Three years ago, one of my writer friends and I participated in a themed short-story contest by a small publisher of adult and YA fiction.
The theme was world mythology, and the contest ran over four weeks. Each week had a different theme: one week stories should be based on European mythology, the next on Asian mythology, and so forth.
One of my short stories (based on the Russian tale of Baba Yaga) and two of my friend's won in the contest and were picked for inclusion in an anthology.
Not only did the publishers take their sweet time to publish the anthology (they dragged out the process over three years, and it was finally going to be released this month)...
...yesterday all contest winners got an email saying that the publisher decided not to publish the anthology at all, because “the growing awareness of inherently problematic plots and cultural appropriation caused us to realize that we had mistakenly created a contest and anthology that, while well-meant, has the potential to harm readers of the cultures represented."
When is this madness going to end?
This is outrageous. There are countless middle-grade and young-adult novels that are (more or less loosely) based on fairytales and mythology.
Should we take the Percy Jackson series and movie off the market? I’m pretty sure that author Rick Riordan isn’t Greek.
Should we prohibit everyone who isn’t German from basing their stories on a Bros. Grimm fairytale?
That means all the movies (Disney and otherwise) of Snow White, Cinderella, etc. should be taken off the market. And The Little Mermaid is Danish, by the way, so that should go too.
The entire concept of fairies is very much associated with Celtic folklore, so if you're not Irish, you have no business writing books featuring fairies, elves, leprechauns, and the likes.
To Kill a Mockingbird should never have been written, because what does a white woman know about the plight of a black person accused of a crime he didn't commit?
Without cultural appropriation, creativity in literature, music, and fine art will be a thing of the past. We'll be only allowed to act within the narrow confines of the neat little boxes the SJWs want to stuff us into.
Rock’n Roll wouldn’t exist without cultural appropriation. Elvis would never have gone anywhere without cultural appropriation.
Should white people be prohibited from playing blues music?
Should a black person be prohibited from singing a Sinatra song?
Should Eminem go to jail for rapping?
On that note: Should karaoke be forbidden once and for all? You might sing a song that is not part of your own culture.
Should school bands introduce segregation again, so that each ethnic group will only play "their own" songs?
While we're at it, please cancel all Zumba classes that aren't led by Colombians and all yoga classes with non-Indian teachers. I will make sure to take my son out of his karate class, which is unscrupulously run by a non-Asian.
Also, I shall call a school meeting to demand that all the foreign-language teachers are natives of the respective languages they teach.
This is complete insanity, and I will never say that it’s OK. Let's hear it for cultural appropriation!