Sunday, 4 June 2017

Theo and Lexi

Round two. Ding ding.

In my previous post, I put fans on blast over something petty and insignificant. Now I didn't really want to do it again, but with Journey Beyond Sodor causing controversy for... pretty much anything it does (seriously, the only complaint I agree with is the poor ground texturing that could end up being fixed by the special's release for all we know. Besides which, it would be a rush job since it would've taken a while to rebuild after Arc went bankrupt), I feel like I have to.

The problem this time? The two newest characters, Theo and Lexi. Or, more specifically, what they are.

In an interview with i News, producer Ian McCue stated that Theo was autistic traits and implied that Lexi would be gender fluid. Cue whining and moaning from fans who'd rather jump to the worst case scenarios they came up than actually waiting to see what happens with both characters.

Let's start with Theo. First off, it seems incredibly ironic to me that autistic people are complaining that a show they love is introducing an autistic character. 

Second, if fans actually read the report before saying "he'll just introduce himself as autistic!", you'd see that Ian said that it'd be handled with subtlety. So basically, he wouldn't introduce (or mention) himself as autistic. Heck, a lot of fans don't say they have it unless they act like awful people and use it as a defence mechanism for their behaviour. Or, if they're just honest and open, others will have it in social media bios.

And then we come to Lexi's implied gender fluidity. To be fair, the questioning of this is (as surprising as it is for me to say) easy to understand. In terms of "different people", gender fluidity seems a bit more obscure as someone who's LGBT, autistic, etc.

However, what's the big deal in bringing that to the attention of kids at an early age? Surely teaching them that people/engines are different and should feel happy within themselves to be what they want to be is a good thing, right? With so many terrorist attacks hellbent on tearing the world apart (and world leaders doing very little to stop it), I applaud Thomas & Friends, a show that I will always hold dear, taking some positive steps to be inclusive.

And if older fans don't like that? Then, like the "argument" against the engines' movements, they really are just entitled spoiled brats who think the show should only be centred around them (even though, when you get what you want, you still complain about something). And that's their petty issue to deal with.

If Theo and Lexi bring more eyes on the show, meaning that more kids will be able to enjoy a show we all have for years, then I'm all for it. If they turn out to be bad or uninteresting characters, then it's not because they've been "forced in" (which is a non-argument). It's because they came from the same writers and producers who gave us Hugo, Timothy and the international engines. Grow up.

1 comment:

  1. About Lexi. A friend of mine and I were speculating that her gender-fluidity could be a simple identity crisis. We could be wrong, but it did seem that way for us. Then again, it's only a speculation.

    And in regards to Theo, I welcome the idea of an autistic character on Thomas & Friends. Depending on how they work it out, such a character could make a great addition to the cast. It worked when they added Julia to the Sesame Street gang, so chances are, the same might apply to Theo on T&F. (Considering I'm autistic, myself, I'm really excited to see how Theo will be portrayed.)