Fandoms are not separate from white supremacist systems of power. In fact, fandoms often reify white supremacy.

How do I know? Well...I have some data!
Been seeing a lot of discourse on whether particular fandoms & ships are racist. And the truth is, most fandoms are entangled in systems of power (white supremacy, heteronormativity, colonialism, ableism, etc). These systems are both insidious and overt, and they are EVERYWHERE
Fandoms can be safe and brave spaces, but they are not automatically so. It is up to us as individual and collective fans to shape these spaces. Who is represented in mainstream culture? How do fandoms replicate this representation? Who is represented & how in fandom majorities?
The #GameOfThrones fandom provides a solid example. There are multiple factions of the fandom -- like any fandom. Specifically looking at GOT AO3 trends, though, shows evidence of how the white supremacy in GOT & the canon trickles into fandoms.
GOT valorizes whiteness -- that's not a new take. #DemThrones is partially a response to this whiteness as Black fans created their own community. However, AO3 GOT fandom shows how fandoms can take up this valorization, even accidentally.
When I collected GOT AO3 data last year, only FOUR percent of the ~29,000 AO3 fanfics included characters played by actors of color. Check how often "Sansa" is used compared to Missandei, Grey Worm and other characters.
Also, since shipping is fundamental, let's look at shipping trends! The top 5 ships are all white characters. And the Missandei/Grey Worm tag is only used 35 times (shown next to the top 5 ships for reference).
Including characters from different racial backgrounds does not automatically mean you have defeated racism. But the overarching trends in the GOT AO3 reveals the erasure of characters of color. Why are the white characters so overused? Why are their relationships romanticized?
As fans, which characters do we value? Who do we ship and fantasize about? What systems of power may be entangled in our everyday fandom practices?

And most importantly, what can we do to recognize and resist these systems of power? How can we practice being critical fans?
My dissertation on this work is focused on GOT and #TheLegendOfKorra, but I imagine observing similar trends in future iterations of this project. If you're interested, check out my diss website:
When I asked one of the fans I interviewed -- WriteGirl -- about this trend, she said Missandei is rarely used in fanfics and when she does appear, is "window dressing" for Dany.

Read about her and other critical fans' perspectives here:
Also there are a ton of scholars and fans who have talked at length about racism in fandoms and popular culture, including @Ebonyteach, @RukminiPande, @prof_carrington, @alothian, @sflorini, & @De_Kosnik. Their voices have been crucial in reshaping fan studies and fandoms.
OOPS got my own diss URL wrong. It's
I didn't include alt-text. The image is a bargraph of characters used in AO3 GOT fanfics. Sansa is first, since she has a high amount of use per season (highest is 900 in a year). Next shown are Missandei, Grey Worm, and other characters of color. Their numbers are much lower.

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