Crunchyroll congratulated Megan Thee Stallion on her Grammy wins, much to the dismay of some anime fans who are pressed about a fellow anime fan's achievements.
March 15, 2021 What makes Megan so different compared to any other celebrity thats loved themselves some Blue Exorcist? I ask in tired Black woman. It amazes me how the anime community can go from wanting more people to acknowledge how amazing anime is to badmouthing someone who um likes anime. It is always, without a doubt, for the most obnoxious reasons, too. Ugh, I bet they watch the popular series, or Oh, you started out with Toonami? Well I used to spend $40 on a single VHS tape or Its because animes more mainstream, shes doing it for clout. Yes. Because one thing Megan Thee Stallion is lacking. Is clout. Ive written about the gatekeepingthat goes on in the community and so have several others so believe me when I say that every couple of months yet another person (or several persons) decides that a popular Black woman in entertainment isnt a real anime fan The kinda hilarious thing is that these naysayers will do this while bemoaning the fact that theyre a loner nerd that no one understands, their love for anime stopping people from talking with them. Heres the truth: Its not the anime that keeps folks away from you, random commenter who had the thought-provoking response of ew to a Black anime fangirls achievements in the music industry. Its the fact that youre an asshole. Megan gets the brunt of it because shes an unapologetic Black woman who loves anime. Shell rock Jojos Bizarre Adventure nails and slip Sasukes name in a verse. This should be seen as a positive because, holy wow, instead of tucking away that bag full of enamel pins this woman is like, This is who I am. I spent years seeing this idea that geekiness was something to hide. You worry about having anime Funko Pops in your cubicle even if other folks have their favorite things in theirs. You dont talk about how you write fanfic. You dont tell the person at JoAnns that your fabric is for cosplay. Like. I used to work at GameStop and get weird looks for taking time off to go to an anime convention. Let that sink in for a moment: I worked at a VIDEO GAME STORE and had coworkers who questioned my love for ANIME. Add the supposedly good narrative of being treated like some special, otherworldly being for being a Black girl who likes anime, being told that youre not like the other girlsyou know, the ones who look like Megan Thee Stallion? Come to find out I couldve been hanging out with those girls and watching Yu Yu Hakusho the whole time. To see someone with such a huge spotlight on them embrace the geek community should be great, and yet here we are, watching folks jump into Crunchyrolls/Megans mentions using ironic-ass anime PFPs because theres no way in HELL Izuku Midoriya would stand for this. Both of the tweets I shared highlight two levels of frustration for me when it comes to being a Black woman in this space. First and foremost, the fact that I just KNOW that whenever Megan Thee Stallion, or any Black woman, mentions any sort of love for anime there will be someone who comes at them the wrong way. Being a Black woman in this space means simultaneously loving when your work is shared, and fearing it because you expect harassment. Facing harassment sucks, but knowing that youre gonna face harassment over something you cant control (the color of your skin) adds a feeling I cant even describe. Everyone talks about how the geek community is an escape from the bullshit in the real world, but you know what? Racism doesnt pause because youre suddenly talking about SK8 the Infinity or Jujutsu Kaisen. Its especially frustrating when youre asked What can we do to improve things? because that sounds like a nice gesture, but what ends up happening is my second level of frustration. Oftentimes, when we talk about the discrimination that happens in the anime community, were told that were blowing it out of proportion, its not that serious, were making it up for attention, were somehow instigating the hostility ourselves, and my favorite tip of all: ignore it. Honestly, what did Megan do in this situation? Besides win some awards and have a company shes worked with congratulate her? Being told to just ignore something that you had no hand in causing, but the hate is coming at you anyway, is exhausting. In a perfect world, I could look forward to another Megan Thee Stallion anime post without the haters. I could watch my favorite companies share a Black woman and praise her. But, well, I know thats not gonna be the case. So all I can do is hope that anime fans can realize how unnecessarily hostile some folks are toward Black women and work to champion them, and defend them (especially if theyre the ones sharing them), reminding them that they are welcome in this space. Congratulations on your wins, Megan. I hope you celebrate by binge-watching another anime series. (Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) Want more stories like this?