I promise you, I ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. Not for real. You can not like her character, you bet not say shit about a woman you don’t know. Don’t make me fuck y’all up, fandom. And that’s real. I hurt feelings, ruin lives, and crush dreams. My apathy is NOT a game. I don’t give one fucks, two fucks, red fucks, blue fucks about you weak, simple ass haters. Try me.
Run and tell dat, heauxs.
I’ve noticed a lot of people saying that Rachel/Lea just has the better voice for Broadway versus Mercedes/Amber. It’s more complicated than that, though. The overwhelming majority of Broadway musicals have been written by white people for white singers/actors to perform in front of majority white audiences. When people say “Broadway,” and especially when we’re talking about an old classic like West Side Story, they’re assuming a traditionally white sound.
And sure, Lea Michele has been trained in a Broadway style, which is part of the reason she totally kills songs like “My Man” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” But no amount of Broadway training will make her better than Amber Riley on Broadway hit songs like “I Am Telling You” or last night’s “It’s All Over.” And I’m willing to bet Naya Rivera would do better on something from In the Heights than Lea Michele.
tl;dr colorblind casting just doesn’t work if you judge POC by their ability to sing by traditionally white standards
Also, Will can go die in a fire.
And the other reason why they call Broadway “The Great White Way”…
We can talk about serious matters of bullying and homophobia and briefly on sizeism, but we cannot give serious consideration of what it’s like to be a nonwhite student at a majority-white school, with majority-white teachers, with obvious majority-white biases at play, and make people’s nonwhite cultures the butt of jokes, like “Asian F”, “Asian Therapy”, “Cocoa Babies”, “Glee club, not crunk club”, “fiesty, violent Latina who only speaks Spanish when mad”, “lazy (though there’s canonical proof over two seasons that’s not the case)”. Hell, you even sort of addressed it in S1 with “Throwdown”, and then never bring that back up again - not even when the moment is handed to you, by your own pen, on a silver platter with that Rachedes conversation in Mercedes’ SUV at the end of “Night of Neglect”. Mercedes isn’t stupid. She’s observant, she knows how life works. Children of color learn those particular rules pretty damn quickly.
Those concerns? They’re actually not fucking funny and they’re not throwaway experiences or concerns. They eat away at you like acid, depleting whatever encouragement or self-esteem, or even self-efficacy one could’ve had before stepping into, what is actually, hostile environments. But they’re subtly hostile, to the point folk have you convinced you’re the crazy one and seeing things and your can’t trust yourself to decipher what your own lived experiences are. Now we know why Emma has OCD, and I think that’s actually a really compelling and moving reason; but can we discuss why Mercedes might be oversleeping and throwing up and having a lack of energy if she’s not pregnant (and…I still don’t think she’s sexually active. Way for fandom to make that leap when it’s Mercedes of all people)? Those are signs of depression, people. We got a little bit of the pressure Mike Chang’s under, and it definitely added texture to his character. But Mercedes clinging to kind words, only getting kind words from people she’s known for all of five minutes (both Lauren and now Shane) but not from her “family” even though, when it’s mattered, she’s always been there for them?
My parents always said black people have to be two times better to be considered equal, and my goodness if we haven’t watched that play out for the past two and some change seasons. Mercedes finally called people out on that, then respectfully said “thanks, but no thanks” and got out of a relationship that was starting to be toxic to her. I’m proud of her for that. And yo, if they make this child come back begging while neither Rachel, nor Quinn, nor Santana had to do that after they quit/got kicked out, I’mma cry fuckery.
And no, I’m not putting this under a “read more”. Read it. Do your mental gymnastics to deny what’s been going on onscreen and in glee fandom.
Ok, I Love Mercedes, She Is Amazing, and she has a great voice, but she is a selfish bitch, she doesn’t want the role, she only wants the attention, she only want to be a bitch with rachel, and sorry mercedes, but Jesse St. James is right, you are Lazy.
Also, it’s not so much that it’s unpopular but more unbalanced and uninformed, but thanks for playing.
How do these people think theater (musical or otherwise) works? You audition. Other people audition. Maybe you get the part. Maybe you don’t. No one owes you an unopposed audition.
It occurred to me recently that, despite being a member of the original cast, Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays Tina Cohen-Chang on Glee, has only had one solo where the narrative has allowed her to finish. ‘Tonight’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘I Follow Rivers’… The first two songs called for Ushkowitz to deliberately sing them badly, and ‘I Follow Rivers’ was interrupted by hecklers.
Let’s look at the maths of that for a minute:
There have been 46 episodes of Glee so far, with an average of about 8 songs per episode, which equals about 370 songs overall, and out of all of those songs, Jenna Ushkowitz has only been allowed to finish singing one, ‘True Colours’.
That was all the way back in Season One, so I went and watched it again to refresh my memory, and do you know what I noticed?
The ‘True Colours’ performance is a little under 2 minutes long, and of those two minutes, the focus is on Tina for less than 20 seconds. That means that during her one and only solo, Ushkowitz got less than 1/6 of the screen time.
