Minority representation in media is a tricky thing. Usually, with most media the majority is represented pretty well with minorities fighting for airtime. And with historically-oppressed minorities, you want to have the portrayal be as positive as possible. So what is a writer to do?
Just simply make them more rational!
Closer to Earth is a specific form of Positive Discrimination
in which the minority character is portrayed as more sensible and down to earth than The Hero
, usually played by a member in the majority. This trope is more prevalent in Western media, particularly with works with the White Male Lead
. The minority will usually be the moral center
of the work and dish out plenty of reasonable advice. They're level-headed and rational and will
give the main lead a good talking to when they act out of line. They're always there with a shoulder to cry on. Flaws? They don't usually have any. They're only usually there just to help the main character.
The idea is noble, but in practice it can be annoying. Despite the good intentions, it can come with Unfortunate Implications
. There's the implication that the White Male Lead
can't do anything right without the guidance of the humble minority there to help them. Also, the minority himself/herself is usually a Flat Character
with no sort of drive or purpose in the story besides helping the clueless Caucasian lead. So in an effort to not offend anyone, this trope can indeed harbor its own offensiveness.