I am tired of people explaining that because a franchise was created 1960s or 1970s—“when there were fewer people of color than there are today”— that’s why the franchise isn’t diverse today.
I mean, really.
Sure, there were more “white” people living in America in the 1960s and 1970s. That means there were a lot of white women. White women are also conspicuously marginalized in these franchises, so your demographics don’t explain why white men dominate as leads.
And before you go explaining why there were fewer people of color in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, consider WHY.
People of color living in the United States? We’ve experienced genocide. We were lynched. Native Americans and Mexicans were butchered for their land. Black Americans had to survive with few rights in incredibly hostile atmospheres. Quotas and head taxes on Asian American immigration effectively kept Asian American population numbers down, deliberately done so immigrants would die childless. People of color who could “pass” for white were encouraged—pressured—to identify as white. Lighter-skinned people of color, so tired of experiencing discrimination, filed lawsuits to be seen as white. The Census in 1950 axed the Mexican category and told people of Mexican descent to check white. And on and on.
The numbers you’re citing to rationalize racial exclusion in your beloved franchises have a story behind them, too. And ultimately, they fail to explain why—in a very diverse 2012—change is still incrementally slow.