History Main / WhiteMaleLead

11th Aug '17 12:13:32 PM narm00
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* ''Series/DeathinParadise'' has a racially diverse cast, with a black women and two black men as the main characters, as well as several black side characters. The head of the show always ends up being a white man, however, with the arrival of Richard Poole, later replaced by Humphrey Goodman.

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* ''Series/DeathinParadise'' ''Series/DeathInParadise'' has a racially diverse cast, with a black women and two black men as the main characters, as well as several black side characters. The head of the show always ends up being a white man, however, with the arrival of Richard Poole, later replaced by Humphrey Goodman.



** For the run on the classic show, the Doctor was treated as asexual, but the TV movie and the revived series frequently make overtures of the Doctor having sexual tension with his female companions (and pansexual male companion Captain Jack Harkness). There are conflicting stories as to whether Creator/PeterCapaldi (the Twelfth Doctor) wanted to make him aromantic again when he took on the role. What is clear is that initially the show '''seemed''' to be going in that direction in his first season...but by the end of Series 9 it was clear that the Doctor and Clara Oswald's relationship ran '''far''' deeper emotionally than simple friendship (to the point that the season finale has him mocked for claiming she's just his friend, given that he [[spoiler: would risk the universe to bring her back from the grave]]), while the post-season Christmas special was an out-and-out RomanticComedy involving him and River Song, one of his several wives.

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** For the run on the classic show, the Doctor was treated as asexual, but the TV movie and the revived series frequently make overtures of the Doctor having sexual tension with his female companions (and pansexual male companion Captain Jack Harkness).orientation-appropriate companions. There are conflicting stories as to whether Creator/PeterCapaldi (the Twelfth Doctor) wanted to make him aromantic again when he took on the role. What is clear is that initially the show '''seemed''' to be going in that direction in his first season...but by the end of Series 9 it was clear that the Doctor and Clara Oswald's relationship ran '''far''' deeper emotionally than simple friendship (to the point that the season finale has him mocked for claiming she's just his friend, given that he [[spoiler: would risk the universe to bring her back from the grave]]), while the post-season Christmas special was an out-and-out RomanticComedy involving him and River Song, one of his several wives.



* Jim from ''Series/TheOffice'' isn't exactly the only white male at his small paper company in small town Pennsylvania, but he often served as being the young, attractive, savvy [[SitComCharacterArchetypes wisecracker]] who would make fun of the middle aged eccentric losers around him. Naturally, the [[SpotlightStealingSquad spotlight gets stolen from him]] on a regular basis. After a good deal of CharacterizationMarchesOn, he's learned to be NotSoAboveItAll.

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* Jim from ''Series/TheOffice'' ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' isn't exactly the only white male at his small paper company in small town Pennsylvania, but he often served as being the young, attractive, savvy [[SitComCharacterArchetypes wisecracker]] who would make fun of the middle aged eccentric losers around him. Naturally, the [[SpotlightStealingSquad spotlight gets stolen from him]] on a regular basis. After a good deal of CharacterizationMarchesOn, he's learned to be NotSoAboveItAll.



* Subverted in ''Series/DarkMatter'' - the show started out with the most milquetoast white guy in the racially diverse crew acting as the lead and audience sympathy character (he wakes up first and he's the only human character who doesn't have a criminal background). But then at the beginning of season 2, the writers [[spoiler: kill him off (right after a new plot line for him started, no less)]], and then they also [[spoiler: kill off]] another, much less moral recurring character the same actor was playing, just in case you thought he was supposed to take over the lead now that the rest of the crew [[CharacterDevelopment had become more sympathetic.]] And, just to drive the point home, another, new white male character who joins the crew and seems like a replacement in terms of personality gets [[spoiler: killed off even more abruptly]] after a few episodes, with the rest of the crew not even caring to find out what happened to him. A black female character gets to permanently join the regular cast instead. And the Asian female ActionGirl love interest from the first season becomes the primary protagonist (and captain of the ship). By the end of the second season, the only white male character still on the crew is the show's [[Series/((Firefly)) Jayne-expy]], who is perfectly content just being the muscle for "Boss Lady".

