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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.

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The trope can be played in a few different ways:

  1. For horror, showing that the villain has such Skewed Priorities that they honestly think that using a racial slur is 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. 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.

When played for laughs, will often be shown indulging in Political Correctness Gone Mad. 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.

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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 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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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 

    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.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Victoria plays this completely straight, with the villainous representatives of the Federal Government embracing feminism, anti-racism, etc. to a man (realistically, their actual motivations vary, from sincere belief to cynical profiteering). They do this even to the point where it harms their own military effectiveness, deploying unqualified women in the infantry and promoting incompetent minorities ahead of white men.
  • 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.

    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 bow 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 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.

     Magazines 
  • 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, them claims they were said by the Obviously Evil NPC sorcerer. The sorcerer responds "Just because I'm evil, doesn't mean I'm chauvinist."

    Video Games 
  • 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.

    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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 transsexual, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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