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Lightning Rods: Gender, Race, Homosexuality and Other Sensitive Topics

3 hours ago, johntfs said:

I admit that I'm reluctant to ascribe to racism what can be explained by self-interest in the case Danielle Panabaker.  She's a working actress.  As such she wants more story, more camera time, etc.  As another consideration Kreisberg was one of the showrunners, so if he told Danielle "We're thinking of moving in a different direction regarding Barry's love life.  Would you consider stepping up into a role as his romantic S.O.  Or would remain the second-banana girl nerd or maybe get shitcanned off the show entirely?"  Figure if you're Danielle, you say you'll be open to the S.O. thing.  It's not a race thing so much as a self-interest/ambition thing.  How happy do you think Katie Cassidy was once she understood that she was getting booted out of her role as Oliver's one true love in favor of some blond Vancouver day-player who caught Steve Amell's eye (which likely how Cassidy would characterize Emily Bett Rickards' situation when she joined Arrow)?

To be sure, self-interest might be the sole reason DP was willing to undercut the lead actress, but you seem to think that racism and self-interest cannot occur simultaneously. That isn't the case; they can and do intersect. Don't you realize that some white feminists can also be racist against women of color? Seems contradictory, but it's also very true.

Anyway, I don't believe I implied racism for DP, but for AJK. I said that DP helped in his undermining of WestAllen by aiming to create media backlash against WestAllen, in her case, by promoting SB. 

I do think AJK used the naturally-occurring racism in fandom to help him do that. As others have said, the executives and producers all knew there would be racial anger with CP's casting. Even if AJK isn't himself a racist, he certainly used the racial tensions or anger in fandom to help his cause of undermining WestAllen and Iris' place in the story.

As for DP, she barely supported the "Run, Iris, Run" episode, whereas she's supported a lot of the other episodes.  DP has also been known to retweet some questionable or negative things and has been silent when clearly racist tweets have been sent to CP and DP was also on the thread. A great quote ascribed to MLK Jr. is, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Edited by adora721.
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2 hours ago, adora721 said:

To be sure, self-interest might be the sole reason DP was willing to undercut the lead actress, but you seem to think that racism and self-interest cannot occur simultaneously. That isn't the case; they can and do intersect. Don't you realize that some white feminists can also be racist against women of color? Seems contradictory, but it's also very true.

Sure.  And some Black men despise other Black men who happen to be gay.  Hell, I recall an episode of either The Cosby Show or A Different World where a White man was suspected of being a racist.  It turned out he was actually a sexist.

I will say that I don't see DP acting any differently in the same basic circumstances if Iris was being played by Laura Vandervoort.

I'll also admit that I'm still not the biggest supporter of West-Allen even now.  I pretty much accept it.  During season 3 my opinion mirrored the fanboys who thought Iris didn't deserve Barry.  I agree with that from a certain point of view.  Iris didn't deserve Barry.  She also doesn't deserve Ebola or Anal Warts.  I quite liked her with Eddie Thawne.  They made a good couple.  I will say a good part of my reservations came from the set up of Barry wanting to date someone who was kind of his sister.  I cannot understand why anyone thought that setting them up that way was a good idea.  Which part of "Incest is Best when it's West." did these people think would get folks to root for them as a couple?

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11 hours ago, adora721 said:

Think about when Joe called Barry his "adopted" son, yet we know that if that were true, Barry and Iris couldn't legally marry. And we had many scenes with Barry and Henry proclaiming their father-son relationship, with Barry stating that he was proud to keep the Allen name. And yet the writers never made it absolutely clear that Joe was just his legal guardian or foster father. When Patty basically called Iris Barry's sister, why wasn't there a line for Iris to correct Patty? Even in the pilot when Iris said, "Because we're kinda like brother and sister...". That was completely unnecessary. I think AJK used the writing to poison the minds of those susceptible to the inference of "incest" to make WestAllen seem off-limits from the start, just like Oliver sleeping with Sara made Lauriver toxic from the start in "Arrow". I believe all this was a deliberate attempt to obfuscate, confuse, and muddy the romantic waters between Barry and Iris. The goal was to create strong media backlash against WestAllen similar to Lauriver. If that had worked, you bet they would have done something with SB.

I don't care about that line Iris said in the pilot because people are determined to play pick and choose with it. She continues with "we are NOT brother and sister". That there's no sibling relationship between Barry and Iris was made clear in the pilot. Barry was taken in by Joe when he was a preteen with a crush. Iris already saw him as her BFF, she wasn't going to suddenly view him as a brother because of their living situation. The other characters are not weirded out by their relationship. Cisco refers to Iris as Barry's "something". Joe supports them. Eddie is threatened by their closeness in a way that he wouldn't be if Iris saw Barry as a brother. When Wally enters Iris' life, she tells him that she has always wanted a "baby brother", which prompts Wally to ask about Barry. The fact that Iris has always wanted a brother means that she has never considered Barry one.

Whatever relationship Barry has with Joe or Wally it has 0 to do with Iris, especially considering that Wally showed up very recently and Barry didn't grow up seeing Joe as a father figure, another thing that was made crystal clear at the start of the series.

The writing for Westallen in 2A was atypical and at that point the viewers had already made up their minds about them. Also, Patty was completely out of the loop when it came to Barry's life, which was exactly the reason why she had to go to Iris. Barry didn't open up to her about his nightmares like he didn't open up to her about anything, including Iris.

With that being said, I agree that AJK polluted the waters with his glorification of the Barry x Joe relationship (at the expense of Joe/Iris and Joe/Wally I must say...) and that there was no reason to throw around phrases like "I'm your adopted father", "Barry is practically your brother", "Wally is Barry's foster, adopted brother", etc. It validated the opinion of folks that had already decided they weren't going to ship Barry with Iris for various reasons. And no offense to those that want to see "incest" but if Westallen is gross and perverted because of presumed "incest" doesn't that mean Barry is a gross creep? The fact that "incest-y" is an adjective used to describe the romance but not the character wanting the relationship is a huge red flag. A guy in love with his sister shouldn't be with anyone, let alone people's fave.

12 hours ago, adora721 said:

You know how there's talk of coded words that racists use that only other racists understand? It's the same. AJK knows the specific kinds of people who'd understand his covert form of racism and undermining of Iris and WestAllen. To this day, there are still those who bought into AJK's covert manipulation, and they will go to their graves still believing the lies AJK planted in the soil of the show. These people are such devoted believers in AJK's lies that they think that the Mystery Girl is Caitlin and Barry's daughter who gets her coloring from Joe. Yikes!

Please tell me the bolded is a joke...

I agree about the coded language. The "they are like siblings", "they give off a siblings vibe" is a criticism I have heard for all the popular interracial couples. AJK and his writing team played right into that with some of the dialogue.

On the topic of Cisco/Caitlin, apart from the fact that fans and media have always seen them as siblings as well the writers also played into that by having Cisco utter the words "I know I'm like your brother". Coincidence?

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2 hours ago, Starry said:

And no offense to those that want to see "incest" but if Westallen is gross and perverted because of presumed "incest" doesn't that mean Barry is a gross creep?

Yes.  It absolutely does.  My thoughts toward Barry during Seasons 1 and 2 were basically, "Jesus Christ, dude, she's like your sister.  Move the fuck on, grow the fuck up and get a real relationship outside of your family."  Iris wasn't the problem to me.  Candice Patton as Iris is beautiful, charming, kind, smart and brave.  She's the total package.  Black, White, Male, Female, Gay or Straight, people should be falling in love (not necessarily romantic/sexual love) with Iris all the time.

I was actually grateful to the Flashpoint story for allowing me to create a head-canon where Barry and Iris weren't in a such a strongly sibling-style relationship that had been described in Seasons 1 and 2.  One of my favorite episodes in Season 3 is the one where Barry got amnesia and we kind of got to see them "falling in love for the first time" again.  It was really that episode that finally pulled me aboard the "West-Allen" train.

