As I've said before, sometimes the forums on WattPad can be really... interesting. I've stopped posting on there very much because of the general userbase's age and lack of maturity, but I still like to browse the threads occasionally with a bag of popcorn. One topic that seems to spawn a new thread every day is the supposed lack of diversity in fantasy fiction. There's always someone whining about how there aren't enough black characters, or gay characters, or female characters, and we should all be ashamed of not writing more diversely (sample thread:https://www.wattpad.com/forums/discussion/1124562/0/25/i-hate-your-white-medieval-fantasy). You guys are more professional than 99% of the users on WattPad, so I'm curious as to what your take on the subject is.
Personally, I think it's a catch 22. If you write an all white, all male, all straight cast, you'll get people jumping down your throat for not being diverse. But if you start being more diverse, those same people will STILL jump down your throat because you've misrepresented their race/gender/sexuality, or because you've written a hollow token character. To me, the focus should be on what the characters are doing, not what they look like. Unless their [whatever makes them different] plays a role in what's happening in the story, it's just a needless detail that bogs down the plot. And, frankly, I find the idea that readers can't identify with a character in a book because they don't look the same as them, are a different gender, or have a different sexual orientation, ridiculous. Kind of like the people complaining lately that girls can't enjoy The Legend of Zelda if they don't have the choice to play as a girl Link. And, finally, if they really think there's a shortage of diverse fiction, they should take it upon themselves to write it, not try to take control of other's people's work. Good things never happen when you try to tell an artist how to make art.
Me, my characters tend to be white and straight because that's what I'm most comfortable with. I don't want to risk offending people by misrepresenting them, I just want to tell the story. And like I said, if that detail isn't important to the plot itself, I don't see the point in adding it in.
Anyway, what do you guys think?
(hopefully I don't offend anybody)