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Politically Correct Villain

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"Back off! I only bully Neil Tuesdays, Thursdays, and nondenominational holidays. I understand he celebrates the sabbath."
Nurf, Camp Camp

This odd counterpart to the more common Politically Incorrect Villain sees no problem with killing, plundering, double-crossing and handing in their library books too late... but they're very concerned with it all being done in an enlightened, progressive manner, without falling prey to racism, sexism or other despicable attitudes. They will insist on Equal-Opportunity Evil, and sternly rebuke any of their fellow villains who fail to do the same.


The trope can be played in a few different ways:

  1. For horror/Black Comedy, showing that the villain has such Skewed Priorities that they honestly think that using a racial slur is far worse than the gross bodily harm they routinely inflict on people and that they're generally insane and unpredictable.
  2. For humour, portraying villains as behaving very much like regular people, with what they do for a living not being a hindrance to them having political opinions of whatever sort.
  3. In Lighter and Softer works, to highlight that Even Evil Has Standards, with the world-conquering supervillain being above such things as petty bigotry.
  4. Perhaps the conflict is one where there aren't real good or bad guys, and one side being somewhat shady but open-minded demonstrates that.
  5. The writers want to deliver their Aesop more straightforwardly that day — "Hey, kids! Racism is so evil that even the Card-Carrying Villain who gleefully slaughters innocent people by the dozen For the Evulz thinks it's unacceptable! So don't be racist!"
  6. To showcase that the antagonist is a Well-Intentioned Extremist, whose goal is to create a world where everyone is as open-minded as they are, no matter the cost.
  7. To showcase how hypocritical they are. Sure, they think calling someone with a racial slur is incredibly awful, but the fact still stands that they are willing and able to destroy their livelihoods (when they are not plotting outright murder) nevertheless, or think saying certain racial slur to some people is bad but acts racist against another group because on his mind it's not racist to discriminate on basis on race in that case.
  8. Cycle of Revenge, where the villain specifically targets bigots under the delusion they were born racist and sexist, making them not that different from the "monsters" they had sworn to fight.

When played for laughs, will often be shown indulging in Political Overcorrectness. Polar opposite to the Politically Incorrect Hero and Noble Bigot, who don't give two craps about being sensitive, but are very firmly against more blatant and unambiguous acts of evil. Compare and contrast Enlightened Antagonist, who also combines "good" beliefs with "bad" actions, but whose "goodness" is of a more cosmic and timeless kind.

Note that a villain who simply isn't prejudiced does not qualify for this trope - that's just regular Equal-Opportunity Evil. The villain must actively take a stand against prejudice. Nor is it enough for someone to be politically correct and portrayed in a bad light for it - that's just a Straw Liberal. The definition of this trope is a character who is in some sense a villain, but who is still oddly concerned with being politically correct about it.


Since this is a villain trope, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Moriarty the Patriot: The goal of the Moriarty Brothers, especially the criminal mastermind William, is to end the class division and the abuse of power by the nobility, all to protect the commoners and establish equality in Victorian England. In addition, they accept James Bond, a trans male Irene Adler, as a man and expect no one to argue against it.
  • The League of Villains from My Hero Academia have shades of this from time to time. Not only do they not discriminate by age, gender, or background when recruiting new members, they also have two LGBT members, Toga Himiko (who is openly bisexual) and Magne (who's a trans woman). All of the latter's comrades gender her properly and get really pissed when someone fails to do so. They even have a cute nickname for her: Magu-nee (Japanese)/Big Sis Mag (English dub). This of course ties into their rhetoric of accepting people who have been marginalized and forgotten by society because of different forms of bigotry, whether it be how destructive their powers are, physical deformities, felony records, psychological ableism, transphobia, homophobia, or good old fashioned sexism.
  • The dub's version of ADAM in Sk8 the Infinity Zig-Zags this trope during one scene in which he greets a crowd with "HEY, BITCHES, BROS AND NONBINARY HOES!" which is a crasser version of the greeting "guys, gals and nonbinary pals". Kudos to him for acknowledging the existence of nonbinary people, not so much for calling women 'bitches'.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle: Queen Raffi's goal is to create a nation where women are treated equally to men, and she's at odds with the sexist Old Empire faction. She also averts being a Straw Feminist, as shown by how she takes advice from Fugil and respects Lux despite his opposition to her methods. While her goals are noble, she intends to achieve them by having Fugil use <Endless> to manipulate everyone's perception so she can take out her political enemies with no repercussion.