Edited by johntfs.
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4 hours ago, Starry said:

That there's no sibling relationship between Barry and Iris was made clear in the pilot. Barry was taken in by Joe when he was a preteen with a crush. Iris already saw him as her BFF, she wasn't going to suddenly view him as a brother because of their living situation.

I think @adora721's point is that the show deliberately muddied the waters of that relationship by doing things like this:

17 hours ago, adora721 said:

Think about when Joe called Barry his "adopted" son, yet we know that if that were true, Barry and Iris couldn't legally marry. 

....the writers never made it absolutely clear that Joe was just his legal guardian or foster father. 

When Patty basically called Iris Barry's sister, why wasn't there a line for Iris to correct Patty? 

Even in the pilot when Iris said, "Because we're kinda like brother and sister...". That was completely unnecessary.  AJK used the writing to poison the minds of those susceptible to the inference of "incest" to make WestAllen seem off-limits from the start, just like Oliver sleeping with Sara made Lauriver toxic from the start in "Arrow". I believe all this was a deliberate attempt to obfuscate, confuse, and muddy the romantic waters between Barry and Iris.

 

Yes I agree that people who were predisposed to hate Westallen were always going to jump on anything to justify that hate. AJK gave them something to justify that hate. As said:

On 3/23/2018 at 10:42 AM, doram said:

It's basically "performative progressiveness". On the one hand, they're pushing diversity by casting Iris and Joe as Black, and they're being "woke" enough to forewarn Candice about the backlash. But on the other hand, they're deliberately creating a situation where her character and her, the actress, will have it harder to be accepted by the audience.

The "incest" thing was part of that situation. Now if you're arguing that it was accidental, then it still stands that after the initial backlash, the writers/producers didn't try to clarify it. Joe/Barry's dynamic at the start of Season 1 isn't the cuddly Mammy-esque relationship it became in season 2 and following. There's antagonism and resentment on Barry's part with him believing that Joe helped lock up his real father, Henry. Barry grows into appreciating Joe and realizing that he always had a father figure in him but he doesn't grow up thinking that Joe was his dad or a replacement for his dad. The show completely acts now that Barry grew up as Joe's adopted son. It has Joe literally call Barry his adopted son, and that irritating, disgusting moment where Joe gives Barry's his father's watch are part of the things that seal the Barry = Joe's son in the minds of the audience.

Of course, this is part of Mammifying Joe, too. Compare the dynamic between the three of them from 1:39 to anything that's come after this. 

 

From 1:39

Joe and Barry are downright hostile to each other in this, with Iris acting as the go-betweener. You can imagine a situation where these 3 lived with Iris being the one holding the home, to speak, not the One Big Happy Westallen Family feels we get now, with Barry as the Magical Adopted White Boy that healed the broken West home. 

17 hours ago, adora721 said:

AJK and DP were co-conspirators in this I believe.  DP had no shame about propping SB even while Caitlin had Ronnie back in her life. And she did this right in front of Candice. I've sensed for a long time that those two (DP and CP) do not get along well outside of their acting scenes on the show. Even the quickie SnoWest friendship seems acted with minimal enthusiasm or truthfulness. While you can tell that Carlos and CP get along in front of and behind the cameras.

For awhile, Caitlin and Iris never even stood next to each other. Caitlin only hugged Barry at the engagement announcement. At the housewarming party, Caitlin was right behind Joe after Iris hugged him, but Iris then hugs Cisco not Caitlin.  With these directing choices, AJK was setting up a rivalry and distance between these women in Barry's life. This was a conscious effort to pass them off to the audience as in battle for Barry's affections even while writing for WestAllen. 

I can't really add anything to this besides nodding my head and being glad that someone else saw this and is calling them out. I think we Iris/Westallen fans do ourselves a disservice by not wanting to acknowledge that these things happen and can potentially still happen.

4 hours ago, Starry said:

I agree about the coded language. The "they are like siblings", "they give off a siblings vibe" is a criticism I have heard for all the popular interracial couples. AJK and his writing team played right into that with some of the dialogue.

On the topic of Cisco/Caitlin, apart from the fact that fans and media have always seen them as siblings as well the writers also played into that by having Cisco utter the words "I know I'm like your brother". Coincidence?

Nope.

I also have seen the "like siblings" used to a lot of popular interracial ships/potential ships. Think Abbie/Ichabod, Bonnie/Damon, Wes/Laurel. White people can literally ship siblings (The Borgias, Game of Thrones ships) because the chemistry is just so incredible but somehow they see a Black person and White person and think "oooh they are related! This is gross and against my religion." Yes, a fan literally accuses Candice of this during a Con. Candice is the one who ends up answering even though she's siting on a panel with the actual showrunners and writers. Soon I'll write a lengthy post about how part of that "performative progressiveness" @doram mentioned is the way the cast/crew leave it entirely up to Candice to deal with racist trolls even when their mentions are included in their tweets/attacks. The fact that they see "Dealing with racists" as entirely Candice's problem, and not a problem that they should take responsibility for speaks volumes of just how genuine their interest in her character and the Westallen ship are.

Edited by Katsullivan.
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15 hours ago, adora721 said:

Think about when Joe called Barry his "adopted" son, yet we know that if that were true, Barry and Iris couldn't legally marry. And we had many scenes with Barry and Henry proclaiming their father-son relationship, with Barry stating that he was proud to keep the Allen name. And yet the writers never made it absolutely clear that Joe was just his legal guardian or foster father. When Patty basically called Iris Barry's sister, why wasn't there a line for Iris to correct Patty? Even in the pilot when Iris said, "Because we're kinda like brother and sister...".

This is an example of this show needing a legal consultant as much as it needs a medical consultant. 

Joe was Barry's legal gauardian. That's it. Joe didn't adopt Barry, and he wasn't his foster father, either. Also, you'll notice that Iris has never called Barry her brother or vise versa.

As @Starry mentioned, everyone who spent any significant time around Barry and Iris KNEW they had feelings for each other. This applies to Henry, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin, Eddie, Linda, Wells, and even Felicity. No one in-universe questions their feelings for each other or the legality of it either (e.g. Thinks it's incest) . However, Patty never spent any time with Iris and Barry together. I think if Patty had spent anytime with them together she would have noticed that their relationship was not of the brother/sister variety. I think Patty and Iris met in 2x09, and she left in 2x11.

3 hours ago, Starry said:

Whatever relationship Barry has with Joe or Wally it has 0 to do with Iris, especially considering that Wally showed up very recently and Barry didn't grow up seeing Joe as a father figure, another thing that was made crystal clear at the start of the series.

Yes, I agree with this. I think people tend to forget the contentious nature of the Barry/Joe relationship at the start of the series. Having to keep the Flash secret definitely made them much closer than they were before that happened. 

Another thing that is important to mention is that the character of Joe does not appear in the comics. Joe took over the role of Darryl Frye from the comics. 

In the comics, Darryl had an affair with Nora Allen and contributes to Henry and Nora divorcing. So, when Reverse Flash kills her, it made sense that Henry could have done it. Also, Darryl is the one who investigates Nora's murder and helps out Henry in jail. 

After this ordeal ends, Darryl becomes Barry's guardian/adoptive father (I can't remember which one). However, I also thought it was an issue that this single man with no other children would take in a young boy. Or that Henry wouldn't object to this possibility . Personally, I think Joe letting Barry move in with him and Iris made much more sense. I also think it gave Barry and Iris a much deeper relationship than the comics. 

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11 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

Joe was Barry's legal gauardian. That's it. Joe didn't adopt Barry, and he wasn't his foster father, either. Also, you'll notice that Iris has never called Barry her brother or vise versa.

