Fantasy, Racism, Allegory, and Storytelling

I’m a bit of fanatic for Youtube video essays. Learning more about context, and how that slots into the creation and consumption of art, is a very important thing for me as a writer.

So Linsday Ellis’s long and thorough takedown of the frustrating and disastrous Bright was always going to be on my list. I’m a huge fan of fantasy, particularly epic fantasy, and listening to a thoughtful and angry video of how exactly this movie fails was cathartic.

What I didn’t expect, however was how much of her explanation would be given over to the exact ways in which its fantasy racism fails. Specifically, it does as much fantasy tends to do and shorthands lots of fantasy races into real world counterparts, while at the same time not actually paying attention to the context being built or how that would change the history of a world in which those events happen.

It’s given me a lot to chew on in my own writing, as an author writing an epic fantasy set in a world with racism and fantasy races. I’ve been committed to doing this as right as I can, and watching this video has given me an enormous amount of What Not To Do. Give it a watch.

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