DISCOURSE DISH: Ryan Potter and the Art of the Campaign

Two weeks ago, I broke the story about Ryan Potter and the viral campaign #RyanPotterforTimDrake.

Starting with a tweet that went semi-viral among DCEU and Batman fans, interest in Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6) playing Tim Drake has only grown.  A successful Twitter campaign, #RyanPotterforTimDrake, peaked at #5 when it trended.  Afterward, Potter stoked fires by making a concept video of himself in character as Tim, playing out a fight scene.

Since then, people really started working with this idea.  Fans have created beautiful concept art, and discourse, of course, has arisen.

Some people claim that Potter ruined his chances by ‘campaigning’ for the role.  Others point out that Tim Drake did the same thing in comics when he approached Batman about becoming Robin.  Still others rebut that Vin Diesel campaigned successfully for the role of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Yesterday, Potter made an appearance on the Nerds of Color ‘Hard NOC Life’ livestream.  He used his newfound platform to talk about Asian representation in film.

“Nobody agrees more than 50% of the time,” he told NOC, “but like, for the most part, about 70-80% of the comments that I’ve read, have been supporting this, and, um, even the people who aren’t bring up good points as to why maybe I shouldn’t.  And you know, absolutely, you are, your right to your opinion, to feel how you want, and you can’t please everybody all the time and that’s fine, but, ah, I’m just glad I haven’t seen a lot of, I guess, the ignorant racial topics brought up.”

He went on to say that comics fans will go into it with people making racist comments.  It really heartens me to hear something like that.

Potter went on to talk about yellowface in cinema.  He discussed the manner in which film and TV present Asian characters, and commented on what he faces as a mixed-race actor.  Overall, he seemed very casual and cool about the whole situation.  As the obvious face of this campaign, he comported himself dignifiedly and as though this whirlwind didn’t faze him.

Between Potter’s behavior and the fans, this discourse ranks as one of the most pleasant I’ve ever seen.  People threw their support behind this thing in a really positive way.

I would say that if all situations like this could be this collected, we’d have a much more positive comics community.


Murphy Leigh

Murphy is a vaguely femininish malady who spends most of their time worshipping at the altars of Lois Lane, Chloe Sullivan, Jean Grey, and Wanda Maximoff. Their first confirmable event-memory is Princess Leia at the start of A New Hope. Has more in common with Lex Luthor than Lex Luthor would probably like to admit.

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