 

They don't need a consultant for deliberate mistakes. In some episodes, when Iris talks about Joe to Barry, she says "her Dad" and he says "Joe" and then in some episodes, Iris says "our Dad" or "Dad", and Barry not remarking on it. 

 

12 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

However, Patty never spent any time with Iris and Barry together. I think if Patty had spent anytime with them together she would have noticed that their relationship was not of the brother/sister variety. I think Patty and Iris met in 2x09, and she left in 2x11.

That's still a writing/directing choice. If Patty was being used to prop Westallen, she'd have definitely spent time with them and been threatened, just like Linda and Eddie. It's worth noting that we never see Eddie spend time with Westallen before he's threatened. He just is. The very first real conversation Eddie and Barry have with each other is Eddie telling Barry that he was threatened by him. In fact, Eddie's choice of words "I have to admit, I was threatened by you before" --- implies that it took him spending time with Barry to stop being threatened by Barry.

Which is actually how these things work. Patty should theoretically have been more threatened by Iris as an attractive woman close to Barry in an unspecified way before she got to know her better. 

 

 

17 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

I think people tend to forget the contentious nature of the Barry/Joe relationship at the start of the series.

People didn't forget as much as it's been retconned from the show. 

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1 hour ago, Katsullivan said:
1 hour ago, Kate45 said:

 

They don't need a consultant for deliberate mistakes. In some episodes, when Iris talks about Joe to Barry, she says "her Dad" and he says "Joe" and then in some episodes, Iris says "our Dad" or "Dad", and Barry not remarking on it. 

Oh, I may not have been clear. I have no issue with Barry calling Joe "dad", or Joe calling Barry "son". That's the type of relationship they have, and it shouldn't be discounted simply because Barry and Iris are dating/married. They have independent relationships with Joe. Them both seeing Joe as their father doesn't change the fact that they aren't related by blood or by law until they got married.

Also, the people who cry about "incest" don't actually care about that as an issue since they still ship Barry with Caitlin. Why would you want your fave to hook up with a man married to his "sister"? They also tend to ship actual familial relatives as romantic. They don't care about incest, they care about a white man being in love with an "undeserving" black woman.

I legimately think the writers LOVE the Barry/Joe dynamic, and they have never tried to shy away from that fact. I mean they even had Joe call Barry his son in the season 4 premiere. They have built the Barry/Joe relationship more than they have ever tried to build the Joe/Iris or even Joe/Wally one.

The Arrowverse loves its father/son relationships. However, legally speaking Joe was Barry's legal guardian. But, he's also a father figure to Barry. 

1 hour ago, Katsullivan said:

People didn't forget as much as it's been retconned from the show. 

I know that I made it sound like everything about their relationship must have been contentious, but I may be wrong. It was definitely contentious about believing in the impossible, and what happened to Nora, but I think their relationship was fine outside of those issues. 

That's a big issue to have, so I do think Barry was closer to Iris than Joe. However, I think Joe and Barry became much closer during season 1 than they had been before. It makes sense that they audience would think of their relationship as being really strong since that it what we have seen since about 1x03 up to now. 

1 hour ago, Katsullivan said:

That's still a writing/directing choice. If Patty was being used to prop Westallen, she'd have definitely spent time with them and been threatened, just like Linda and Eddie. It's worth noting that we never see Eddie spend time with Westallen before he's threatened. He just is. The very first real conversation Eddie and Barry have with each other is Eddie telling Barry that he was threatened by him. In fact, Eddie's choice of words "I have to admit, I was threatened by you before" --- implies that it took him spending time with Barry to stop being threatened by Barry.

I totally agree. Patty was not there to prop up WestAllen. Whereas, Eddie was there to prop up WestAllen. Eddie was also a regular cast member, and spent time with Barry/Iris on screen. Since Iris got such backlash for "interfering" with Linda/Barry, I think they wanted to make sure she didn't do that again. IMO, Iris did nothing wrong in the Linda/Barry situation until the very obvious flirting in 1x15. Barry was acting weird with Linda because of his Flash duties, but Iris didn't know about that. She gave the only response that was plausible to Linda and Linda connected to puzzle pieces. 

However, I also think 2A was VERY atypical for the show in general. Because Iris/Patty should have spent more time together, and some jealously (or least some questioning about the nature of Barry/Iris relationship) should have come up. They could have pulled some of that directly from the comics. I think their goal was to have Barry and Iris have at least one fairly meaningful relationship before getting together and they accomplished that goal. 

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1 minute ago, Kate45 said:

h, I may not have been clear. I have no issue with Barry calling Joe "dad", or Joe calling Barry "son". That's the type of relationship they have, and it shouldn't be discounted simply because Barry and Iris are dating/married. They have independent relationships with Joe. Them both seeing Joe as their father doesn't change the fact that they aren't related by blood or by law until they got married.

I feel that the show deliberately retconned that relationship to make Westallen more incesty. If we're taking the Pilot as a benchmark, it's clear that Barry/Joe don't have a father/son relationship. You can see in that clip that there's resentment there that cuts both ways.

Barry didn't see Joe as his father. He came to appreciate Joe had been a father to him after Henry's imprisonment without Barry realizing this. But there's a difference between that mindset of gratitude and a mindset where Barry is literally calling Joe "Dad". The latter was not part of their dynamic, and was just put there to muddy waters.

If anything the obfuscation of the Joe/Barry relationship deprived us of a scene after the Wedding where Barry could have then said, "I can call you Dad now." and Joe replied "You've always been a son to me, Barry." or something.

7 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

I mean they even had Joe call Barry his son in the season 4 premiere.

They had Joe call Barry his son in 1x22 when it flashed back to the 9months coma: Barry was coding and Joe went for help. 

I won't call Joe/Barry a father-son dynamic. I think after season 1, it started veering dangerously into Mammy/White Ward territory. The show having Joe ignore and de-prioritize his Black children to prop Barry was offensive. 

The sad truth is that whenever you see a large white audience happy with a Black person/White person dynamic, when closer examined, you'll find out it's a dynamic that essentially debases the black person for the sake of the white one.

 

10 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

Whereas, Eddie was there to prop up WestAllen. Eddie was also a regular cast member, and spent time with Barry/Iris on screen. Since Iris got such backlash for "interfering" with Linda/Barry, I think they wanted to make sure she didn't do that again.

Eddie didn't know Barry was the Streak so from his perspective, Barry wasn't literally interfering with Westallen for Eddie to be intimidated. There were ways to have written that without making Iris as a jealous shrew and even depicting Patty as the clinging, irrational "other woman". Even the Iris/Barry/Linda dynamic could have been written in a manner that was far more flattering to Iris that it ended up being. Microaggressions.

 

12 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

I think their goal was to have Barry and Iris have at least one fairly meaningful relationship before getting together and they accomplished that goal. 

I'm quite certain that the goal of 2A was to push Iris off the show. 

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3 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

The "incest" thing was part of that situation. Now if you're arguing that it was accidental, then it still stands that after the initial backlash, the writers/producers didn't try to clarify it. Joe/Barry's dynamic at the start of Season 1 isn't the cuddly Mammy-esque relationship it became in season 2 and following.

 

Maybe I wasn't clear in my previous post but I don't think it was accidental. The pilot line may have been accidental and is often taken out of context but what followed was deliberate. I may be misremembering it but I believe the writers started fanning the flames with "Joe is Barry's adopted father", "Barry is Iris' brother/friend", "Barry is practically your brother", etc. in 1B after Barry moved back in with Joe. If the producers felt the need to present Iris as the mute cheerleader she was in 2A because of the (underserved IMO) backlash she got in s1 for being 1) jealous of Linda and 2) mad at Barry and Joe for lying then they could have stopped with the "Joe is Barry's father" talks and the glorification of that relationship as well but they didn't. On the contrary, they made it worse. They obviously played pick and choose with the criticism they received after s1. 

