by stereotypical straight white men. MatPat of game and film theory come to mind, as well as the guys behind the channel CinemaSins and it’s optimistic counterpart CinemaWins. I think these channels do some incredibly good work, as the time, research, and effort they put into their videos is exceedingly evident. They are good at what they do. But more importantly, they recognize that they are the most privileged individuals in a space where we are critiquing art that is more or less made for them. And in doing so they point out the lack of representation other minorities face, the issues creators have spoken or chosen not to speak about, and examine inherent biases that play a big part in our film culture. I am interested in what these white men have to say, because they are taking their place in an intersectional world. Recognizing that they have one experience of the world and using their privilege to uplift and highlight the struggles and experiences of those who are not as visible. 

But I am not interested in The White Man’sTM brand of media analysis. Do not talk down to me, your humble viewer, on your analysis of Captain America: Civil War. I read the comics ten years before the film came out. I don’t want you to explain why Woody Allen and Michael Bay are auteurs and cinematic geniuses while ignoring their extremely problematic relationships with women. Most importantly, I am not here to listen to you downgrade and demean the people who created this movement. Media Analysis was created by women, people of color, and other minorities who understood that media was not created for them and wanted to dig deeper. Feminine is not an insult, characters needing therapy is not a punchline, and advocating for acts in art that strip away the rights of those in that universe is an excellent way to alienate yourself. I don’t care that these are just characters. It’s just a story. We became media analysts because to us there is always more to the story and we are here to examine it. Dear white men, I am not interested in your media hot takes, I am interested in well-executed, firmly researched, intersectional content examining the media that influences our world.