They know that I’m unstable.
My response to the Wonder Woman casting announcement.
So, two sides of my dash— and tumblr in general, at least the areas I frequent— are currently either screaming about how Newt Geiszler is an asshat character or screaming about how Newt Geiszler is neuroatypical and the people judging him aren’t approaching him from that side.
Now, y’all know that I am both neuroatypical and also physically disabled, so I love Newt and Hermann just because DUDE WE FINALLY GOT SOME REPRESENTATION AND NO ONE “FIXED” US AND WE DIDN’T DIE, which is super exciting from the disability front.
But it’s important to keep in mind intersectionality when we discuss Newt and Hermann. Newt can get away with coming across as an asshole (and he does, my friends- he’s insensitive with regards to the kaiju, and yes, it is because he doesn’t read people well because he’s likely on the spectrum, and yes, his behaviours are very much an expression of his neuroatypicality). And he can get away with it because he’s white. (Eta: and a dude, shit, this is how sick I am, totally forgot that the first time). Seriously, in the society we live in- more specifically, that Newt lives in, because though he was born in Germany it seems he has US citizenship and spent a great deal of time there, though I don’t remember the full backstory- one can get away with being the white genius neuroatypical asshole dude, and people will grind their teeth and deal with it. POC genius neuroatypical assholes? Don’t even really exist in Western media, for one, and they don’t exist, for two, because no POC would be allowed to get away with the sort of behaviour that Newt exhibits. I remember, a few years back, people were talking about racebending the Supernatural characters. Except that MOC!Dean and MOC!Sam would never be able to do what their white counterparts get away with in the show, because the entire show is dependent on their white privilege.
It’s similar with Newt and Hermann. As much as I love these guys- and I do- they wouldn’t have gotten where they did in life if they didn’t have white privilege backing them at least part of the way.
This is not to say that they didn’t encounter ableism at every turn, because hell yeah they did. But there is an intersection of race, gender, and ability here that’s important to understand. They could have made Newt and Hermann POC. Except then people probably wouldn’t have liked them AT ALL because angry, manic, obsessive, insensitive POC? Wouldn’t fly. People would hate them. There’s hate slung at characters of colour who don’t comply with white people’s expectations of behaviour all the time. We cannot pretend otherwise.
(Plus, seriously, most of the fanworks are all about the Newt/Hermann ship which, again, I love, but… fandom, take a look at your choices.)
See also: House, Sherlock, etc.
That Character Had So Much Potential: A Memoir
Would he have taken on the role if he wasn’t so well-endowed: "Well I didn’t really know… I mean I don’t have any reference points really, uh… I had a sister growing up so you know I wasn’t sure. I figured I was uh, average."
What was going through his head when he realized he was going full frontal: "Well you know, it’s sort of um, do I need to sort of trim…I’m obviously a red-head…” x
so, we made a decision to trust you.
you could rob me blind.
but we’re hoping you realize
you can’t run away from this.