During the most recent episode,” I Am Unicorn”, Kurt, a white, openly gay character on the show, voiced his frustration that he will never be able to play the leading roles he desires because he is unable to ‘pass’ as straight. This struck me as an interesting thing for Kurt to say, and for the writers to prioritise, as it’s a problem that most ethnic minority actors and performers face constantly. I’m pretty sure the emphasis put on a potentially ‘ethnic’ Maria as the lead in the school musical, West Side Story, exists mainly to place Mercedes in a position where she can legitimately rival Rachel for a role, thereby creating drama for the following episode, but even though I know this, I still find the willingness of the audition panel to consider a non-white Maria unbelievably refreshing.
The sad fact of the matter is that in the real world it’s doubtful that Santana, Tina or Mercedes would get the same consideration as Rachel. Not because they aren’t as talented, but because of ethnicity. I have heard the arguments for this treatment countless times, both in regards to the fashion and beauty industries, and the entertainment industry. I’ve heard many, many excuses, but I still find that whilst people are happy for a minority to take the supportive roles: the best friend, the sidekick, the wisecracking partner etc. people often refuse to consider a minority lead. From what I can understand some of the fandom have had a similar response to the idea of Mercedes as the lead in West Side Story, people seem quite happy for her to play Anita, but not Maria. In the film version a Puerto Rican actress, Rita Moreno, was able to play the supporting role of Anita (for which she won an Oscar), but when it came to the role of Maria the studio went with a White European actress (Natalie Wood).
The problem is that Glee constantly frustrates by bringing these issues to the foreground and then doing nothing about them, or worse, uses them to vilify, stereotype or make fun of its minority characters. Mercedes is often painted as irrational or a diva when she challenges the assumptions that Rachel will/should get all lead parts (although she is also not the only character to do this, I can recall Santana doing the same thing on occasion) and yet whenever she does so her behaviour is cause for people to dismiss her actions, and by the same token, the viewpoints that led her to those actions in the first place. This is similarly the case with Santana, although Santana occupies a slightly different space because of her homo/bisexuality.
Glee seems to treat homosexuality as a serious subject, but race as a cause for comedy. Let’s go back to Kurt’s comment about not getting lead roles, despite the obvious parallels between Kurt’s situation and that of the minority characters, the closest we get to seeing these parallels on screen is Artie’s throwaway line about wanting to play Porgy someday. The unlikeliness of which is so evident that it’s clear the audience is being invited to laugh at it. I could write a whole other post on that line alone so I’m going to stop before I get too carried away, but the implication is clear - race is funny, sexuality is not.It remains to be seen if the writers choose to address these issues with next week’s episode.
But Glee does not have the greatest track record with handling race. I take issue with the writers’ desire to prefix everything Tina and Mike do with the word “Asian”, although they did the same thing with Puck and Rachel (“Jew”/”Jewish”) and it looks as though they’re planning to do the same thing with Mercedes new relationship (“cocoa babies”) - the thought of which fills me with dread.
Aside from not understanding the need to distill characters that people have grown to love and relate to into caricatures and stereotypes, I also don’t really understand how it’s funny. What if it wasn’t a minority character saying it? What if Finn or Quinn went around prefixing everything they did with the word “White”? Would it be considered comedic then? Probably not. But you know what, that would never happen, because Finn and Quinn have both been written as multi-dimensional characters without requiring their ethnicity as a crutch. Many of the other characters have not been afforded that privilege.
I have difficulty with the idea that Glee purports to be a show about an ensemble cast where everyone is different but valued for who they are, while it continually prioritises the same few characters over everyone else. Which characters do we know the most about? Which characters have a family/home life that we’ve seen? Rachel, Finn, Quinn, Kurt and, while he was still part of the show, Sam.
The only minority character whose background has been explored in any meaningful way is Santana, and even then it has only been explored in relation to her sexuality.
There are notoriously few roles for minority actors in television, film and theatre, even fewer lead roles, and of that already diminished pool of opportunities there are even fewer for women. So, to viewers of Glee, these characters are not just characters, they have been transformed by their rarity into representatives of hordes of people who have not had the chance to see themselves reflected on screen before. It means something to a black woman who sees Mercedes, an Asian girl who sees Tina, or a Latina who sees Santana, because finally theirstories can be heard. Not only that, but these characters also serve as a barometer that shows how the rest of society views a particular minority, and therefore how society will view them. So when Glee pushes these characters to the background, stereotypes them and makes them ‘comedically ethnic’, the message is that these characters don’t deserve the spotlight, attention, love, respect, meaningful friendships or to be looked at as anything beyond their race. In fact, the message being sent out is that these characters do not even deserve characterisation. Can you imagine, never seeing anyone like you on the screen, and then when you do that is what you’re being told? That is what’s held up as an acceptable way to treat someone like you?
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy Glee, but I find it troubling that the show, however implicitly, claims to represent and celebrate diversity but then marginalises and stereotypes the majority of the characters it claims to be supporting. It’s come a long way from the show it was in Season One, and while it appears to be getting back on track I fear that the ideas of inclusion and diversity that were so prevalent in Season One have fallen by the wayside. I’ll keep watching, but I’m also hoping that the show will learn to treat its minority characters with more sensitivity than it has done thus far.
