Nonbinary voice actor criticized for role in Steven Universe
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Jinkx Monsoon has faced a barrage of abuse after being cast in Steven Universe.
The season five winner was set to make their children’s TV debut as villain gem Emerald in Cartoon Network’s animated series, Steven Universe.
The show, created by Rebecca Sugar, is a coming of age story about a young boy who lives with magical humanoid aliens ‘the crystal gems’.
Each 11-minute episode sees Steven and the gems go on adventures and protect the world from other villainous gems.
Steven Universe is known for its themes of love and acceptance in all forms.
Its strong LGBT+ themes have earned the show the title of “one of the most unabashedly queer shows on TV”.
Rebecca Sugar has said that these themes are prominent not to make a point, but to help children understand themselves and develop their own identities.
Despite the show following themes of love and acceptance, the fans did not reciprocate those emotions towards Jinkx, who prefers to be known by the pronouns they/them.
The gems in Steven universe are all canon non-binary.
Despite Monsoon identifying as non-binary, some fans of the show expressed their disappointment that the creators chose a male-bodied individual.
One ‘fan’ wrote on Monsoon's social media,“your little wimp voice with minuscule and mediocre talent belongs in the trash can. Your charisma is cheap and knock off. Get off social media and the drag world. You’re a phony wannabe performer who got lucky and whose stage needs to be exterminated”.
Monsoon has been a fan of Steven Universe since it’s beginning, and in 2015 even made a video addressed to Rebecca Sugar, pleading with her to consider them for a gem role.
Cartoonist Hamish Steele, who previously worked on the show, came to Monsoon’s rescue when he took to Twitter to shut down the critics.
“The Gems are meant to be non-binary – and we actually finally have a non-binary person voicing one and y'all get mad. :/”.
Luckily Monsoon has had the backing of many fans, and after their debut episode aired on January 5 they received plenty of praise and encouragement for their voiceover work.
And it seems like the hateful fans aren’t getting Monsoon down as they officially tweeted about their role, and even expressed a want for follow up work from Cartoon Network.
The Gayly 1/9/2018 @ 1:32 p.m.