My Little NON-Homophobic, NON-Racist, NON-Smart-Shaming Pony: A Rebuttal

I have been a lifelong feminist, and as an artist working in the animation industry for more than 16 years I have striven to do right by women and girls in the animated projects I have been part of. I try to bring sincerity and depth to the female characters I’ve animated and have fought in development and story meetings to make female characters more than just the typical girlfriend, Mom or sex symbol. I’ve even fought to see that there was more than just one girl character in whatever project I was working on. Sometimes I swayed my coworkers (often it was easy, to their credit) and sometimes I lost. My goal, as an artist and as a storyteller, was to one day have a show of my own for and about girls.

After years and years of pitching original animation for girls to studios and networks and always hearing “This is great, but animated shows for girls don’t get ratings,” or “Girls don’t watch cartoons,” I finally got the opportunity to have my own show.  It’s called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

I was extremely skeptical at first about taking the job. Shows based on girls’ toys always left a bad taste in my mouth, even when I was a child. They did not reflect the way I played with my toys. I assigned my ponies and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls distinctive personalities and sent them on epic adventures to save the world. On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying–which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Even to my 7-year-old self, these shows made no sense and couldn’t keep my interest. No wonder the boys at school laughed at my Rainbow Unicorn Trapper Keeper.

From what I’ve seen since I’ve grown up, little has changed. To look at the quality of most girls’ cartoons, it would seem that not one artist really cared about them. Not one designer, not one background painter, not one animator. Some of the more well-meaning, more expensive animated productions for girl audiences may look better, but the female characters have been so homogenized with old-fashioned “niceness” that they have no flaws and are unrelatable. They are so pretty, polite and perfect; there is no legitimate conflict and nothing exciting ever happens. In short, animated shows for little girls come across as boring.  Stupid. Lame.

This perception, more than anything, is what I am trying to change with My Little Pony.

And that’s why I was so dismayed to find Kathleen Richter’s post on the Ms. Blog, accusing the show of homophobia, racism and smart-shaming. There she stated:

So overall, these are the lessons My Little Pony teaches girls:

  • Magical white ponies are suited for leadership; black ponies are suited to be servants.
  • Stop learning! You will overcome any obstacle by resorting to strength in numbers (of friends).
  • Girls that wear rainbows are butch.
  • You need the government (ideally a monarch invested with supreme ultimate power and a phallic symbol strapped to her forehead) to tell you what to do with your life.

A surprising amount of commenters rose in defense of the show, and for that I am extremely grateful. Without repeating their retorts too extensively, here is my defense against the accusations.

  • Color has never, ever been depicted as a race indicator for the ponies. When your characters are purple, blue, orange, yellow, black, white, red, green and pink, who’s to say which is supposed to signify a white person, a black person, an Asian person? The only races in My Little Pony are Earth Pony, Pegasus and Unicorn, and they are all treated equally, ruled by a leader who embodies the traits of all three  This leader is white only to signify day, and she co-rules with her sister, who is purple to signify night. Additionally, I’d just like to assure anyone who might still question the guards at the foot of the Princess’s throne that their colors were picked arbitrarily–and they are paid for their service.
  • In the first episode, the lead character, Twilight, is depicted as a pony so wrapped up in her studies that she has no interest in socializing. But since socializing and making friends is an important, healthy aspect of anyone’s life, her mentor encouraged her to, essentially, go out and play. In the end, the character goes on to lead a more balanced life, maintaining both relationships and her studies. In subsequent episodes she is frequently seen reading, referencing books to help solve problems and even living in a library.
  • Rainbow Dash has rainbow-striped hair because of her name and because she is very interested in sports, specifically flying. She is a tomboy, but nowhere in the show is her sexual orientation ever referenced. As we all know, there are plenty of straight tomboys in the world, and assuming they are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys.
  • The Princess is depicted as the main character’s mentor, her teacher. She’s an authority figure and even a bit of a surrogate parent. The Princess gave Twilight her instructions as someone who knows her and is personally involved in her upbringing. And though there is historical speculation that unicorn horns were indeed phallic symbols, I doubt that is making its way into anyone’s subconscious.

The messages I’m really trying to get across with the show are these:

  • There are lots of different ways to be a girl. You can be sweet and shy, or bold and physical. You can be silly and friendly, or reserved and studious. You can be strong and hard working, or artistic and beautiful. This show is wonderfully free of “token girl” syndrome, so there is no pressure to shove all the ideals of what we want our daughters to be into one package. There is a diversity of personalities, ambitions, talents, strengths and even flaws in our characters–it’s not an army of cookie-cutter nice-girls or cookie-cutter beauty queens like you see in most shows for girls.
  • Find out what makes you you. Follow your passions and ambitions, not what others expect of you. For instance, if you like sports don’t let someone’s suggestion that that is unfeminine stop you from doing what you love. Be considerate of others’ feelings, but not at the expense of your own goals and dreams.
  • You can be friends with people who are vastly different from you. And even though all friendships have their share of disagreements and moments when you don’t get along, that does not mean that your friendship has to end.
  • Cartoons for girls don’t have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness. Girls like stories with real conflict; girls are smart enough to understand complex plots; girls aren’t as easily frightened as everyone seems to think. Girls are complex human beings, and they can be brave, strong, kind and independent–but they can also be uncertain, awkward, silly, arrogant or stubborn. They shouldn’t have to succumb to pressure to be perfect.

