Something I Noticed About 2012 Gravity Falls Marketing
#11
(12-19-2016, 09:19 PM)ReptilePatrol Wrote: Well, Disney has not hesitated to make it clear that Gravity Falls' primary target demographic is pre-teen boys. Therefore I wouldn't be surprised if Schaal was intentionally left out of the marketing near the beginning, when Disney was still unsure of the reception the series would receive and decided to go with conventional tactics.

However, when most of the critics singled Schaal out as the biggest star of the show, when she won an Annie Award for her performance, and when it became clear that Gravity Falls' actual audience was a lot more inclusive than its target audience, it probably made more sense for them to include her in future promotional materials.

I unfortunately probably won't be able to prove my hypothesis because Disney likely doesn't want to explicitly admit they have a serious sexism problem plaguing their marketing department. And not just for Gravity Falls too — Big Hero 6 and Guardians of the Galaxy were both embroiled in controversy most recently. But there really isn't any alternative explanation in my mind, if Disney had Schaal under contract, as they always do with any of their voice actors.

Guardians Of The Galaxy had controversy like that? When?
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#12
(12-19-2016, 11:53 PM)AwesomeDude1 Wrote: Guardians Of The Galaxy had controversy like that? When?

Because Guardians of the Galaxy's target demographic was a male audience, Disney saw fit to exclude Gamora (the female lead character of the film) from merchandise, even though the actual audience was not overtly male.

http://www.dailydot.com/parsec/fans-noti...rchandise/

http://www.businessinsider.com/female-ch...ise-2014-8

Similar incidents happened with Big Hero 6, and I'm positing that a similar incident happened with Kristen Schaal on our own Gravity Falls.
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#13
That could actually make a lot of sense...

Plus thanks for linking this stuff, didn't know.
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#14
The sexism in Disney's marketing and merchandising operations can be subtle, but becomes evidently pervasive if you know where to look.

Some more examples (just to show how Guardians of the Galaxy and Big Hero 6 aren't isolated incidents):

In 2009, following the less-than-stellar box office performance of Disney Animation's The Princess and the Frog, Disney blamed the title for discouraging male patrons, and retitled several upcoming films: Disney Animation's Rapunzel became Tangled and The Snow Queen became Frozen, while Pixar's The Bear and the Bow became Brave. Noticeably, Wreck-It Ralph, which had a male protagonist, did not get a title change.

With Gravity Falls, we get licensed Dipper hats and Journal 3, but no Mabel sweaters or scrapbooks. In fact, there really is no significant Mabel merchandise at all (tho to be fair there isn't really enough merchandise in general). In the series itself, the lesbian couple is censored (The Love God), but the gay couple is not (Weirdmageddon 3. And it's always Dipper first, Mabel second: whether this be in the opening title, the arrangement of Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained before Mabel's Guide to Life, Dipper's prominence on the cover of Six Strange Tales, or the pervasive phrasing of "Dipper and Mabel" instead of "Mabel and Dipper" (though I myself am guilty of this last one too).

The sexism goes the other way as well: the Disney Princess merchandise line unabashedly caters to girls, completely ignoring the fact that boys may like Disney princess films as well. And if you ever walk into a Disney Store or Disneyland, often times it's blatantly clear that certain things were made for boys in mind, and certain things were made for girls in mind.

In Disney's defense, however, they are aware of these criticisms and have taken recently moves to address it. With Gravity Falls, Kristen Schaal did eventually work her way into promotional material. Elsewhere with Disney XD, Star vs. the Forces of Evil was greenlit, while the new DuckTales reboot will reportedly feature more Webby than the original. The recent Star Wars films feature female protagonists and multiracial casts, in stark contrast to the overwhelmingly male and white characters of the original films. The live-action adaptation of Mulan stirred controversy for being initially focused on Mulan's love interest, and Disney moved quickly to change that. And most recently, Disney opted to keep Moana titled as is, which is fitting given the feminist themes in the film.

Imo it all comes down to money. Disney will do what they believe will be profitable, whether it means subtle sexism to draw in a targeted and gendered audience, or overtly obvious moves to ensure representation and please everyone/avoid controversy.
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#15
-There is Waddles for Mabel, I have that myself but yeah, sweaters do seem obvious I guess but I think they, long with scrapbooks would be in much, much less demand to be fair.
-True I have no idea how they managed to get away with that.