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* Subverted in ''Series/DarkMatter'' - the show started out with the most milquetoast white guy in the racially diverse crew acting as the lead and audience sympathy character (he wakes up first and he's the only human character who doesn't have a criminal background). But then at the beginning of season 2, the writers [[spoiler: kill him off (right after a new plot line for him started, no less)]], and then they also [[spoiler: kill off]] another, much less moral recurring character the same actor was playing, just in case you thought he was supposed to take over the lead now that the rest of the crew [[CharacterDevelopment had become more sympathetic.]] And, just to drive the point home, another, new white male character who joins the crew and seems like a replacement in terms of personality gets [[spoiler: killed off even more abruptly]] after a few episodes, with the rest of the crew not even caring to find out what happened to him. A black female character gets to permanently join the regular cast instead. And the Asian female ActionGirl love interest from the first season becomes the primary protagonist (and captain of the ship). By the end of the second season, the only white male character still on the crew is the show's [[Series/((Firefly)) [[Series/{{Firefly}} Jayne-expy]], who is perfectly content just being the muscle for "Boss Lady".
10th Aug '17 2:57:06 PM germanlureag
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No matter how diverse a show's cast or how positive its portrayal of minorities, the lead character will almost always be a conventionally heterosexual, caucasian, vaguely Christian, and often American male. Common wisdom in the Western entertainment industry is that a show or film needs a lead character that the [[MostWritersAreMale target demographic]] can [[LeadYouCanRelateTo identify with]], so this is usually an EnforcedTrope. The Caucasian Male Lead is often TheHero.

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No matter how diverse a show's cast or how positive its portrayal of minorities, the lead character will almost always be a conventionally heterosexual, caucasian, vaguely Christian, and often American male. Common wisdom in the Western entertainment industry is that a show or film needs a lead character that the [[MostWritersAreMale target demographic]] can [[LeadYouCanRelateTo identify with]], with]]. At least in the target of "caucasian men", that despite being a diverse country, are still majority in Hollywood, especially considering the same creators of content are mostly caucasian men, and some think they are more "Identifiable", at least in places where they are majority as in the same country and more "profitable", so this is usually an EnforcedTrope. The Caucasian Male Lead is often TheHero.
10th Aug '17 2:43:03 PM germanlureag
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No matter how diverse a show's cast or how positive its portrayal of minorities, the lead character will almost always be a conventionally attractive, heterosexual, white, vaguely Christian, and often American male. Common wisdom in the Western entertainment industry is that a show or film needs a lead character that the [[MostWritersAreMale target demographic]] can [[LeadYouCanRelateTo identify with]], so this is usually an EnforcedTrope. The White Male Lead is often TheHero.

You may be surprised to learn that this trope has less to do with Western bias (though that's still prevalent, make no mistake) and more to do with [[MoneyDearBoy courting the international dollar]]. In the United States, for example, you're more likely to see female, minority, and LGBT leads in TV shows, where the viewership is mostly domestic. But in big-budget blockbuster films, such actors don't do nearly as well in international markets, particularly China and Russia; blacks and Hispanics aren't seen as relatable to the audiences there, LGBT characters are outright ''banned'' due to the countries' laws against "gay propaganda", and a woman as The Hero might upset social mores depending on the movie. As a result, Western studios often play it safe by casting a plain white male as the lead.

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No matter how diverse a show's cast or how positive its portrayal of minorities, the lead character will almost always be a conventionally attractive, heterosexual, white, caucasian, vaguely Christian, and often American male. Common wisdom in the Western entertainment industry is that a show or film needs a lead character that the [[MostWritersAreMale target demographic]] can [[LeadYouCanRelateTo identify with]], so this is usually an EnforcedTrope. The White Caucasian Male Lead is often TheHero.

You may be surprised to learn that this trope has less to do with Western bias (though that's still prevalent, make no mistake) and more to do with [[MoneyDearBoy courting the international dollar]]. In the United States, for example, you're more likely to see female, minority, and LGBT leads in TV shows, where the viewership is mostly domestic. But in big-budget blockbuster films, such actors don't do nearly as well in international markets, particularly China and Russia; blacks and Hispanics aren't seen as relatable to the audiences there, LGBT characters are outright ''banned'' due to the countries' laws against "gay propaganda", and a woman as The Hero might upset social mores depending on the movie. As a result, Western studios often play it safe by casting a plain white caucasian male as the lead.



