Publishers are hiring ‘sensitivity readers’ to flag potentially offensive contentBig budget movies have been doing this for a few years. George Miller supposedly paid Eve “Vagina Monologues” Ensler $100k to certify Mad Max: Fury Road as officially Feminist Woke. And then of course Miller just went ahead and spent the other 99.9% of his budget to make the same blue collar heavy metal lunacy as he did in his Mel Gibson days.
Recently, author Veronica Roth – of “Divergent” fame – came under fire for her new novel, “Carve the Mark.” In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.
These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as “dealing with terminal illness,” “racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families” or “transgender issues.”
For their hit animated musical Moana, veteran Disney film-makers Clement & Musker refined this process one step further. Rather than just pay off a potential critic, they hired amenable folks from the relevant minority who might actually contribute here and there. They toured Pacific Islands and put on their advisory board local old-timers with an interest in island legends with whom they had hit it off.
So that could be the next battleground, with young SJWs protesting that artists are hiring as their Sensitivity Readers excessively reasonable and helpful members of each Official Victim Group instead of fire-breathing puerile Social Justice Jihadi know-nothings like they are supposed to.