Self-Plug: Privilege Undermines Disney’s ‘Gargoyles’ Attempts to Explore Oppression


People who regularly read this blog, I have betrayed you. I have written about Gargoyles for a place that is not here.  Fortunately, thanks to the magic of the internet, you too can enjoy this fine post I have written on how privilege undermines Gargoyles‘ attempts to tell its story–a topic that should be familiar to my regular readers–over at the fine site Bitch Flicks. It goes something like this:

Gargoyles is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. Weisman and his staff had good intentions, and yet that didn’t stop them from writing “Heritage,” a perennial contender for the award of Most Racist Story That Tried Not to Be Racist (Television). In the episode, Elisa essentially tells the chief of a failing First Nation village, whom she’s only just met, that he’s performing his identity wrong, and is proven correct by the narrative. While that episode is an outlier, it is not alone — despite the show’s attempts to be about oppression and about being the Other, it falls down in multiple and consistent ways featuring more than one episode where the message they wish to send is not the message they are actually sending.

Yay me! Once you’re done, there are also many other fine posts by awesome writers about various films and TV shows for you to read, so please give those a look. Thank you!



Tony Dracon is Still Preferable to Republicans: “Protection”

“You blackmail the innocent and call it protection!  I should drop you right now, down into the gutter where you belong.” — Goliath

Written by: Gary Sperling
Original Air Date: November 13, 1995
Introduces: N/A
Timeline placement: December 18, 1995  – December 19
TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: N/A

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Trust, OR You’re An Asshole, Matt Bluestone: “Revelations”

“You want me to prove my good faith?  How will you prove yours? –Matt Bluestone

Because I'd almost forgotten that this was also a "Gargoyles" blog.

Written by: Cary Bates
Original Air Date: October 26, 1995
Introduces: Hotel Cabal, Mace Malone (actual appearance), Jack Dane
Timeline placement: November 21 – November 25, 1995
TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: N/A

(Content Note: Microagressions, Transgressions of Boundaries, Harassment, Misogyny, Workplace Oppression, Bullying, Online Harassment)

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Gargoyles Noir: “The Silver Falcon”

Written by: Cary Bates
Original Air Date: September 12, 1995
Introduces: Martin Hacker; Dominic Dracon; Pal Joey (unidentified); Mace Malone (Mentioned only)
Timeline placement: October 27- October 28, 1995
TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: Ep. 4.01: “Cousin Sid”

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Magic Tech: “Legion”

“Without trust there can be no clan.”–Goliath

Written by: Marty Isenberg, Robert N. Skir
Original air date: September 6, 1995
Introduces: Desdemona, Iago
Timeline placement: September 6, 1995 (Coldstone’s auto-repair activated) – September 20, 1995

Note: I’m going to try something a bit different here and combine the synopsis with my actual thoughts—it seemed to smooth things over when writing about the episode.

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Introducing the Most Delicious Gargoyle: “Reawakening”

“A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air.”–Hudson, repeatedly.

Original Air Date: February 3, 1995
Introduces: Coldstone; Othello; Mr. Jaffe
Timeline placement: Feb. 3 – Feb. 4, 1995

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Electric Boogaloo: Recap

In preparation for tomorrow’s (I hope) update on “Electric Boogaloo”, here’s a synopsis of what’s gone on so far.

The Story So Far

Over the past several years, the crime lord known as The Shredder has consolidated almost all organized crime in New York City under the control of his Foot Clan.

Twenty-oh-four: With the Shredder reportedly killed under mysterious circumstances and his 2nd in command Hun missing, the various elements of The Foot’s crime empire have begun fighting amongst themselves.  Thus far, three main factions have emerged: the Foot remnant, led by the Shredder’s Elite Ninja; the Purple Dragons, a street gang usually in charge of most of the Foot’s lower-level criminal activity; and The Five Families, a consortium of old-school gangsters that had been bought out by the Shredder, and who consider the current confusion to be their best chance at a comeback.

After a few skirmishes, the battle for control of the city finally grabbed the public’s attention when fifteen men were found dead at a Canal Street warehouse.  In response, the New York Police Department organized a special task force to deal with the escalating violence–one which, whether by design or happenstance, includes many of the same people who in 1996 formed part of the Gargoyle Task Force.

One of the people not in the Task Force is disgraced cop Longer, who relishes the opportunity to regain his lost reputation and honor.  To that point, he has begun investigating the strange going ons on his own, aiming to…what, exactly?

Thanks to a series of lucky accidents, the Task Force has been able to make some headway into the investigation, and they now have a vague idea of what they’re dealing with.  Meanwhile, task force members Martin Hacker and Lin Koyobashi have been making inroads of their own, and not quite of the positive type…

Dramatis Personae

The Detail:

Gordon Miller: Lieutenant assigned to head the detail by Chief of Detectives Sterns.  A pragmatist and realist, he has little hope of closing the case, but plans to do his damnedest.

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