Sometimes, it keeps things safe. But, when there's problem because of it, that's the call for change.
That can go for a lot of things, in various aspects of life, in healthcare, in government, in education, etc.
And, recently, in art, too, it would seem. A profession which I thought was a fairly free-style profession where people can go about expressing themselves creatively.
I am referring to this incident at SDCC'11. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/07/sdcc-11-listen-to-dan-didio-respond-to-the-fan-who-told-dc-to-hire-women/
Didio, co-publisher of DC Comics, was being told by a fan to hire more women, then was being pointed out that the percentage of women being hired went down from 12% to 1% in the comic industry. He immediately responded, "What do those numbers mean to you?"
The fan was in the middle of responding--
"What do they mean to you? Who should we hire?"
First off, cutting off a guy when he's still talking is rude. Mr. Didio, you're a professional. You should know better.
Second, do not become aggressive when someone pointed out, "something is wrong." Even though you're the boss man, you, unfortunately, work in an industry where you dedicate your life to entertain the public. Granted, being an artist should mean that you should not confine yourself to other people's wishes, but to be honest, I see this as giving more diverse range of people the opportunity to express their own creativity.
I for one, am interested in seeing an evolution in art style. I feel that lately, comic superheroines have been depicted to be wearing less and less. (re: Harley Quinn) Is DC turning into a 2D version of Playboy? Well, to be honest, I always felt that it kinda is, but with this reduction of women staffs in the DC comic, that says a lot to me. If I were to be asked, "What do those numbers mean to you" by Didio, I would answer that, "It means that female characters, for the most part, were being portrayed by men. While I'm not saying that men don't have accurate understanding of the opposite sex, some probably do. But, for once, I would like to see a major comic, where the superheroine, and her story, is being told by a woman. We're missing out on potentially insightful character developments through a wider range of perspectives."
Yeah, I'm not that eloquent in public. I'll probably stutter like that guy in reality. That and I am refraining from stating that I'm feeling that DC is turning into a 2D playboy for boys to drool over, which can be a turnoff for many readers. I'm not against sex or sexuality, but like everything else, I feel that the element needs to be played out well.
Furthermore, on hiring women in mainstream comics. I feel that there are LOTS of pretty established artists out there who have been known to write brilliant plots and character developments. I'm going to refrain from naming "a few" because it will be a lot, and many of the women artists I would have listed here in this livejournal have already commented about the situation at SDCC and actually didn't really care for being hired by DC comic. So, I don't intend to direct any unwanted attention to them.
So, DC, I think it's a good time to start looking around more. Find out who else is out there that deserves your attention. I honestly think widening your employee demographics will do you a world of good.