Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor II
What counts as 'representation' in fiction?
Recently, the producers of ‘Solo’ announced that the character of Lando, played by Donald Glover, is pansexual. However, this is never explicit in the film and certainly, the word ‘pansexual’ is never said. The LGBTIQ community has responded to this with much criticism, arguing that this doesn’t count as proper representation because not everyone who watches this film will pick up on Lando’s queerness and as such, not everyone will be able to relate to him in this way. This is very similar to the controversy surrounding JK Rowling announcing that Dumbledore is gay, even though it is never clear in the Harry Potter books and even though the producers of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have said that they are going to erase this part of Dumbledore’s character. This then raises the question of what is ‘representation’ and what is good or harmful ‘representation’?