    Comic Books 
  • Empowered has a few.
    • Wet Blanket is so called for his ability to nullify the superpowers of heroes... and also for his habit of constantly whining about how his fellow supervillains are being too crude and sexist.
    • Mechamamba sees nothing wrong with literally buying a captured superheroine like a piece of meat and then killing as many civilians as it will take to make her go along with his demands, but he considers voting Republican to be beyond the pale. note  His Republican-voting partner Zappatista might be considered a libertarian version, as he tries to mollify Mechamamba by claiming that he's "not a social conservative" and also justifies his voting choice as a principled stand against high taxes.
    • Le Chevalier Blanc considers himself a Knight in Shining Armor trying to protect poor, innocent superheroines from a world that exploits and objectifies them... by putting them into suspended animation until the day when he's managed to completely eradicate sexism (which he's sure won't take him more than a few years or so!). After she manages to free herself, Emp makes it clear what she thinks of "allies" like him.
  • Oxymoron: When Oxymoron tries to find some contradiction in Nice Girl Agent Deborah's past as an excuse to murder her, all he could find was the rather lame "former small-town girl who is also a lesbian". He acknowledges that it takes a pretty backward mindset to declare her an oxymoron on that basis.
  • In Mockingbird #8 (2016), the Phantom Rider summons a horde of ghost pirates and tells them to kill the passengers on a cruise but leave Bobbi alive. The ghost pirates assert that they're not comfortable with this because they're progressive feminists, call the Rider out for stereotyping them, and leave.


