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Homer

Miami Hurricane — On asexuality, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and representation

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Homer
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In recent times, support and representation for those in the LBGTQ+ community have been increasing. No longer are people ignorant to (most of) the struggles the community faces. No longer are we letting the f slur and other homophobic comments fly. Though there is still avid anti-gay rhetoric, no one can deny the existence of those who are LGBTQ+. But while we have been focusing on the more prominent members of the community, we have forgotten an important and often misunderstood group: those who identify as asexual.

Oct 30, 2019 — https://www.themiamihurricane.com/2019/10/30/on-asexuality-the-big-bang-theory-and-representation/

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Duke Memphis

I love The Big Bang Theory, and I think they did a great job with writing Sheldon as the odd duck, but they did a horrible job with his labels, which they completely disregarded. I believe that at a certain point in he show, they realized they wrote themselves into a corner with Sheldon.

 

He's a very complex and intriguing character, pretty well-written for the most part to give him his individuality, but he's a horrible representation of anything. How his character is written seems a disgrace to the ace, autistic, genius, and nerd labels by consistently reinforcing negative stereotypes throughout the show. Those four labels can exist on their own or with each other, and there isn't really a "cause" or "cure" for any of them, but The Big Bang Theory just lumps them all together pretty poorly and calls it his "quirk".

 

Even without giving Sheldon an official coming out in the show, he and Amy did an internet show called Fun With Flags, where they discussed the histories, designs, and trivia about different flags from around the world. With that opportunity, they could've taken the opportunity to do a special Fun With Pride Flags or something where they tentatively venture into explaining the flags (including the ace flag) in a nonnegative, unbiased way, leaving viewers to judge Sheldon's character in a fresh perspective.

 

Maybe the others in the main cast could've watched the special episode from the hallway and finally fully accepted Sheldon's identity as one episode of Fun With Flags goes without mistake or interruption, adding to the more serious and understanding tone of the show that it showed it was capable of multiple times. We didn't get even that.

 

Tirade over.

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Lunala
1 hour ago, Duketor Memphenstein said:

How his character is written seems a disgrace to the ace, autistic, genius, and nerd labels by consistently reinforcing negative stereotypes throughout the show. Those four labels can exist on their own or with each other, and there isn't really a "cause" or "cure" for any of them, but The Big Bang Theory just lumps them all together pretty poorly and calls it his "quirk".

*sigh* I'm all four of these labels and I personally hate The Big Bang Theory because of this annoying walking ball of negative stereotypes. I know some people with some/all the same labels as myself like the show and characters (and others - including me don't), but I personally just want to clobber Bazinga Man over the head with a chainsaw so he stops spreading bad stereotypes about people like myself.

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LilDaKittieKat

I love Big Bang Theory, but I hate how there is not diversity in it. There’s also Sheldon. He’s the pessimist, among a group of generally happy people. It’s really annoying to me seeing everyone being so happy and then Sheldon with his pessimistic comments. It’s really aggravating to have a great show like this, with so many unfilled holes that no one really want to address, so they’re never fixed. The most diversity is one Indian person. That’s all. On the issue of Sheldon, the show would be a lot better if there was someone other than Sheldon with pessimistic comments to balance it out more.

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Ennis

I've never liked the big bang theory - fair enough, it's not my type of humour. Watching these critiques however made me realise that I don't just dislike the show...

Spoiler

 

 

 

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KrysLost

Where do they explicitly state Sheldon is autistic or ace? If it's not outright said then he's not really representation. It's more or less implied he's a genius with terrible social skills, is egocentric, and childish. Sure he definitely seems on the aspie spec but his character development was focused on becoming less egocentric. I would just say he was never meant to be representation in the first place and was meant to be "quirky".

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Duke Memphis
40 minutes ago, KrysLost said:

Where do they explicitly state Sheldon is autistic or ace? If it's not outright said then he's not really representation. It's more or less implied he's a genius with terrible social skills, is egocentric, and childish. Sure he definitely seems on the aspie spec but his character development was focused on becoming less egocentric. I would just say he was never meant to be representation in the first place and was meant to be "quirky".

I've read that many people see a lot of Sheldon's mannerisms and thinking patterns as those that are typical of someone with autism, likely Asperger's, and the show tries to deny it and cover it by ridiculing Sheldon as a joke. As for the ace part, Sheldon explicitly stated that he had no interest. The labels, though, are only headcanons by people who have taken a close look at Sheldon, so your points are fair, especially with his character development. 

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KrysLost
1 minute ago, Duketor Memphenstein said:

I've read that many people see a lot of Sheldon's mannerisms and thinking patterns as those that are typical of someone with autism, likely Asperger's, and the show tries to deny it and cover it by ridiculing Sheldon as a joke. As for the ace part, Sheldon explicitly stated that he had no interest. The labels, though, are only headcanons by people who have taken a close look at Sheldon, so your points are fair, especially with his character development. 

Thank you. It's just important to keep in mind what the creator's intentions were and I highly doubt it was to be representation. Thus we shouldn't look at it as representation. (I do wish Sheldon had been a proper aspie but if you're looking for one take a look at Near from Death Note.)

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DarkStormyKnight

Can't stand the Big Bang Theory for many reasons, their handling of sexuality is just one of them. Good article on why it sucks though!

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