Dear Listeners, today we’re here to bring up a serious matter. It is in regards to our new affiliate rule, explaining exactly why it was put into place, and also apologizing for something we did.
Firstly, we wish to apologize for our ‘swapped’ event. The aim was not to be harmful, and we did not wish to be dismissive in the slightest when anons came to us. By making it optional to all of our members and by trying to use as careful language as we could, we thought we weren’t stepping on any toes. However, we understand how hurtful that event was, and we formally apologize for all of it.
Secondly, for those who are not aware, we have added a rule for affiliates. All it states, is that to affiliate with us, you must be diverse. We ask that at the very least 30% of your characters be People of Color. We’d like to state that this is less than 1/3, all we’re are asking for is that 1/3 of a cast of characters in a roleplay be non-white. That shouldn’t be too much to ask for as it is what we see everyday of our lives. If we all want to be realistic and accurate, shouldn’t we represent what we see on a day to day basis? Shouldn’t everyone be represented? We do not want people to feel bad because they do not see others similar to them represented in a roleplay. We are not calling anyone any names or throwing out ideas of blatant racism, we understand that there is no hurtful intent in the choosing of faceclaims. We are simply saying that perhaps we should all try a little harder to be more aware of who we are putting forth and calling diverse. We do this to promote diversity, because this is what we stand for at Barton Hollow. We don’t wish to be like Hollywood, who insists on white washing our media. And while we ourselves are not perfect and constantly aim to change any mistakes we make (i.e. Rinko Kikuchi was cast as Kiko Mizuhara’s mother for months because we didn’t properly look up Kiko’s ethnic background. This has been fixed and we are thankful that it was brought to light), we try our absolute hardest to represent as much as we can. And we’re constantly trying to improve, which is what we think the entire roleplay community on tumblr should be striving for. The aim is for representation, because it does matter.
We want to help bring the roleplay community to the point where this isn’t a discussion, and in no way, shape or form consider ourselves a front runner in this. We are nothing but a small pebble, but we aim to support every other small pebble like us.
This being said, we do not disrespect, or shame any roleplay that does not meet this requirement. We respect any roleplay that has time and effort put into it, and agree with everyone that story and originality is something that should be appreciated and that should overall make a roleplay amazing. In no way do we not think our old affiliates aren’t amazing roleplays; this is why we were once affiliated with them! We still think they are amazing roleplays, and we still wish them the best, but we think promoting a more accurately diverse roleplay community is also important. Overall, we are disappointed with the whole of the roleplay community, but it doesn’t mean we don’t admire brilliant world building and time put into a roleplay. We just believe there shouldn’t be an uproar when someone decides to stand up for diversity and representation, and that if you realize you are lacking you should simply try to change.
We should all strive to find faceclaims who embrace every culture, ethnicity and gender (male, female, non-binary). We should stop throwing it under the rug when people say that caring so much about this has gotten out of hand. If we lose affiliates, or members, or support for our stance, we have no problem with this. If no one takes our more diverse characters and we end up dying out, we do this with pride because we know we stood up for the right thing. The point is that we still represented them, and that is the correct thing to do. We will continue to try to improve in this aspect every single day that this roleplay is open, and now research every single faceclaim we come across so that any issues with accuracy do not crop up again.
We want to be seen as a roleplay that is safe and inclusive. We try our absolute hardest not to use ableist slurs, and to represent all parts of the LGBTQIA society that perhaps aren’t as represented in other roleplays. We want anyone to be able to click onto our roleplay and find someone that feels the same things they do, or looks the same way, or thinks. What we really want, is for everyone to feel like they have a place and that they’re important.
That is all, and we ask you all to keep any problems you have with our decision between us. Have a wonderful day, and try not to get eaten by a flying alligator; they’re especially feisty this time of year.
The BH Admin Team