  • Kurtz from Dreamcatcher, upon learning that one of his soldiers have referred to The Grays as "space niggers," shoots the soldier in the leg and then gives him a passionate lecture — while the soldier is writhing in agony on the ground — about how while they are certainly going to exterminate the aliens, they are going to do so in accordance with the army's established standards of racial sensitivity.
  • At one point in Otherland, two minor villains — a General Ripper and a Corrupt Corporate Executive — are discussing their plans, and the general asks what the boys in the executive's tech branch has come up with to help them. The executive playfully berates the general for being so old-fashioned, pointing out that many of his techs are in fact girls.
  • Okuyyuki has an unsympathetic general who covers up the protagonist's heroism and destroys his CO's career for bringing attention to it, because this sort of red-blooded action will look bad for the Army with the media. Downplayed a little, in that he does not appear to personally care much for the ideology, but he still adheres scrupulously to it because this is what his political masters expect of him.
  • And Then There Were None: Emily Brent is the one who castigates Lombard for leaving his fellow soldiers to die just because they were natives.
  • In the Left Behind series, Antichrist President Evil Nicolae Carpathia preaches against religious intolerance (in the sense of those mean Christians denigrating other religions, of course) and in favor of anti-racism, international understanding, and world peace, and works hard to make abortion more easily available. Yeah, bit of a Straw Liberal here, too, since it's presumed Carpathia is just doing this for show to enable his rule rather than out of genuine conviction.
  • Zigzagged in Worm during a supervillain sit-down at the Bad-Guy Bar. Kaiser (who leads the openly Neo-Nazi group Empire Eighty-Eight) pointedly does not allow Skidmark a seat at the table. Skidmark angrily assumes it's because he's black, but Kaiser then clarifies that it's because he's a drug-addled halfwit who has no business sitting at the table with the other major players in Brockton Bay. The other villain bosses at the table (who are not racist and despise Kaiser, while grudgingly acknowledging his competence,) agree with him on this, including one of them who is black himself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • General Grimm from The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Red-Eyed Madmen" manages to be this and a politically incorrect villain at the same time. He's A Nazi by Any Other Name who wants to take over the American Southwest and place it under strict military rule, but he believes in gender equality; his militia includes several women, one of whom is his dragon.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look: General Drayfox, who's careful to specify that while other people have to kneel before him, he'll allow Orthodox Jews (who object for religious reasons) other means for making their obeisances. He's thus horrified by the Politically Incorrect Hero sent to oppose him, Captain Todger, whose emblem is a crude penis drawing and was in prison for statutory rape.
  • Audra Levine from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an Amoral Attorney and Rebecca's Sitcom Archnemesis, but she's a liberal and a card-carrying member of the ACLU - even in the midst of viciously insulting each other, she and Rebecca agree that they're both "progressive as hell." If you consider Rebecca to be a Villain Protagonist, that makes her another example.
  • In the tv adaptation of American Gods, Technical Boy has the protagonist, Shadow Moon, beaten and nearly hanged by his henchmen. The other New Gods, Media and Mr. World are furious with him and make him apologize...because a supernatural being with the appearance of a white man ordering a black man to be beaten and lynched is rife with Unfortunate Implications!
  • The Punisher (2017) has a rare example of a character who is both this trope and The Fundamentalist. John Pilgrim in Season 2 is genuinely contrite about his past as a white supremacist, at one point telling Curtis (a black man) that while he would once have despised him on sight, he can now see him clearly and respect him as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Angel once encountered a warlock named Spanky who enjoyed spanking people. He didn't spank men but was careful to make clear that that wasn't a value judgment against anyone who did, he just wasn't into it. He was also perfectly willing to place a city-destroying magical bomb inside a child's head.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Baron Zemo, like Sam Wilson, is a fan of the Trouble Man soundtrack, calling it “...a masterpiece. Complete. Comprehensive. It captures the African-American experience.” Sam then remarks "He's out of line, but he's right." Later on, he berates Sam for stereotyping his disguise as Smiling Tiger as that of a pimp, claiming he's just a "fashion-forward black man".
  • In Boardwalk Empire, Meyer Lansky is generally presented as Equal-Opportunity Evil as a sympathetic trait, but this quality is also humorously showcased in one episode where Lansky and Bugsy Siegel are shown carting around "Fat Buddha" statues. After Siegel contemptuously comments, "They pray to that fat fuck?", an offended Lansky retorts, "It's a symbol of spirituality." Lansky then smashes a statue to get at the smuggled heroin inside.
  • Breaking Bad: Mike Ehrmantraut considers assassinating Lydia Rodart-Quayle after she puts a hit out on him and the employees from his boss's old operation he was protecting. He lets her live against his better judgment, only to arrive at a situation where (it appears) she tries to backstab him and his partners again. He acknowledges that if she weren't a woman he would have probably already killed her, then berates one of his partners for giving her a pass on the same grounds.
    Mike: And now you're being sexist. This woman deserves to die as much as any man I've ever met!
  • Deconstructed in Cobra Kai: Season 3 sees both Kreese and Hawk use politically correct terminology while in public and correcting people who don't, but they're not doing it out of genuine concern for marginalized groups. They're doing it so they can bill themselves in a positive light and manipulate the people who champion inclusive terminology into siding with them instead of the protagonists. It's part of the show's general criticism of Political Correctness, in this case showing that just because a person uses the right buzzwords, it doesn't mean they're actually enlightened or compassionate.
  • Peacemaker (2022): Parodied. In the first episode the Vigilante Man Villain Protagonist asks a janitor if he's ever heard of him. The janitor has and is angered that he's talking to an unapologetic murderer... who kills a higher percentage of minority criminals than white ones, saying his ratio is suspiscious. Peacemaker is taken aback by the accusation and promises to try harder to find white criminals to kill (rather than just, for example, not extrajudicially murdering people at all). The janitor is satisfied by this.
  • Stargirl (2020): The Injustice Society want to create a New America where everyone embraces their ideals, such as... renewable power, universal healthcare, and an end to racial, gender and sexual-orientation discrimination. The heroes are somewhat conflicted over this. On the other hand, the villains have no compunctions about killing anyone who stand in their way, whether they're children, allies, the children of allies or anyone else, and their master plan has a projected death count of 25 million. To be fair, absolutely none of those killings were discrimination-based.
  • Parodied in Key & Peele with the "Feminist Pirate Shanty" sketch, in which pirates sing sea shanties of such things as consent, female empowerment and being pro-choice... because their Captain will shoot anyone who sings songs that offends her.

  • In a Dragon humour article on followers, presented as a discussion panel between several high-level characters, the gnome ranger makes several offensive comments about the female rogue, then claims they were said by the Obviously Evil NPC sorcerer. The sorcerer responds "Just because I'm evil, doesn't mean I'm chauvinist."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sputnik Monroe is most famous for staging a public unsanctioned match where he beat the piss out of the friend of a cowboy who once knocked Monroe down for trying to ambush him. He was the most hated heel in Memphis during his day. However, Monroe was also famous for being arrested several times for "drinking with coloreds" in an age where racial segregation was law and was defended by black lawyers in every court case. For this reason, young fans and black fans were willing to look past Monroe's faults.
  • When Athena was a heel she openly welcomed insults from the fans, as it only motivated her to hit back harder. She only drew the line at ethnic slurs, believing there wasn't any need for that in society.