1 hour ago, Kate45 said:

However, I also think 2A was VERY atypical for the show in general. Because Iris/Patty should have spent more time together, and some jealously (or least some questioning about the nature of Barry/Iris relationship) should have come up. They could have pulled some of that directly from the comics. I think their goal was to have Barry and Iris have at least one fairly meaningful relationship before getting together and they accomplished that goal. 

If Iris can call Patty "great" without having had ONE scene with her then Patty can be jealous or threatened without spending time with Westallen. In 2A Iris was there to prop up Patty and her relationship with Barry, that couldn't have been more obvious. While Spallen was written as shallow and temporary the fact that there was no Westallen makes it hard to believe that their only goal was to level up the playing field.

Edited by Starry.
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7 hours ago, Starry said:
20 hours ago, adora721 said:

You know how there's talk of coded words that racists use that only other racists understand? It's the same. AJK knows the specific kinds of people who'd understand his covert form of racism and undermining of Iris and WestAllen. To this day, there are still those who bought into AJK's covert manipulation, and they will go to their graves still believing the lies AJK planted in the soil of the show. These people are such devoted believers in AJK's lies that they think that the Mystery Girl is Caitlin and Barry's daughter who gets her coloring from Joe. Yikes!

 

Please tell me the bolded is a joke...

I agree about the coded language. The "they are like siblings", "they give off a siblings vibe" is a criticism I have heard for all the popular interracial couples. AJK and his writing team played right into that with some of the dialogue.

@Starry: I first saw a screenshot of this SB Tweet on Tumblr that actually has this theory. A WestAllen fan took the screenshot, which I've copied here:

Joecoloring.PNG

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1 hour ago, Starry said:

In 2A Iris was there to prop up Patty and her relationship with Barry, that couldn't have been more obvious. While Spallen was written as shallow and temporary the fact that there was no Westallen makes it hard to believe that their only goal was to level up the playing field.

I think the Spallen relationship served several purposes, some already discussed. I also think that Patty was the insert for certain members of the audience who wanted to see Barry make a romantic effort with a woman of the same race. It's also why we didn't see Patty be jealous of Iris; historically white femininity is at the top of the totem pole, so why would Patty be jealous of a WOC?

3 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

The very first real conversation Eddie and Barry have with each other is Eddie telling Barry that he was threatened by him. In fact, Eddie's choice of words "I have to admit, I was threatened by you before" --- implies that it took him spending time with Barry to stop being threatened by Barry.

I think Eddie was threatened from the start, but not because he had spent so much time with Barry and Iris. Remember that Barry was in a coma for 9 months while Eddie dated Iris. I suspect that Iris talked all about her BFF, Barry Allen, during those 9 months. Eddie, being a detective, couldn't help but notice that Iris was deeply connected to Barry.  Once Barry was out of the coma, Eddie could then see for himself that so much more was going on than he first suspected. 

Edited by adora721.
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On 3/20/2018 at 8:45 AM, doram said:

here is no way Danielle Panabacker would have been promoting Snowbarry without the backing of her bosses. And my theory that this ship would have eventually sailed, one way or the other, is basically confirmed by this. 

I agree with this completely. I believe that AJK, had he remained, intended to find a way to end WestAllen. In a season 4 interview, AJK stated, "Yes, they're getting married, but can they stay married is the question with all that's coming at them?" I'm paraphrasing, of course.  When I heard this, my mind went on high alert. I couldn't understand why he'd say that unless it was to ship tease SB fans for hope that they would get their ship or just to worry WA fans to keep them invested in their ship after marriage. Now that @Kate45 mentioned the Henry and Nora divorce in the comics, which I'd never heard about, I wonder if that was what AJK planned on doing with WA. I just pray that Todd Helbing and the remaining PTB don't go down that road. 

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1 hour ago, adora721 said:

Now that @Kate45 mentioned the Henry and Nora divorce in the comics, which I'd never heard about, I wonder if that was what AJK planned on doing with WA. I just pray that Todd Helbing and the remaining PTB don't go down that road.

That was Nora and Henry, not Barry and Iris. They were divorcing because she had an affair. Barry and Iris have never divorced in the comics. 

@Starry I have always assumed that Iris called her "great" because she was Joe's partner. I don't think the show ever said anything about Iris meeting Patty before, and she sounded surprised that Barry asked her out on date. I'm wondering, what do you think was the purpose of Spallen, if not to level the playing field? 

I have always thought that the purpose of the Scott situation was to show that Iris was attracted to men of the same race, since some were "concerned" about that prospect. I do think they wanted to show that Barry was attracted to women of the same race, since up to that point he had only shown interest in WOC. 

I should also mention that 2A happened before they killed off Laurel  on Arrow and got tons of blowback for it. I don't think Iris will ever be killed off at this point. Plus, these are rented characters and DC is invested in the characters of Barry and Iris. Some of the others, not so much. 

Edited by Kate45.
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Yeah, I kinda always thought that the purpose of Patty was in part to show that Barry wasn't a virgin and had been with a white woman before Iris.

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10 minutes ago, ruby24 said:

Yeah, I kinda always thought that the purpose of Patty was in part to show that Barry wasn't a virgin and had been with a white woman before Iris.

The virgin piece was especially important to them, IMO. The other parts were for him to have a "significant relationship" before Iris, and to show his attraction to white women since he has never paid any attention to Caitlin. I think he liked Felicity, but her "whiteness" may not be enough for some audience members. 

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I disagree that the question of Barry's virginity was ever important to them. It never came up in discussions and the one post-coital Spallen scene was cut. I didn't even think viewers would ask themselves if Barry was a virgin. What gave people the impression he was one? And it's actually something that could have been resolved through a throwaway line. He didn't need to get a girlfriend to prove Iris wasn't his first.

2 hours ago, Kate45 said:

I have always assumed that Iris called her "great" because she was Joe's partner. I don't think the show ever said anything about Iris meeting Patty before, and she sounded surprised that Barry asked her out on date. I'm wondering, what do you think was the purpose of Spallen, if not to level the playing field?

 

If Spallen was there to level the playing field then that relationship would have played out like Iris/Eddie. It didn't. Eddie/Iris didn't take time away from Westallen. Actually, Eddie/Iris didn't even get screen time unless it involved Barry. I dare anyone mention me five Eddie/Iris scenes that had nothing to do with Barry, Flash or Westallen...Like discussed upthread, Eddie was written as a prop to Westallen. Patty wasn't. It was Iris who was written as a prop to Spallen.

I think Patty was there to give the viewers an alternative to Iris. She was everything Iris wasn't and played into the Hot Nerd thrope* that fanboys and fangirls love so much. Patty's character description likened her to Felicity, a character that at the time was considered Arrow saving grace.

It never bothered me that Patty was a part of the show and that Spallen was a thing. It's pretty common for TV protagonists to have more than one "serious" relationship before the endgame. What concerned me was Patty's characterization and the lack of Westallen.

* I agree with @adora721 that Patty served as a self-insert for people that wanted Barry to date someone of the same race but I believe that Patty's characterization would have appealed to fanboys and fangirls even if Iris had been played by a white actress. Patty was the nerdy underdog and those character types are put on a freaking pedestal in fandom. That's why you have similar situations when both women are white like in Laurel vs Felicity and, from what I've heard, Lois vs Chloe.

2 hours ago, Kate45 said:

I should also mention that 2A happened before they killed off Laurel  on Arrow and got tons of blowback for it. I don't think Iris will ever be killed off at this point. Plus, these are rented characters and DC is invested in the characters of Barry and Iris. Some of the others, not so much. 

 

If they were so concerned about the Laurel backlash they would have brought her back through Flashpoint. I agree that it's unlikely that Iris will be killed off but that has nothing to do with comic canon. Iris is still a part of the show because despite everything she and Westallen are actually loved. These people only care about money, not diversity points or comic canon.