Tropers are reminded that '''[[TropesAreNotBad tropes are not always bad]]'''. Many works with white male leads have been praised for their positive portrayals of minority characters. And of course it's a vicious cycle of investors who want to put their money in a sure thing and studios who want to have something to point at to seem like they know what's going to sell; there's no one group to blame.

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Tropers are reminded that '''[[TropesAreNotBad tropes are not always bad]]'''. Many works with white male leads have been praised for their positive portrayals of minority characters. And of course it's a vicious cycle of investors who want to put their money in a sure thing and studios who want to have something to point at to seem like they know what's going to sell; "sell". It is also due to self-insertion, whether from the same creators, writers or producers who are mostly Caucasian men in Hollywood; there's no one group to blame.
9th Aug '17 9:36:12 PM PaulA
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* In the original novel ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'', the narrator is the Native American Chief Bromden. The film version centers on the white male Randle P. [=McMurphy=] without any narration from the Chief. This is a case of PragmaticAdaptation, because Chief Bromden is a SupportingProtagonist who does not speak for the vast majority of the film (and it's a surprise reveal in the movie that he actually can), while the main conflict in both the book and the film revolves around [=McMurphy=] and Nurse Ratched, not Chief.

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* In the original novel ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'', ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'', the narrator is the Native American Chief Bromden. [[Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest The film version version]] centers on the white male Randle P. [=McMurphy=] without any narration from the Chief. This is a case of PragmaticAdaptation, because Chief Bromden is a SupportingProtagonist who does not speak for the vast majority of the film (and it's a surprise reveal in the movie that he actually can), while the main conflict in both the book and the film revolves around [=McMurphy=] and Nurse Ratched, not Chief.
9th Aug '17 8:25:39 PM PaulA
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** It's worth noting that Marvel's various TV shows are much more diverse, with only two, ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' and ''Series/IronFist2017'', starring a white man. ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has an ensemble cast that includes multiple women and people of color (and the character who most resembles a standard WhiteMaleLead [[spoiler:turning out to be TheMole]]), ''Series/AgentCarter'' stars Peggy Carter, and the ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' and ''Series/{{Luke Cage|2016}}'' series star a woman and a black man, respectively. This isn't too surprising, since the small screen is generally better than the big at featuring women and minority characters in lead roles. However, the casting of ''Iron Fist'' is considered a huge setback due to the protagonist being white just like in the comics and learning martial arts from foreign people.

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** It's worth noting that Marvel's various TV shows are much more diverse, with only two, ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' diverse. ''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}'' and ''Series/IronFist2017'', starring ''Series/{{Iron Fist|2017}}'' star a white man. man, and ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has an ensemble cast that includes multiple women and people of color (and the character who most resembles but is led by a standard WhiteMaleLead [[spoiler:turning out to be TheMole]]), white man; but ''Series/AgentCarter'' stars Peggy Carter, and the ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' ''Series/{{Jessica Jones|2015}}'' and ''Series/{{Luke Cage|2016}}'' series star a woman and a black man, respectively. This isn't too surprising, since the small screen is generally better than the big at featuring women and minority characters in lead roles. However, the casting of ''Iron Fist'' is considered a huge setback due to the protagonist being white just like in the comics and learning martial arts from foreign people.
20th Jul '17 1:35:48 PM narm00
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** All the Doctors through Creator/PeterCapaldi (Twelfth) were white males, even though it has been stated and shown that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There had long been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degraded into accusations that it would be wrecked. The announcement in 2017 that the Thirteenth Doctor would be Creator/JodieWhittaker, a white woman, caused the notoriously UnpleasableFanbase to erupt and [[BrokenBase break]] -- some were overjoyed, some would rather have had a male Doctor of an alternate race, some wanted a non-white woman, ''many'' wanted another white man and said the show was RuinedForever.