    Video Games 
  • The leader of the Middle Eastern Terrorists group al-Qatala in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) has an establishing character moment in the first minute of the game where he specifies that his group is completely secular. It's also shown later in the game that he has women fighting in the ranks of his group on equal footing. Needless to say, the odds of such a group arising in reality are extremely low.
  • While Zachary Comstock in BioShock Infinite is a Politically Incorrect Villain when it comes to race and just generally an awful person, he has apparently also preached against the evils of misogyny and told his followers that it's one of the sins of "the Sodom Below". It may or may not be self-serving, though — since he plans to have his daughter succeed him as ruler of Colombia, he has practical reasons to not tolerate any sexist nonsense.
  • When Rhys goes undercover as macho-man Corrupt Corporate Executive Vasquez in Tales from the Borderlands, he can choose to try to act the part to a pair of Hyperion's Faceless Mooks. The results are... not what he expected.
    Rhys: Sup ladies? Whatcha been doing? Talking about boys?
    Captain: [icily] No. Just discussing casual misogyny and how it manifests in corporate executives.
  • Zigzagged in Grand Theft Auto V, as one of Trevor's few redeeming features is his hatred of racism. He's still quite sexist though and is not above making a few racially-charged jokes when he feels like it.
  • In the Hearts of Iron 4 mod Führerreich: Legacy of the Great War, the stand-ins for Nazi Germany, the "Valkists", stand for progressive ideals such as rights for women, LGBT people and non-whites. This does not stop them from being totalitarian, revanchist ultranationalists willing to send thousands to their deaths in the name of forcing everyone conquered by them to adapt the superior German culture.
  • While Arthur from GTA's sister series Red Dead is only really a villain if you play him as low honor, he's still an outlaw with a bounty on his head that's worth over $150,000 in today's dollar. That being said, he is certainly not prejudiced against anyone in stark contrast to the setting of 1899. He's not sexist and treats all women as equals. He actually says in his journal that the reason that he doesn't like his ex's dad is because he treats her as something to own without viewing her as her own person. He's not racist and of his best friends is half black/ half Native American. He and his aforementioned friend help a Native American tribe because the government is stealing their land. He isn't even homophobic. A man kisses him as a distraction while dressed in drag and he just calmly says, "Please don't do that again." He also says in his journal that he knows one of the other guys who's in the gang is hiding some sort of huge secret about himself (heavily implied to be that he's gay) but says he doesn't care what the secret is and doesn't treat him badly for it. Likewise, going back to the racism point, he outright hates the Klu Klux Klan, outright stating he'll kill every last one of them if you disrupt a Klan meeting.
    • The same goes for Dutch Van Der Linde, the gang's boss as well as Arthur and John's father figure whom he imparted his progressive values on. The Van Der Linde Gang is accepting of all races (with Charles Smith citing Dutch's acceptance of him despite his mixed heritage as to why he respects him) and he quickly chastises Bill when he refers to Native Americans as "Savages". Despite this he never seems to care about Micah Bell's open bigotry as well as manipulating Native tribes to be personal cannon fodder in both games.
  • In DOOM Eternal the Union Aerospace Corporation has already shed the veneer of making the world better for humanity after ousting Samuel Hayden, openly allying with the forces of Hell and worshipping their invaders as saviors. As such, one of their policies makes clear that the term "demon" is offensive and instead enforces a new term: "mortally challenged".
  • Darth Malgus in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite being a thoroughly evil Sith Lord who relishes violence, war and mayhem and murdered the love of his life to purge himself of the weakness this bond meant to him; he's still appalled by the racism of his Sith Empire and does his best to kick of a change that produces an Empire with the same philosophy and ideals, but purged of its anti-alien sentiment.
    • Similarly, Darth Jadus of the Imperial Agent storyline is a lunatic who espouses the ideals of "democratizing fear" but like Malgus is also a true meritocrat who cares nothing about species or the ability to use the force. He even attempts to use this to sway the Agent to his side when confronting him at the end of Act 1.
  • In The Great Ace Attorney, Ryunosuke has a rivalry with the Hero Antagonist Barok van Zieks, who dislikes and distrusts the Japanese. By contrast, it turns out that Barok's brother Klint was the feared Serial Killer known as The Professor, who took up murder to punish the nobles who used their connections to escape justice, and who graciously accepted his loss in a fatal duel against Genshin Asogi.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Zig-zagged in Mr Deity. Mr. Deity has nothing against black people, homosexuals, or Jews and is disgusted whenever people think that he does. However, he does hold many politically incorrect views about women, and he really hates atheists.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The City Council may be Humanoid Abominations who constantly spy on everyone in Night Vale and regularly sentence people to summary execution for no apparent reason, but they're just as pissed off by the Apache Tracker's racism as everyone else in Night Vale.
  • In Camp Camp, Nurf is the local Barbaric Bully and Neil is one of his favorite targets... and because Neil is Jewish and celebrates the Sabbath, Nurf just bullies Neil on the kosher days of the week.

