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Noelle Stevenson canceled: ‘She-Ra and Princesses of Power’ creator sorry for hurting Black fans on live-stream

Stevenson shared a cartoon caricature related to the writers of the show, which portrayed an inside joke that the Internet alluded to discrimination towards Blacks
Noelle Stevenson (Getty Images)
Noelle Stevenson (Getty Images)

'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’ showrunner and cartoonist Noelle Stevenson apologized after being slammed for a controversial crew livestream. Stevenson, the executive producer and creator of the popular animated television series based on the world of 'She-Ra' -- a character who leads a rebellion to liberate her land of Etheria from the monstrous invaders of the Horde --, has made certain changes in the show in May 2020. NPR reported that Stevenson made one small but crucial change to the show by changing its name to 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' rather than 'Princess of Power'.

Stevenson also reportedly gathered an all-female writing staff to update this team of powerful women writers of the show recently. While previously in the original version, the princesses were “White, skinny and presumably straight,” the new rebellion portrays “women of color.” NPR reported that in the recent version of the show, “There are women in all different shapes and sizes and also love other women.” This change brought much diversity to the show.

However, the ‘diverse’ image got maligned when a cartoon caricature related to the crew of the show surfaced that was shared by Stevenson herself. It portrayed an inside joke that the Internet alluded to discrimination towards Blacks that was talked about in the livestream. As a result, social media users rebuked shows having an all-White writer's room and soon started to slam 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’. The cartoon shows five of the crew members of the show with some wearing farmer’s caps, and others having rugged faces as if they have gone to the fields to work. While it is difficult to decipher who are the five people shown in the cartoon, it has definitely irked fans. 

Posting the cartoon herself, Stevenson tweeted, “Hi. I just want to say that I am so, so sorry for what I said. I f**ked up. This was the image I was referring to, an inside joke with the crew that I didn't think twice about. It was exceedingly careless and I'm sorry for the hurt I caused.” 


This cartoon offended many fans who called out to cancel Stevenson and the show itself. People alleged that several crew members of the show were being prejudiced while having fun and making such cartoons. Fans ridiculed how casually crew members joked about slavery too. Some said that the show’s writer's room shouldn’t have made inside jokes about slavery. A disappointed user tweeted, “I’m not undermining the amount of work and effort that Noelle & the she-ra crew put into giving the explicit representation it needs in animation, but it’s disappointing that the recent she-ra stream showed her and several crew members being that bigoted like... /nothing/.” She further wrote on the microblogging site, “I’m sorry but if it’s that casual to where they all joked on stream about slavery like that without thinking and even had a cishet man use the d slur unprompted and unchecked clearly something is afoot in private!”


An enraged fan wrote, “How are you gonna talk about uplifting POC voices when a member of your crew casually made a joke about slavery.” 


Another concurred, “Hey bestie, explain to me why you and your cracker compadres were making jokes about black people working the fields? you're gonna need to bust out the notes app Noelle this isn't gonna cut it.” 


Some gave some tips to its crew members. “Pro-tip, your white writers' room shouldn’t have inside jokes about slavery. Really bummed about supporting Noelle over the years.” 


Others slammed Stevenson saying this is a serious issue and wanted to cancel her. “This is serious. We have to cancel Noelle Stevenson, I just found out she’s been tracing art from an honest, hard-working artist with a small platform. This is really an unfortunate thing to have to do, to cancel someone like this, but I hope you will join me in defending Netossa.” 


After the condemnation of the cartoon, Noelle Stevenson apologized on Wednesday, August 26, tweeting, “Hey everyone, I made a very careless statement in today's stream that hurt a lot of Black fans and fans of color. The implications did not occur to me and that lapse in judgment is fully, 100% on me. I apologize wholeheartedly and I'm sorry for the hurt caused and trust lost.” 

She continued, “I take the responsibility of creating a safe and positive space for fans very seriously, and I've failed in that today. Thank you for making your voices heard. I will be rededicating myself to examining my language and behavior so that this failure will never be repeated.” She added, “And for white and nonblack fans, please remember that I do not need defending and do not harass or add emotional labor to those hurt by this. I accept the consequences and will be taking serious action to make this right in any way I can.” 



This relieved some fans who accepted her apology and were ready to forgive her. A fan wrote, “I read the entire apology thread, as a black I'd like to say it's hard to accept an apology when you should have known better but thank you for apologizing and I hope you can grow from this experience and improve. I 100% continue to support you and your work.” She added, “Mostly because I don't think you're a bad person, I do think it's a major severe lapse in judgment and what was appropriate.And non-blacks stop accepting this apology pls. It's not yours to accept or forgive. Blacks have to be the one to accept and forgive Noelle if they choose.” 


Others vouched to cancel the regressive idea rather than the creator. “Seriously. Ppl think so many years of racial harassment and we've got paper thin skin when it comes to the topic of racial inside jokes? Like yeah there's some valid discussion to be had about hiring more poc. But that's an idea to discuss not a person to cancel.”