Edited by Starry.
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12 hours ago, Starry said:

I disagree that the question of Barry's virginity was ever important to them. It never came up in discussions and the one post-coital Spallen scene was cut. I didn't even think viewers would ask themselves if Barry was a virgin. What gave people the impression he was one? And it's actually something that could have been resolved through a throwaway line. He didn't need to get a girlfriend to prove Iris wasn't his first.

I completely agree that this could have been solved with a throwaway line, but I also know that I read at least 2 articles that talked about Barry possibly being a virgin. I never got the impression that he nor Iris were virgins, although I did think at times that the writing was rather juvenile for Barry, Iris, and Cisco in season 1. As I mentioned, I think the Spallen relationship was about ensuring the audience that 1) Barry wasn't a virgin, 2) that Barry was attacked to white women, and 3) that he had a significant relationship with someone who was not Iris. 

12 hours ago, Starry said:

If Spallen was there to level the playing field then that relationship would have played out like Iris/Eddie. It didn't. Eddie/Iris didn't take time away from Westallen. Actually, Eddie/Iris didn't even get screen time unless it involved Barry. I dare anyone mention me five Eddie/Iris scenes that had nothing to do with Barry, Flash or Westallen...Like discussed upthread, Eddie was written as a prop to Westallen. Patty wasn't. It was Iris who was written as a prop to Spallen.

I think Patty was there to give the viewers an alternative to Iris. She was everything Iris wasn't and played into the Hot Nerd thrope* that fanboys and fangirls love so much. Patty's character description likened her to Felicity, a character that at the time was considered Arrow saving grace.

It never bothered me that Patty was a part of the show and that Spallen was a thing. It's pretty common for TV protagonists to have more than one "serious" relationship before the endgame. What concerned me was Patty's characterization and the lack of Westallen.

Yes, it should have been written differently. I have always had an issue with the lack of WestAllen, and the overindulgence of Spallen during that time period. Barry was also a horrible friend to Iris during that time period, and the show really leaned into the "strong black woman" troupe. This troupe was heavily used until the start of this season, when I actually think Iris' writing got much better. I feel confident that her writing is better this season since the haters are out in full force, LOL. 

We never saw Iris/Eddie on a solo date, or even living together. At the same time, Eddie was not simply on the show to be a love interest. Patty stans can claim otherwise, but she was literally on the show to be Barry's girlfriend. Which is precisely why she has hardly ever been mentioned on the show since she left. 

I also agree that Patty was there to give the audience an alternative, but it does make me question if they ever planned to keep her long term. Think about the timeline: she left in 2x11, which was right on schedule for completing the 10 episodes she was contracted to complete. The show didn't premiere until they were in the process of filming 2x09, which means they were already writing the scripts for her to leave before she ever actually came on to our screens. 

Do I think if her character had been more successful, she would have returned later in the season? I think it is extremely possible. But, it wasn't super successful and they chose to not bring her back. Although, AJK made it sound like a possibility in the future (and SV is/was a close friend of AJK), and during season 3 SV said she was "really close" to returning. We may not ever know the truth. 

18 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

They had Joe call Barry his son in 1x22 when it flashed back to the 9months coma: Barry was coding and Joe went for help. 

I won't call Joe/Barry a father-son dynamic. I think after season 1, it started veering dangerously into Mammy/White Ward territory. The show having Joe ignore and de-prioritize his Black children to prop Barry was offensive. 

The sad truth is that whenever you see a large white audience happy with a Black person/White person dynamic, when closer examined, you'll find out it's a dynamic that essentially debases the black person for the sake of the white one.

I meant that they STILL have Joe calling Barry his son, but yeah, they have done this for a while. 

Great point about the prioritization of Barry over his other children. The show has definitely done that over the seasons. I have always said that Barry is Joe's favorite "kid". But, it's also Barry's show, so they are going to prioritize that relationship. Anyone who reads the comics knows that Wally is actually a better Flash than Barry, but the show has never shown that to be the case. In fact, until Ralph came along, I have never seen these writers be as invested in any other character. If you compare the hero journeys of Wally, Cisco, Jay and Caitlin ("hero"), to Ralph's hero journey the difference is startling. Not in terms of actual development because Ralph hasn't actually developed, but in terms of screen time. 

There are also some storylines that I think were racist whether or not it was intentional. For example, the characterization of Francine vs. Nora, Dr. Townhouser, Cisco's mom etc. I have huge issues with making her a drug addict (which to me came off as a very racist storyline), and I totally believe that was an example of the anti-mother storylines that are prevalent in the Arrowverse. The fact that they never showed her funeral, or even Barry asking Iris about how she processed her mothers death. There was nothing. It was also clear that they never considered the issue with Francine coming back for the sole purpose of connecting Wally with a family. It was never about Iris at all. 

I am very much a context person. Some of these issues, in a vacuum, look inherently racist. However, within the actual context, there can be many variables in play. 

IMO, the Francine situation even within context is problematic. Some of these other issues are harder for me to decipher as purely racial. 

Edited by Kate45.
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On 3/30/2018 at 1:51 PM, Starry said:

If Iris can call Patty "great" without having had ONE scene with her then Patty can be jealous or threatened without spending time with Westallen. In 2A Iris was there to prop up Patty and her relationship with Barry, that couldn't have been more obvious. While Spallen was written as shallow and temporary the fact that there was no Westallen makes it hard to believe that their only goal was to level up the playing field.

On 3/30/2018 at 2:40 PM, adora721 said:

I also think that Patty was the insert for certain members of the audience who wanted to see Barry make a romantic effort with a woman of the same race. It's also why we didn't see Patty be jealous of Iris; historically white femininity is at the top of the totem pole, so why would Patty be jealous of a WOC?

On this topic, someone on tumblr just posted this gif and it reminded me that there was a situation where Barry, Iris and Patty were all interacting in one scene and the show could easily have framed it into Patty being jealous or at least intimidated by Iris. And it's telling that again, Linda Park as played by a WOC is the character "allowed" to prop up Iris in that scene, not white Patty Spivot stays unimpressed.

 

On 3/31/2018 at 6:51 AM, Kate45 said:

I am very much a context person. Some of these issues, in a vacuum, look inherently racist. However, within the actual context, there can be many variables in play. 

Well the other variables don't "cancel" out racism. They can co-exist. Most people seem to believe that it's not racism unless it's only racism. e.g. it's not possible that AJK is playing favorites with his actors... and is racist at the same time. 

Indeed, I usually find that's the opposite i.e. things in a vacuum don't look racist until context is added. AJK's actions don't look racist, just offensive and unprofessional --- until you realize that the actors who are always on his un-favorite lists who are shit over for his white favorites are the black actors in the cast. Storywise, Barry being Joe's favorite kid, being prioritized over his biological kids doesn't appear racist. In fact it seems rather noble and open-minded of Joe. When you now add white Barry being black Joe's favorite kid, being prioritized over his black biological kids...

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4 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

Well the other variables don't "cancel" out racism. They can co-exist. Most people seem to believe that it's not racism unless it's only racism. e.g. it's not possible that AJK is playing favorites with his actors... and is racist at the same time. 

Of course the other variables don't cancel it out, and I wasn't trying to say that was the case. Racism isn't an either/or category, it's on a continuum and can show up in many different ways. 

When I say that it makes more sense to me in context, it doesn't mean that racism can't be an issue with a storyline I am simply saying that I don't believe racism is the **root cause** of the storyline issues. 

For example, without looking at any other Arrowverse/Berlantiverse show original OTPs I would likely find that Barry and Iris could have had some cards stacked against them due to racism/wanting them to fail. However, if I look at the failed number of original OTPs across the Arrowverse, I would now conclude that it's likely more of a poor writing issue. Doesn't mean that racism didn't play a role in some of the storyline aspects, but I don't find it to be the root cause of the issue. 