    Western Animation 
  • Mr. Buzzcut from Beavis And Butthead may be a Sadist Teacher and a war criminal, but in "A Baby Makes, Uhh, Three", he allows Beavis and Butthead to take care of a fake baby because adding homosexual couples would make it more realistic.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Evil Emperor Zurg to his Mecha-Mooks, while taking over an alien planet: "You may enslave the population! Women and children first — I'm an equal-opportunity enslaver!"
  • The criminals Bean takes up with in an episode of Disenchantment are led by a woman and are very proud of being sensitive to gender issues. After betraying Bean and leaving her trapped in the royal family crypt to take the fall for their plundering of the same, they assure her that they'd have done the exact same thing to a man. And then prove it by throwing Elfo and Luci into the crypt as well.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Harley assumes that Mr. Freeze is just as much of a misogynistic Control Freak as the rest of the Legion of Doom but she's wrong. Freeze tells her he saved her life by convincing them to freeze her instead because a bunch of heterosexual, cisgender, white males love to get off on humiliating women. King Shark calls him "the most woke ice-themed villain in New New Gotham".
  • Parodied in Invincible (2021). Doc Seismic, in the middle of a fight with Invincible and Atom Eve, insults the latter for how gender normative her super-hero costume is. When Atom Eve replies that she designed it herself and asks back why he cares about that, Doc Seismic says that, despite his doctorate being in Seismology, he was also an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Women's Studies (with a minor in African Dance). He also mentions that the reason he wants to blow up Mt. Rushmore is that he hates the founding fathers for being racist slaveowners... even though only two of the faces on it were founding fathers, and he outright wants people to bow before and worship him.
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo has Johnny and a female secret agent foil a nerdy villain, whose plan was to use a Doomsday Device to make everyone in the world look exactly like him. The reason? No one can be more or less attractive than he is. The agent acknowledged how horrible, yet politically correct, it is.
  • Amon in The Legend of Korra takes away the bending of anybody he can get his hands on (he even attempts to debend children) no matter how innocently the bender uses it because he sees it as making the playing field more equal for nonbenders.
  • Zig-Zagged with Emperor Belos in The Owl House. He has immense Fantastic Racism towards the witches and demons of the Boiling Isles as one would expect for a person from the 1600s, but he seems to be fairly progressive in some areas. He allows women in positions of authority, Kikimora acting as his right-hand and Lilith the Head of his Coven, despite being from a time and place where women were seen more as brood-mares to be brought to heel. The Boiling Isles, for all of its troubling normalcies, doesn't seem to have any judicial or cultural biases against queer relationships or gender non-conformity. While some of this might be excused as irrelevant considering he was going to kill all of them anyway, he's shown to have some level of respect for Luz, who is a queer, Afro-Latina girl, three qualities that people of his demographic would look down upon in his time.
  • PC Principal from South Park starts off as an overbearing asshole who punishes Kyle for daring to say Caitlyn Jenner isn't "stunning and brave" for coming out as a transgender, but escalates it when he violently beats the crap out of Cartman for daring to use the word "Capiche", due to its association with stereotyped Italian mobster behavior. The fact that Cartman was openly in the process of trying to frame him for molesting Butters was completely irrelevant, and he was so fixated on Cartman's usage of politically incorrect speech he may not have even noticed.
  • This is played for laughs in the Super Best Friends Forever short "Solomon Grundy No Fight Girls", where Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Girl confront Solomon Grundy, but the zombified brute refuses to fight them because he draws the line at violence against females. The three young heroines proceed to taunt Grundy in an attempt to provoke him into attacking before they eventually realize that they don't need to hold back just because Grundy refuses to fight. After he gets his butt kicked, Grundy then starts reconsidering his refusal to fight girls.