And, please, let poor Tina finish a solo!
Just because Mercedes and Rachel are cool doesn’t mean that Mercedes should not be allowed to audition for whatever she wants to audition for or be upset that she has yet again been passed up. I’m seeing all this bullshit about how Mercedes is such a bitch and blah blah blah. You know what? I would be to if I’m constantly second choice. Mercedes has every right to be tired of being put on the back burner. We know she wants the chance to be in the spotlight like Rachel has always been, but it either gets taken from her or she gets passed up. This is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It just smacks of “the black girl needs to stay in her place” doesn’t it? ”Off the sidewalk with you!”
All through the beginning of season 2 Mercedes did absolutely NOTHING about Kurt being bullied. She was more concerned about tots and other stupid random things, and didn’t even notice a thing. It was right in front of her face and she ignored…
Oops, I caused some butthurt, I see.
1) Not everybody needs to believe in something, and saying so is pretty ridiculous. And believing in your loved ones is not the same thing as believing in a supernatural being, regardless of how cute an anti-atheist tagline it makes on primetime TV. I know this because I’ve survived the deaths of several friends and relatives without any kind of faith, and without any of my friends trying to insist that I need to have it.
2) Yeah, Rachel was an asshat in GC too (pretty much everybody was, as I pointed out, although I don’t remember Puck doing anything too horrible) - but there’s a difference between praying for somebody’s relative and basically talking that person into going to your church in order to increase YOUR comfort level with THEIR belief system. And my criticism was specifically on the line “I don’t know how to talk to you anymore” - I don’t recall Rachel saying anything that blatantly ignorant, in fact I remember her getting the hell out of Burt’s room when Kurt told her to. But then, I haven’t rewatched the episode because the amount of atheism!fail committed by Kurt’s “friends” just reminds me of my own real life.
3) Stuff Rachel did to people other than Kurt = I don’t really give a crap. Seriously, I couldn’t care less if she took out a whip and flayed Sunshine’s skin off, because the character was eight kinds of useless. In fact, that might have been amusing, to tell you the truth. And if Finn wasn’t such a dumbass he’d have gotten over all the crazy women in his life by the end of season one. (Sorry, Finn stans. I hope he grows up a little more with regard to relationships this year, because I do like him in the context of Kurt’s brother after “Furt,” regardless of the obvious mistakes he made in the past.)
And finally - I wasn’t a huge Hummelberry fan during season 2, so this is kind of a stupid argument. The writing sucked ass and assassinated everyone’s characters several times over. This is why I don’t ship Klaine either, tbqh. “For Good” won me over, as well as the first episode of season 3. Of course, if Rachel regresses into a boy-crazy manipulative nutbag again, I’ll be back to wishing she’d get hit by a bus a la Mean Girls.
I think I’m starting to see what gets people about Mercedes. It’s not so much that she’s “mean”; all the characters have their mean points. And it’s not that she just doesn’t get it. Let’s be real here, none of the characters get the point all the time.
What impressed me about Mercedes in Grilled Cheesus is that she was completely honest in her feelings. She told Kurt exactly how she felt and that’s how she should be. She didn’t sugar coat things and say one thing when she really meant another. It boggles my mind that someone can be honest about not believing in God (I’m talking about within this fandom) and the fandom calls them brave and anyone else mean for not agreeing with them wholeheartedly. Or when faith based religion is mocked (see Kurt’s rant in the choir room. Some may have found it amusing but it was meant to be offensive. This episode was just as much about highlighting Kurt’s intolerance towards faith/religion, as it was to highlight Mercedes intolerance/confusion to atheism) people cheer and think it’s great.
But as soon as Mercedes dares to be honest and say that she has no idea how to talk Kurt through this (probably because she’s never had a close friend who was an atheist), people rant and rave. And then when she invites him to church, people are still angry and think she forced him. Ummm I may be mistaken, but Kurt very willingly went with her. And I’m sure if he had said no, she would have left it alone. And notice the song she sings to him; it’s not a religious song at all. It’s a song about being there for your friend and being someone they can lean on. She got the message.
So why can’t you?
Because Kurt is flawless and can do no wrong and Mercedes is a craptastic friend for not being at his beck and call and not anticipating his every need and move, and everyone else’s feelings should always come second to Kurt’s. Nobody else’s matters. And you can’t really fault much of the fandom for feeling this way when, on the show, the writers put a primacy on Kurt’s, Rachel’s, and sometimes Finn’s feelings over everyone else. But the fact people are comfortable with this is…uncomfortably hypocritical in actuality. And this is the same fandom that preaches about acceptance and tolerance. *smh*
Mercedes is failing to be Mammy to everyone else. She keeps thinking she’s a complete complex person with her own beliefs & priorities. You’re falling into the same fallacy. Mercedes can only be a great friend if she’s always there to comfort people even though they turn around & forget about her 5 minutes later or if her comforting is done in a way that includes absolutely none of her history, beliefs, or standards. Now see, doesn’t it all make sense?