If I compare the way that the other DCTV original OTPs were written such as Laurel/Oliver, Kara/James, Kendra/Carter compared to Barry/Iris, I would say that follow through on original OTPs is rare and for all intents and purposes Barry/Iris are by far the best written pair of the Arrowverse. Doesn't mean mistakes weren't made, but again, I think this could point to a bigger issue with the writing of these pairs. 

Just to reiterate, I absolutely agree that racism plays a role in the writing of these characters/OTPs. But, I also think that poor writing plays a (perhaps a bigger) role than anything when I consider the context. 

Also, re AJK, I think it's been established that he didn't care for the black characters as much as the white characters/Cisco. If not for Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and DC (all of which had higher ranking than AJK), I'm not so sure that Iris would still be around or that WestAllen would have happened. 

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1 hour ago, Kate45 said:

Also, re AJK, I think it's been established that he didn't care for the black characters as much as the white characters/Cisco. If not for Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and DC (all of which had higher ranking than AJK), I'm not so sure that Iris would still be around or that WestAllen would have happened. 

Oh, I'm sure Iris would've been around and West-Allen would have happened.  It's just that Iris would have been played by a White woman.  Assuming they wanted Wally to be Black eventually, there would have been this weird story where Joe kept getting custody of this White kids.

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Jumping in on a few points:

"Incest" is a word that has a definition; and it doesn't apply to Barry & Iris. /pet peeve
The show prioritized the father-son relationship of Joe/Barry, but I don't think that had anything to do with supposedly undermining Barry/Iris. They obviously love their father-son 'ships -- especially in the first two seasons.

To me, it seems that the writers over-corrected in response to how Oliver/Laurel was set up on Arrow (those two started out at odds with each other). So Barry/Iris started out on good terms, and very close/familiar with each other. I thought that it was an odd choice to have them (partially) grow up in the same household at the start; but it was easy to get over because it was made clear the relationship between them was NOT a sibling one. I mean, we can question how smart or successful the writing decisions are, but highly doubt they set out to screw over one of the key relationships of the lead. Plus, AJK wasn't the only one to develop the show.

Even if AJK was playing favorites, with this being a CW show, and Caitlin being the only other female in proximity, teasing Barry/Caitlin could be expected -- but it never went beyond that. So I guess I don't see a conspiracy to dethrone the 'endgame' pairing when Barry & Iris are married now (after at least two seasons of buildup).

As noted, 2A was irregular, but even then, Patty started out being talked about as temporary. And poor Grant! The only reason Barry's virginity comes up at all (and I've only seen it as an issue here BTW) is because Grant is a young, babyfaced dude, built like a sturdy twig.

Agreed that Francine and Francine/Iris (and even Francine/Joe) got screwed over - on several levels.

[And one more thing, but I'm taking it to Relationships, later.]

Edited by Trini.
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On 31/3/2018 at 12:51 PM, Kate45 said:

Patty stans can claim otherwise, but she was literally on the show to be Barry's girlfriend. Which is precisely why she has hardly ever been mentioned on the show since she left.

I agree that Patty was on the show to be Barry’s girlfriend but the writers liked the character enough to give her agency and her own (very problematic) storyline about avenging her dad’s murder. Her subplot had nothing to do with the overarching plot and didn’t amount to much since you can take out all of Patty’s scenes and nothing would change but the fact that a ten episodes character got more agency and screen time than the leading lady, whose storyline about Francine/Wally was arguably more significant, is telling IMO.

On 31/3/2018 at 12:51 PM, Kate45 said:

 I also agree that Patty was there to give the audience an alternative, but it does make me question if they ever planned to keep her long term. Think about the timeline: she left in 2x11, which was right on schedule for completing the 10 episodes she was contracted to complete. The show didn't premiere until they were in the process of filming 2x09, which means they were already writing the scripts for her to leave before she ever actually came on to our screens. 

Do I think if her character had been more successful, she would have returned later in the season? I think it is extremely possible. But, it wasn't super successful and they chose to not bring her back. Although, AJK made it sound like a possibility in the future (and SV is/was a close friend of AJK), and during season 3 SV said she was "really close" to returning. We may not ever know the truth.

Good point. I think what ended up happening has a lot to do with the showrunners underestimating the Iris fandom. Patty was written and marketed as the Perfect Woman. This, coupled with the fact that they marginalized Iris and erased Westallen, makes me believe that they wanted her to succeed. What the showrunners didn’t anticipate was the backlash they got after the character was announced (when they had already started writing for s2…). Yes, there are people that would take anything over WA but at that point Iris already had a fanbase ready to fight for her. Also, at the time Felicity had started to fall victim of the Main Love Interest Curse. She started getting hate like Lana, Laurel and Iris did before her. This is apparently what happens to every female character that is moved into the Main Love Interest role. If enough people already didn’t like Felicity, there was no guarantee they were going to like Felicity 2.0.

Why do you think AJK was at SDCC talking (more like lying) about s2 being the year of Iris West Ace Reporter? Because her fans had already smelt the BS and started to express their fears about Patty eating into Iris’ screen time/the showrunners trying to artificially re-create an Olicity-type situation. And they had a right to be suspicious since this is exactly what ended up happening. Iris lost her screen time and Westallen was put on ice.

You say that the actress was contracted for ten episodes but she also admitted that she was surprised/disappointed when she found out 2x11 was going to be her last episode so what’s the truth? I personally think they made her promises and gave her hope she would stay for more than ten episodes but since the character wasn’t as successful as they hoped she would be they didn’t bring her back.

On 31/3/2018 at 12:51 PM, Kate45 said:

I have always said that Barry is Joe's favorite "kid". But, it's also Barry's show, so they are going to prioritize that relationship. Anyone who reads the comics knows that Wally is actually a better Flash than Barry, but the show has never shown that to be the case.

“This is Barry’s show” is not a good excuse because if you look at the other relationships you’d notice that Cisco and Caitlin and Cisco and Harry had been consistently written as closer to each other than to Barry. Black Iris and black Wally have to lose their dad to Barry because “this is his show” but suddenly the same logic doesn’t apply to the other characters. This is true for the storylines as well. They’ve given Wally’s villains and love interest to Barry but they have 0 problems dumbing Barry down for the non-black STAR Labs characters. Isn’t the Thinking Cap something that Barry invented/used in the comics? Why is a white non-comic character like Harry Wells hijacking that plotline?

21 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

On this topic, someone on tumblr just posted this gif and it reminded me that there was a situation where Barry, Iris and Patty were all interacting in one scene and the show could easily have framed it into Patty being jealous or at least intimidated by Iris. And it's telling that again, Linda Park as played by a WOC is the character "allowed" to prop up Iris in that scene, not white Patty Spivot stays unimpressed.

I honestly don't think we would have gotten the Out of Time kiss and bowling double date messiness if Barry was dating Patty at the time…

Felicity was the white woman allowed to prop up Iris and Westallen. But that was 1A. And Felicity had her own OTL in Oliver. It was a two-way street with Felicity propping up Iris/Westallen and Barry propping up Oliver/Olicity.

7 hours ago, Trini said:

"Incest" is a word that has a definition; and it doesn't apply to Barry & Iris. /pet peeve
The show prioritized the father-son relationship of Joe/Barry, but I don't think that had anything to do with supposedly undermining Barry/Iris. They obviously love their father-son 'ships -- especially in the first two seasons.

Yes, “incest” doesn’t apply to Westallen. Whether one accepts the set up or not, let’s not demonize a couple by throwing around terms that have a specific meaning…

I think they could have written Barry x Joe as a father/son relationship without muddying the waters with the dialogue. Like I’ve said before, they have gotten flack for introducing Barry and Iris as “growing up under the same roof” and instead of trying to combat that particular criticism by emphasizing that Joe is NOT Barry’s real dad, they made things worse and retconned the Barry/Joe relationship. While Barry x Joe doesn’t impact the way Barry and Iris see each others, haters don’t give a damn about that and are going to exploit Joe to crap on Westallen ad infinitum. The least the writers could do is not give these individuals more reasons to demonize/mock their main interracial couple. These are the same people who turned Iris into a Perfect Character because of the hate she got in s1 but couldn’t stop referring to Joe as Barry’s “dad” and Wally as Barry’s “brother” in their scripts?

