Stephen King's forthcoming release of a film adaptation of his successful 1986 book "It" is under serious scrutiny from a university progressive who feels that the movie is both racist and misogynistic.
The College Fix on Monday reported that Regina Hansen, a scholar from Boston University, said that both King's book and the upcoming release are a social issue, because the film's protagonists are "white, straight, and able-bodied."
Hansen, in an article published over the summer for Science Fiction Film and Television for Project MUSE, said that the "white male underdog characters" only have their heroic qualities "at least in part through the marginalization of female characters, black characters, gay characters, and characters with disabilities."
“While this heroic underdog character is in some ways a challenge to traditional concepts of hegemonic masculinity,” Hansen wrote, “the challenge is incomplete, in that he remains white, straight and able-bodied.”
Hansen added that King's bevy of straight, white, male protagonists "can be vexing, especially for non-white, female, or queer readers."
The problem with Hansen's remarks
In many of King's books — namely "The Dark Tower" series and "Mr. Mercedes" — strong supporting characters are empowered people of color, and in the case of "The Dark Tower," female, as well as non-white.
In King's "The Stand," iconic Jesus Christ/Mother Teresa-type figure, Mother Abigail, is a black woman who calls forth and brings together pious remaining survivors of a worldwide plague to effectively strike down the Devil himself.
While "It" is rife with racial epithets, hurled at one of the book's black main characters, Mike Hanlon, Hanlon is — once again — the downtrodden person of color who rises up and unites his friends against evil.
The majority of King's books, spanning over several decades, are nothing if not chock-full of diverse characters from all walks of life.