But yeah, at the end of the day that's really what they care about. If people want to change these things that's how you appeal to them.
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#16
Sexism in Disney marketing exists, but aren't some of those examples, y'know, not sexist?

> Sweaters are much more expensive to make than baseball hats, aren't they? There are a lot of factors as to what merchandise gets out there, I don't think sexism is a leading cause.

> Viewing allowing a gay couple to appear on show as sexism? I don't think it's fair to assume this has to do with sex. Rather, it's progress--moving on homophobic censorship with a couple who happens to be male.

> Is Lilo & Stitch sexist for always putting Lilo first? Is Rick & Morty ageist for always putting Rick first? Of course not, that's ridiculous. You order things in a certain way, and people become accustomed to using that order. No sexism involved.

Disney has definitely been sexist, albeit frequently this has more to do with catering to people's views at the time instead of deliberate reinforcement. However, I don't think all of these things should be attributed to sexism--sometimes things are not so much subtle as they are non-existent.

Like Baron said, we as an audience must change in order to provoke a change in the companies that rely on our viewership.
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#17
I also remember reading that the villain in Iron Man 3 was supposed to be a female, but they changed it because they thought action figures of a female villain wouldn't sell well.
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#18
And boring, Syndrome knock-off would of course do better...

Anyway I think it's possibly we've strayed from TV show discussion to general gender politics. I propose someone create a thread if they want to continue in that direction.
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#19
(12-21-2016, 03:26 PM)Nefari Wrote: Sexism in Disney marketing exists, but aren't some of those examples, y'know, not sexist?

> Sweaters are much more expensive to make than baseball hats, aren't they? There are a lot of factors as to what merchandise gets out there, I don't think sexism is a leading cause.

> Viewing allowing a gay couple to appear on show as sexism? I don't think it's fair to assume this has to do with sex. Rather, it's progress--moving on homophobic censorship with a couple who happens to be male.

> Is Lilo & Stitch sexist for always putting Lilo first? Is Rick & Morty ageist for always putting Rick first? Of course not, that's ridiculous. You order things in a certain way, and people become accustomed to using that order. No sexism involved.

Disney has definitely been sexist, albeit frequently this has more to do with catering to people's views at the time instead of deliberate reinforcement. However, I don't think all of these things should be attributed to sexism--sometimes things are not so much subtle as they are non-existent.

Like Baron said, we as an audience must change in order to provoke a change in the companies that rely on our viewership.

I've been using the word sexism to refer to all instances of gendering, not just the discriminatory and/or intentional ones. Of course it's the discriminatory ones that are actually problematic, but I think it's worth pointing out the other cases too.

Sweaters: there are definitely a multitude of reasons we have baseball caps and not sweaters, but the effect is the same when you exclude Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise, even if the excuse is better.

Blubs & Durland: it's great that they got their moment, but why did Disney censor the lesbian couple that was supposed to appear in The Love God? It's progress, sure, but it was selective on gender lines. This is one of my weaker examples though, because you could alternatively look at it through an LGBTQ+ lens.

Ordering: this one is more subtle but the important thing to note here is that, when you order two equally human entities of opposing genders, it's a prevalent issue in the English language where males get priority, due to historical inequalities. This has recently been met with resistance; for example, "him or her" is being phased out in favor of "their," while some awards groups and publications have decided to list the actress categories before actor categories to challenge the established norm where actor categories come first and actress categories come second. Of course, this is relatively minor compared to intentional discrimination, but subtler forms of sexism are worth noting as well.

Re: what Baron said, we probably have strayed a bit, but I do want to just point out that sexism and gendering exist in a multitude of forms, both intentional and subconscious, and Disney isn't immune to this. Gendering of various degrees, as well as intentional attempts to challenge sexism and gendering, exists in pretty much everything Disney makes or does, because you can use gender as a lens with which to view their products and practices.

To conclude, thankfully in the OP's instance, Disney listened and later did put Kristen Schaal into Gravity Falls promos (though someone correct me if I'm mistaken). Now if they could just listen to the fanbase's clamoring for a DVD box set and more/better merch :P
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#20
I'm pretty sure the lesbians were censored because they were random background characters, while Blubs and Durland had been established from the very beginning and their relationship was always seen as sort of a "joke", so less people would be mad about it, since this was a well established relationship already.

Plus, this was the finale, so Disney probably be thought that less damage would be done to the show if people decided to cause an outrage about it, than it would have been if it happened in the middle of the season.
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