Points of Articulation
Hold Your Horses!
Looks like the Four Horsemen have just picked a whole bouquet of whoopsie-daisies!
There's currently a new Mythic Legions All-Stars series up for preorder, and like the last few All-Stars, it's actually a mix of old and new designs. New designs like the Order of Eathyron horse, Deacon:
The greatest horses of Eathyross are those of the Templar Emissaries. Before beginning their service to the Order, these steeds undergo an ancient ceremony at the Temple of Eathyron. During this ceremony they receive the blessing of the Golden Eagle, helping to protect them in the missions they will undergo in his name. The mighty steed of Sir Enoch, Deacon is the swiftest and bravest of all the Emissaries’ horses and is as much a symbol of hope to his Order as the pious knight who rides upon his back.
Yesterday the Horsemen sent out word that the design of Deacon is being changed, however. See, while they designed him based on the historical look of Templar horses, that aesthetic has, in more recent times, been adopted by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Obviously not wanting to be associated with such Conservative garbage, the 4H said:
"To make sure that Deacon fits in with the Realm of Mythoss and has no connections to any existing, real-world designs, we have made a few adjustments to the figure. Deacon will now come with brand new head and neck armor in place of the soft goods head pieces. Additionally, the Templar crosses have been replaced with the faction symbol of the Order of Eathyron, making the steeds' allegiance clear and further tying him into the fantasy world of Mythoss."
All the new pieces are still fully removable, allowing you to have a plain horse if you want, and the Horsemen have offered free cancellations to anybody who wants one.
So naturally, the worst people in the world got Big Mad™ about it.
There is something about... specific collections of toys, and specific properties, that really attracts the alt-right crowd, the alt-right mindset. Masters of the Universe and GI Joe seem to be in constant, ceaseless competition to be the absolute worst fanbases on the planet. There's a sizeable bleed of both into Mythic Legions, but mostly MotU as you can imagine. I'm always, sort of, at odds with that as a notion, because you watch the original cartoon (which is where I'd wager most people who are fans found their prized property), and Prince Adam/He-Man nearly reads as a parody of masculinity: he's all soft and eager about friendship, whereas somehow these nutcases have decided he's closer to a Conan-like psychopath.
Any which way, their nuttiness drags over into Mythic Legions and where most of us are seeing a fun customisable fantasy line that covers all different races and creeds and aspects of fantasy, they're imagining some ugly and insane pro-masculine thing where a KKK horse would be right at home. And as cuntservatives tend to do when society tries to progress even slightly, they began screaming and crying and denying that any change needed to happen.
♫ The Mythic Legions community boards are alive,
with the sound of whining!! ♪
The mods were really on top of things, removing the worst of the dross, but even then had to throttle the ability to post to once every five minutes. You know, so the brain donor who had posted "People used to find racism abhorrent but we're living in modern times now" could have time to cool down before his next display of S-tier idiocy. Look, just know that if you reach the point of trying to defend something by saying "the Nazis didn't use a real swastika, they used a hakenkreuz" and trying to disassociate the two through the history of the symbol? You're lost. And also you're wrong. I'm sorry a hate group appropriated your holy symbol, but they did.
It wasn't all moronic right-wingers, though. One intelligent commenter mocked, "'Why are people hung up on this looking like a KKK horse when the aesthetic is from the historically wholesome and harmless Crusades?' is a real take." Tell 'em, Trace!
Honestly, the original Deacon was a stellar-looking toy. But I get it. The Four Horsemen are to be respected for this. Any ire is better off directed at the political forces that ensure racism and outrage at minorities continues to fester across the world; they're the reason we can't have nice things. The KKK still exists, as does their horrendous worldview, which is becoming more mainstream by the day. Severing ties with all of that is the only reasonable outcome, and it's to be applauded. As yo has said in the past: you want to be a grown-up? You want to be a good person? Then when somebody says you've hurt them, you don't waste time getting defensive and saying "but I didn't mean to hurt you," you simply say "I'm sorry I did something that hurt you" and rectify it.
A similar situation that comes to mind is the videogame Cuphead, that crazy-difficult 2D boss-battle platformer from a few years back with the rubber hose animation. The history of that specific style of animation being used frequently to depict black people in, uh, unkind ways, in particular in terms of being gamblers and degenerates, is something that the devs inadvertently brought into their game in the same way the 4H accidentally created an excellent horse toy that is both accurate to the depiction of the Templar Knights, but also a Klansman steed. The thing of it is, I like both Cuphead as a brand and a thing, and Deacon the Horse, but I recognize that both are also iffy and need to be re-approached, so kudos to 4H to doing this, and with a steady turnaround.
It wasn't like 4H were intentionally making something that'd be hurtful - they don't need to apologise or get defensive, they just fixed it and everyone can move along. The softgoods hood can show up later, on a different horse in a different color, since it was just the "let's drape our horse in a white sheet" thing that was all Klansy, not the garment itself. It's the same thing racehorses wear today, and nobody equates them with the KKK, even if the most famous horse race in the world is in Kentucky. And if you really need your Mythic Legions horse to look like it's going to be ridden to the next cross burning or Blue Lives Matter rally, I'm sure there are already plenty of third-party companies to step up and make the originals, if people still want them.