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** All the Doctors through Creator/PeterCapaldi (Twelfth) were white males, even though it has been stated and shown was eventually confirmed during Creator/StevenMoffat's tenure that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There had long been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's who've considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degraded into accusations that it would be wrecked. The announcement in 2017 that the Thirteenth Doctor would be Creator/JodieWhittaker, a white woman, caused the notoriously UnpleasableFanbase to erupt and [[BrokenBase break]] -- some were overjoyed, some would rather have had a male Doctor of an alternate race, some wanted a non-white woman, ''many'' and a ''very'' vocal minority wanted another white man and said the show was RuinedForever.RuinedForever. (The British public, judging by polls, were generally neutral or positive to the idea.)
20th Jul '17 5:14:47 AM Sapphirea2
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** All the Doctors through Creator/PeterCapaldi (Twelfth) were white males, even though it has been stated and shown that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There had long been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degraded into accusations that it would be wrecked. The announcement in 2017 that the Thirteenth Doctor would be Creator/JosieWhittaker, a white woman, caused the notoriously UnpleasableFanbase to erupt and [[BrokenBase break]] -- some were overjoyed, some would rather have had a male Doctor of an alternate race, some wanted a non-white woman, ''many'' wanted another white man and said the show was RuinedForever

to:

** All the Doctors through Creator/PeterCapaldi (Twelfth) were white males, even though it has been stated and shown that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There had long been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degraded into accusations that it would be wrecked. The announcement in 2017 that the Thirteenth Doctor would be Creator/JosieWhittaker, Creator/JodieWhittaker, a white woman, caused the notoriously UnpleasableFanbase to erupt and [[BrokenBase break]] -- some were overjoyed, some would rather have had a male Doctor of an alternate race, some wanted a non-white woman, ''many'' wanted another white man and said the show was RuinedForeverRuinedForever.
20th Jul '17 5:12:20 AM Sapphirea2
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** All the Doctors so far have been white males, even though it has been stated and shown that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There's been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degrades into accusations that it would be wrecked.

to:

** All the Doctors so far have been through Creator/PeterCapaldi (Twelfth) were white males, even though it has been stated and shown that Time Lords can change race and sex when they [[TheNthDoctor regenerate]]. There's regenerate]]. There had long been debate among fans -- and indeed, Creator/{{the BBC}}, who's considered black actors for the role -- of getting a female or alternate race in, but this quickly degrades degraded into accusations that it would be wrecked.wrecked. The announcement in 2017 that the Thirteenth Doctor would be Creator/JosieWhittaker, a white woman, caused the notoriously UnpleasableFanbase to erupt and [[BrokenBase break]] -- some were overjoyed, some would rather have had a male Doctor of an alternate race, some wanted a non-white woman, ''many'' wanted another white man and said the show was RuinedForever
16th Jul '17 5:06:01 PM JJHIL325
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* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', in which the titular character is both female and the universe's equivalent of an Inuit [[spoiler:and confirmed via WordOfGod as not straight]]. Notable because in doing so, the creators risked the GirlShowGhetto in addition to the obvious {{Animation Age Ghetto}}, though the former proved to averted when young boys responded very positively to the character during initial test screenings, and the show's first season proved popular enough to be renewed for three additional seasons.

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* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', in which the titular character is both female and the universe's equivalent of an Inuit [[spoiler:and confirmed via WordOfGod as not straight]].a [[BiTheWay bisexual]]]]. Notable because in doing so, the creators risked the GirlShowGhetto in addition to the obvious {{Animation Age Ghetto}}, though the former proved to averted when young boys responded very positively to the character during initial test screenings, and the show's first season proved popular enough to be renewed for three additional seasons.
15th Jul '17 4:18:12 PM nombretomado
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* Creator/ChristianBale played a funeral director in ''[[http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/12/22/christian-bale-nanjing-heroes/ Nanjing Heroes]]'' (Now called ''Flowers of War''), a story about the Nanjing Massacre during WorldWarII. Fortunately, there ''were'' many foreigners in China prior to the rise of communism. This example is unusual in that the movie was made by a Chinese studio.

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* Creator/ChristianBale played a funeral director in ''[[http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/12/22/christian-bale-nanjing-heroes/ Nanjing Heroes]]'' (Now called ''Flowers of War''), a story about the Nanjing Massacre during WorldWarII.UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Fortunately, there ''were'' many foreigners in China prior to the rise of communism. This example is unusual in that the movie was made by a Chinese studio.
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