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Politically Correct Villain

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This odd counterpart to the more common Politically Incorrect Villain sees no problem with killing, plundering, double-crossing and handing in his 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, 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.

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!


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.

    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!

     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.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

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