I just proofed a Nerdly review of a movie that’ll probably going up tomorrow, and I noticed that I hadn’t mentioned the only black character in the film except in the “Stars” header, and for a moment I second-guessed myself – “You massive racist, you didn’t think they were worth mentioning?” – but then I got over it, because her character really didn’t contribute anything of substance for the film and she wasn’t terrible either, so I really didn’t have anything to say. In fairness, I also didn’t talk about the son of the main character – who had arguably a more pivotal role – so I probably don’t think much of children either.
I doubt anyone’ll point it out, but I just thought it strange and wondered if other reviewers – hell, writers and creatives in general – feel that internal political correctness creeping up on them just in case they might be perceived as offending any one of a million subsets of people. I probably think about that because of the permanence and pervasiveness of people’s opinions (tongue-twister much?) online and the backlash I’ve seen in the comments section – I know, I know, I shouldn’t be reading them – of sites with higher traffic than this one.
Sure, it’s good to have an internal editor, one who’ll tell you when you’re stereotyping, using inappropriate language or just generally being an irritating boob, but I think it’s equally important to not let that voice hold the reins all the time and assume people will be outraged by something you haven’t done. That said, that little voice is likely the reason I’m writing this…I don’t know, confession? Pre-emptive apology? So I guess I haven’t really learned how to turn it off just yet.
In the end, your primary audience is always going to be you, and you should be attempting to make yourself like what you’ve done rather than worry about changing it so that another unnameable audience that may or may not exist. Self-censorship is the worst.
On an unrelated note, Italians are pretty filthy, aren’t they?