8 hours ago, Trini said:

And poor Grant! The only reason Barry's virginity comes up at all (and I've only seen it as an issue here BTW) is because Grant is a young, babyfaced dude, built like a sturdy twig.

Yes, I don’t understand where the “Barry must be a virgin” speculation comes from. Nothing in s1 indicates that he could be one. I agree that there could be some projection going on and that people may base their opinions over Grant’s looks/build. Sometimes I wonder if Barry and Iris don’t get love scenes because the producers don’t think people would be interested in seeing someone who isn’t built like Oliver Queen have sex on screen (in addition to Iris being black of course…). Not that this is a good excuse, quite the contrary…

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10 hours ago, doram said:

Iris being black is the only reason for lack of Westallen sex scenes. Their make-out in episode 3 was hot, and they both kept their clothes on. The kiss in Enter Flashtime is only the second Big Damn Kiss Westallen's got since the Pilot and it happened after AJK.

I'd at least count count the True Love's Kiss in the musical, and the one in the Season 4 premiere also:

tumblr_oxqrgwsnvr1uwyauro1_r1_400.gif

 

11 hours ago, Starry said:

...

I think they could have written Barry x Joe as a father/son relationship without muddying the waters with the dialogue. Like I’ve said before, they have gotten flack for introducing Barry and Iris as “growing up under the same roof” and instead of trying to combat that particular criticism by emphasizing that Joe is NOT Barry’s real dad, they made things worse and retconned the Barry/Joe relationship. While Barry x Joe doesn’t impact the way Barry and Iris see each others, haters don’t give a damn about that and are going to exploit Joe to crap on Westallen ad infinitum. The least the writers could do is not give these individuals more reasons to demonize/mock their main interracial couple. These are the same people who turned Iris into a Perfect Character because of the hate she got in s1 but couldn’t stop referring to Joe as Barry’s “dad” and Wally as Barry’s “brother” in their scripts?

...

I don't know; it can be a slippery slope trying to appease the haters - which are a minority. But I don't think Joe as a father figure to Barry was the real problem; and there's only so much (if anything) they can do to change minds.

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1 hour ago, Trini said:

I don't know; it can be a slippery slope trying to appease the haters - which are a minority. But I don't think Joe as a father figure to Barry was the real problem; and there's only so much (if anything) they can do to change minds.

Exactly. The main people who claim WestAllen is "incest" are the same ones who oftentimes ship Jon/Daenerys and Cersei/Jamie on Game of Thrones which are actual cases of incest. They are not actually concerned about incest. At all.

In fact, many of these "incest" claims also come from the same people who say they'd ship Barry and Iris if Danielle played Iris. It's not about incest or Iris' "bad writing", it's about her race. It's the same reason they can only find chemistry with the white people (male or female, it doesn't matter) that Barry spends time with and never with Iris.

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On 4/2/2018 at 12:33 AM, Trini said:

Even if AJK was playing favorites, with tehis being a CW show, and Caitlin being the only other female in proximity, teasing Barry/Caitlin could be expected -- but it never went beyond that. So I guess I don't see a conspiracy to dethrone the 'endgame' pairing when Barry & Iris are married now (after at least two seasons of buildup).

I'm not trying to make AJK seem like some genius Machiavellian manipulator, but he is a seasoned writer and producer who knows how his audience thinks. He knew he was stirring the pot. I think that he was plotting to undermine WA using the "incest" thing, the Snowbarry thing, the poor writing of Iris at times, etc.  And he had two alternatives to Iris, Caitlin and Patty, waiting in the wings. My guess is Caitlin was his preference.

The fact that it didn't work doesn't mean he isn't guilty of attempting to undermine WA. I think the evidence is there, but I can understand if someone disagrees.

It's not like interracial couples as lead characters haven't been thwarted before by the writers/producers; see Abbie and Ichabod in "Sleepy Hollow", Danny and Lacey in "Twisted" , James and Kara in "Supergirl". I'm sure there are more examples.  One of the reasons the SB fans are so active in trying to get SB to happen is that they've seen the overthrow of interracial couples successfully done many times before. SB fans expect to win because others like them have always won before. They are so accustomed to winning in the past, no amount of facts in the show have dissuaded them from believing that they will get their way.  

Edited by adora721. Reason: Added examples
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2 hours ago, Kate45 said:

In fact, many of these "incest" claims also come from the same people who say they'd ship Barry and Iris if Danielle played Iris. It's not about incest or Iris' "bad writing", it's about her race. It's the same reason they can only find chemistry with the white people (male or female, it doesn't matter) that Barry spends time with and never with Iris.

For my part Candice Patton could have chemistry with Helium.  I eventually came around to rooting for Barry and Iris, but my take was generally that Barry was an unsuitable partner for Iris, not the reverse.  Back through Season 1, my head-wish was that Barry went back in time, prevented his mother's murder and somehow negated his own existence, leaving Iris to be The Flash with her cop/fiance, Eddie.

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On 4/2/2018 at 3:33 AM, Trini said:

Even if AJK was playing favorites, with this being a CW show, and Caitlin being the only other female in proximity, teasing Barry/Caitlin could be expected -- but it never went beyond that. So I guess I don't see a conspiracy to dethrone the 'endgame' pairing when Barry & Iris are married now (after at least two seasons of buildup).

AJK and the other showrunners told Candice to stay off social media after she was cast because of the backlash they anticipated. 

The "color blind/ just being CW and promoting ship wars" excuse doesn't fly here.

He knew exactly what he was doing by propping a White woman as the alternative love interest before an episode of the show had already aired.

 

11 hours ago, adora721 said:

I'm not trying to make AJK seem like some genius Machiavellian manipulator, but he is a seasoned writer and producer who knows how his audience thinks. He knew he was stirring the pot. I think that he was plotting to undermine WA using the "incest" thing, the Snowbarry thing, the poor writing of Iris at times, etc.  And he had two alternatives to Iris, Caitlin and Patty, waiting in the wings. My guess is Caitlin was his preference.

This basically.

11 hours ago, adora721 said:

It's not like interracial couples as lead characters haven't been thwarted before by the writers/producers; see Abbie and Ichabod in "Sleepy Hollow", Danny and Lacey in "Twisted" , James and Kara in "Supergirl". I'm sure there are more examples.   One of the reasons the SB fans are so active in trying to get SB to happen is that they've seen the overthrow of interracial couples successfully done many times before. SB fans expect to win because others like them have always won before. They are so accustomed to winning in the past, no amount of facts in the show have dissuaded them from believing that they will get their way.  

And this. Essentially, they are counting on Whiteness winning. If you ever wondered why Lana Lang was such a loathed character in Smallville, it's because the show committed the taboo of not just making her half of the show's OTP, but using White women to constantly prop her. The fact that the show ended without Lana being demeaned to elevate Chloe is something that a particular group of fans still feel bitter to this very day.

Edited by Katsullivan.
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7 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

He knew exactly what he was doing by propping a White woman as the alternative love interest before an episode of the show had already aired.

When did this happen?

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Frankly, there were so many many many reasons to dislike Lana that had nothing  to do with her ethnicity or how she compared to other women on that show. I mean, among other things, Regina* from Once Upon a Time kind of reminded me of her because everything she did made it clear that the rules were different for her than for all the rest of the characters.

But I'm getting off topic so I think I'll go to the Smallville forum.

*For the record I somewhat liked Regina, but I think it limits character growth when you don't let the consequences of ones actions stick beyond a season or sometimes stick at all.

