Probably not. This is Leah Myers, one of the OG sidelined black female LIs. From #LoveHacks. In 2016. She had an interesting storyline. Older sister to a fiery 14-year-old, psychologically abused by her ex-girlfriend, trying to scrape by as a writer. First appearance in Chapter 9 of the first book. Sidelined in favour of Mark and Ben. Granted, Ben wasn’t introduced until Chapter 11, but he was more prominent in the story, when he and Mark were jealous over MC. Sound familiar?
Probably not. I don’t blame you, Home for the Holidays (2017) is the OG shitty romance book and I speed-tapped through it too. Holly Wright, another childhood friend. Another writer. Sidelined in favour of Nick and Wyatt, and what makes matters even worse is that Nick wouldn’t even give her manuscript a chance because, to quote the Wiki, “it doesn’t deserve to be published”. Is literally gifted a flashlight from MC if you didn’t pay for her premium gift. Was given the most stereotypical Christmassy name in the book. Done hella dirty, even for HftH.
Maybe, if you played Wishful Thinking back in 2019. I don’t even know if you’d classify Ellen Thompson as an LI, as she only got actual “relationship development” if you call it that in Chapter 12. The book had 14 chapters. She had an interesting backstory, with abrasiveness stemming from insecurity and not being good enough for her family. Could’ve been an interesting rivals-to-lovers subplot if given time to develop. But nope. Shove her route 2 chapters before the end and call it a day.
Perhaps. She’s Vera Reimonenq from Nightbound, also from 2019 (moment of silence for the lost potential). While the other 3 LIs also had compelling backstories, I thought hers was the coolest. Nightbound was heavily advertised as a Nik-focused story, but relatively, she did have more development than the others on this list. Still, it could’ve been better. Mysterious gloved stranger, Lady Smoke’s daughter, kickass fighter, despite appearing outwardly calm. What’s not to love?
You most definitely should. If you don’t, why? She’s been sidelined so hard, treated as the ultimate walking wardrobe (I’d say she even surpasses Shreya Mistry for this title), and not to mention the victim of a racially-motivated hate crime shrouded as a “human sacrifice”, as if this somehow made it better. Was given a racial profiling criminal backstory for no reason other than for PB’s “exploring racism” propaganda. In 2020. Twenty-fucking-twenty. Four years after release. Despite being a group of pixels, deserves the world and nothing less, and sure as hell did not deserve the treatment she received in Queen B. With a black female lead writer? Not at all.
Is there something in common with these characters? Of course. You’d have to be blind not to see it. They’re black. They’re female. They’re sidelined. They’re treated like absolute shit in comparison to the other LIs. This has been happening since the very beginning, meaning PB had 4 years to fix what could’ve been done in a matter of moments. And these are just the women. Griffin Langley, Shane Parker, Syphax, to name a few. I’m sure there are plenty others that I haven’t mentioned. Race-customizable characters are primarily written for the white audience (see: brushed aside a loose strand of my hair, when black male MCs have no loose hair??? And plenty of times, hairstyles don’t even match the sprite’s head).
So don’t you fucking dare come at the black players in this community or don’t you fucking dare try and defend PB saying “there’s no racism” or “PB has black representation”. I cannot speak for the black community personally because I am not black, but I cannot begin to imagine what you’re all feeling seeing this as your representation, because it’s not representation. If this doesn’t make you angry, it should.
Racists shut the fuck up challenge.
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