Edited by Whodunnit.
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13 hours ago, Katsullivan said:

If you ever wondered why Lana Lang was such a loathed character in Smallville, it's because the show committed the taboo of not just making her half of the show's OTP, but using White women to constantly prop her.

Except...Lana was white. Kristin is part-Asian, yes...but Lana's parents were white. 

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On 3/4/2018 at 6:31 AM, Kate45 said:

Exactly. The main people who claim WestAllen is "incest" are the same ones who oftentimes ship Jon/Daenerys and Cersei/Jamie on Game of Thrones which are actual cases of incest. They are not actually concerned about incest. At all.

In fact, many of these "incest" claims also come from the same people who say they'd ship Barry and Iris if Danielle played Iris. It's not about incest or Iris' "bad writing", it's about her race. It's the same reason they can only find chemistry with the white people (male or female, it doesn't matter) that Barry spends time with and never with Iris.

Also, I've yet to find one person that would ship Barry and Iris if only they had a different backstory. They either dislike Iris, or they dislike Barry, or they dislike both of them. At the end of the day Westallen is not losing any fans because of "incest". The people who cry "incest" wouldn't support them regardless. Those who like both characters but find the set-up odd, they eventually get over it. 

It would be nice if the writers stopped giving haters reasons to demonize and mock the ship though.

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1 hour ago, Starry said:

Also, I've yet to find one person that would ship Barry and Iris if only they had a different backstory.

You have now.  In truth I support them already, but it would have been much easier for me with a slightly different backstory.  If Barry and Iris were best friends at school and he lived with a foster family right across the street from Joe, with Joe looking out for him as a mentor and father figure, the pairing of Barry and Iris would have gone down much smoother to me.  When he appeared on Arrow Barry came across as a nice, likeable person who seemed like he'd be a good Flash.  Candice Patton as Iris was lovable in every way.  I could easily see Barry and Iris together, except that the show seemed to present them as kind of brother and sister, actually pushing that more in the second season.  It just seems like a stupid way to present two people you want in a romance.

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I took you for someone who didn't like Barry because of this:

On 3/4/2018 at 8:40 AM, johntfs said:

For my part Candice Patton could have chemistry with Helium.  I eventually came around to rooting for Barry and Iris, but my take was generally that Barry was an unsuitable partner for Iris, not the reverse.  Back through Season 1, my head-wish was that Barry went back in time, prevented his mother's murder and somehow negated his own existence, leaving Iris to be The Flash with her cop/fiance, Eddie.

Regardless, you claim to support the couple now.

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11 hours ago, Whodunnit said:

Frankly, there were so many many many reasons to dislike Lana that had nothing  to do with her ethnicity

And almost every Iris hater I have interacted with will swear up and down that there are many, many, many, many reasons to dislike Iris that have nothing to do with her being black.

 

9 hours ago, wingster55 said:

Except...Lana was white. Kristin is part-Asian, yes...but Lana's parents were white. 

Don't remind me. That made the haters even madder. 

 

6 hours ago, Starry said:

Those who like both characters but find the set-up odd, they eventually get over it. 

It would be nice if the writers stopped giving haters reasons to demonize and mock the ship though.

This.

I don't have a problem with Barry and Iris growing up together, and Barry having a crush on her and being unable to tell her for that reason. The Toy Ship/ Childhood Romance / Patient Childhood Friend etc are tropes for a reason. FRINGE even basically retcons the show's OTP first meeting as adults to them meeting as kids but suppressing that  memory --- just to capitalize on this Childhood Romance. 

The problem was the way the writers/showrunners underlined that set-up. They emphasized all the wrong things and made important things ambiguous. Barry was never adopted - but it's hard to know for certain when the show has Joe calling him his son, and giving him his father's watch (poor Iris. Poor Wally). Barry and Iris had a relationship before he came to live with the Wests, but for a long time, the show acted like if they met for the first time when Joe "adopted" him.

 

I remember that after "Cause and Effect" there were a good number of people who crossed from neutral/skeptical to huge Westallen fans because of the way the episode showcased their relationship. And what did Cause and Effect do that was so unique to that episode? It highlighted Barry and Iris's child-hood friendship. It had them reminiscing about high-school, the first time they met, and it had Iris recollecting the night that Barry came to live with her. It really emphasized their relationship as something separate from Joe, and even the fact that they lived together. And the show had many opportunities to do this in season 1 that it squandered. In the Pilot, the original Barry & Iris child actors had a scene where Barry comes to live with the Wests (temporarily it seemed) and Iris welcomed him, and took his hand and that scene was cut off. For goodness's sake why? It was an important scene to their relationship and it was erased. Then there's the fact that Barry never acts like Iris is his best friend. I even remember a scene where he talks about how thanks to his speed he now has friends in Cisco & Caitlin. Apparently, Iris was just chopped liver before! He says that keeping secrets from her is hard and is hurting him, but he acts unaffected by his actions. You never get the impression that he's tortured by lying and hiding from her, or that he's committing this huge betrayal.  He recruits Eddie, Iris's own boyfriend, to keep the secret from Iris at which point it starts getting ridiculous. And most importantly, not one person in Barry's circle of secret-keepers - not even Iris's "bestie" Felicity - points out to Barry that his being cruel to her. 

The fallout of it is that when Iris finds out Barry is The Flash and is furious at him and Joe, the audience feels alienated from her anger. The show's never acted like Barry and Joe are committing this huge betrayal by lying to her because it didn't establish a relationship where truth is expected --- so Iris just comes across as entitled and unreasonable. Why the heck is her business that Barry is the Flash? Who the heck is she anyway? 

The fact that the showrunners knew what odds Candice/Iris/Westallen were playing against and still stacked the dice against her/WA was deliberately malicious, and not just tone-deafness or "color-blindness".

Edited by Katsullivan.
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1 hour ago, Trini said:

Even if one showrunner was against it, at worst, maybe Iris would be sidelined, but replaced? Unlikely.

Oh I definitely agree that this decision was not unanimous and that's why Westallen succeeded in weathering the storm for as long as it did. But would it never, ever have happened (if AJK stayed on)? I dunno. I'd like to think not. But I've also learnt from a looooot of shows, not to underestimate that racism can be: petty, insidious*, blatant and brutally effective. Just think about all the shows that started out strongly that ended up prematurely cancelling or bleeding ratings because the show-runners basically decided that they'd rather the show fail with white leads than succeed with poc-leads. 

*Sidelining Iris would have eventually led to her being written out. If AJK kept writing her poorly/ giving people reasons to ignore and/or dislike her ... the narrative won't  have been that "the writers aren't doing Iris justice", it would have been "there's a problem with Iris's Character". "They've tried Everything with the Character and the Character is not working". "They can't think of Anything more to do with the Character except to Let Her Go, which would Open A New Chapter in The Flash, an Opportunity to Tell New Stories".

Isn't that what was said about

Spoiler

Abbie on Sleepy Hollow? Or Bonnie Bennett when Vampire Diaries's Julie Plec wanted to write her off? The actress, Kat Graham, had to convince her that Bonnie - the most powerful character on the show, the one from a family who was connected to vampires, werewolves, all the major spells and curses, all the most important people from literally the first immortals (Silas via Quetiyah) - still had a lot of story to tell. Arguably the most important person in the series and Julie wanted to kill her off prematurely. Like I said, never discount the pettiness of racism. 

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It occurs to me that 90 percent of what we know about Iris comes from her family, and that's not much.

You know I wish they had kept Linda Park on the show longer. She wasn't just a coworker, she was actually the only one of Iris' girl friends that we have ever seen, and she could've given us some insight on Iris outside of that family/starlabs context. Also, I liked the actress, Malese Jow, and then there is the fact that 

Spoiler

She's Wally's future wife.

Edited by Whodunnit. Reason: Added the word family
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