Yes, My Little Pony is riddled with pink, the leader is a Princess instead of a Queen and there probably aren’t enough boys around to portray a realistic society. These decisions were not entirely up to me.  It has been a challenge to balance my personal ideals with my bosses’ needs for toy sales and good ratings. I do my best to incorporate their needs in an acceptable way, so when we are asked to portray a certain toy or playset, my team and I work to put it in a place that makes sense within the story. There is also a need to incorporate fashion play into the show, but only one character is interested in it and she is not a trend follower but a designer who sells her own creations from her own store. We portray her not as a shopaholic but as an artist.

I never expected to work on a show based on a toy line, but I accepted the project based on my sincere childhood love of the toy and Hasbro’s desire to create an entertaining show that is not just a long toy commercial. When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people–without even watching the show–to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I’m doing my job right, I think you’ll be surprised.

Lauren Faust is creative steward/executive producer of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Top: Original drawings of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters by Lauren Faust.

Comments

  1. You know, Miss Richter made some good points.

    Lets start of with the worst one to defend, the Black pony comment. Yes, I know that ponies don’t have skin colors to define race, but what would kids think. More importantly, ever heard of the Black Stallion, a story of a majestic, free, intelligent, and talent horse, (not a talking magical one, a real horse.) This is actually a very common theme with Horses though, yet the only Horses in your show that are black, are servants.

    Secondly, in the grand scheme of things, Friendship isn’t that important. What is important is taking advantage of everyone of your opportunities, working hard, STUDYING (which Twilight is frequently frowned upon for doing, and never is it said in the first episode, that it was still okay for her to study, as long as she is socializing.) and getting on right track in life, while making some good friends on the way. This is a big problem I have with this show, book-smarts and intelligence are really put on the back burner, on purpose.

    I understand what you are saying about Rainbow Dash, but their is a Mud Wrestling scene, you are kinda screaming it there.

    FInally, there is a lot “Great Queen, what are we going to do, how do we think, what the answer” and a significant amount less of “Let’s do this ourselves, because we need to think on our own.” In fact, the only episode that goes into detail about doing things yourself, makes it seem horrible, and says you always need friends to do everything.

    Bad rebuttal, Ms. Faust, just bad. It’s sad to see a show with so much potential get weighed down by a lack of real morals, and a lack of creativity.

    • Causedthefire,

      You and Miss Richter are analyzing the show far too much. It is a childrens’ cartoon, and is not meant to reflect real-world problems like racism, homophobia, etc.

      As a fan of the series, I watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic often, and not once have I noticed your supposed “racism” in the ponies. When I see the characters, I see red, blue, yellow, white, green, orange, black, and pink. Not African-American, Asian, Caucasian, etc. If I, a 17 year old female, doesn’t make the so-called “connection”, what makes you think a bunch of elementary-age children would? I believe I can safely say that the children will see the same exact thing as I do. Colors, not races. It is simply the adult minds who understand what racism is that make these assumptions. Children generally do not understand racism. They would not see the guard pony and think “Gosh, he looks like a black slave!”. Most likely, they would think something along the lines of “His armor is pretty”.
      To elaborate on the “black servants”, I will say that if you have actually seen the show you are criticizing, you would know that they are not servants, but royal guards. Furthermore, the ponies, if anything, are grey, not black!
      Onward to the dispute over friendship.
      “Friendship isn’t that important.”
      Although this may be true in the “grand scheme of things”, I am, again, honestly surprised. I highly recommend rereading the title of the show in question. “Friendship is Magic”. This means the show is going to be centered around the importance of friendship because, again, it is meant for children, and socializing is an important part in a child’s growth. What point is there in having a show titled “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” when the main focus isn’t even about friendship?
      Repeating my suggestion of watching MLP: FiM, I will advise you to take a look at Twilight Sparkle. She is obsessed with her studies, and is completely out-of-touch with society. In other words, she is taking her studies to the extreme. Princess Celestia sees this, and assigns her a task- study friendship.
      Now, I will agree with your slightly confusing statement “What is important is taking advantage of everyone of your opportunities, working hard, STUDYING….” I will clarify for you the reason for Twilight’s assignment. She was obsessed with her studies, and actively refused to socialize. Celestia found a way to combine work and play, and so came the task of studying friendship.
      I believe that not everything in the show is to be analyzed so deeply. Twilight Sparkle’s obsession with books is more of a personality trait than a message to viewers.
      Back to the topic, it is clearly indicated that Twilight balances work and play as best as she can, but is still a bookworm. This is her character flaw- taking everything so literally. She depends upon the books for everything, and so misses out on a lot of life’s pleasures. Learning about friendship teaches Twilight that not everything can be learned from books. Also, study is not put on the back burner. Twilight turns to her books in nearly every episode, and lives in a library. Not to mention there is a whole episode featuring reading and how fun it is. This is emphasized by using Rainbow Dash because her personality is generally not associated with being a bookworm. Basically, she seems like the least likely pony to be found with a book, so she was used.
      I will not go into the argument over Rainbow Dash other than she is simply a tomboy, and her design is being over-analyzed. By mud wresting scene, I believe you are referring to The Sisterhooves Social. The mud scene was Rarity in disguise. You are missing the point of the episode. It was about Rarity’s relationship between her and her sister, and how it transcends Rarity’s near-phobia of mud and dirt.
      Lastly, I don’t know where you’re getting the assumption that the ponies are dependent on Princess Celestia. I can give many examples to counter this, but for the sake of comment size, I will only list a few. The Last Roundup features the Mane 6 and their handling of a land dispute. The moral of the story? Always listen to what others have to say, and nothing can be settled with violence. Not once is Celestia called upon for help. The Swarm of a Century is about the ponies’ handling of a Parasprite infestation. Again, not once is Celestia called upon for help, but she does visit briefly (after the Parasprites have been taken care of) before heading off to help another town suffering from the same bugs. The moral of the story? Always listen to your friends’ ideas.
      Unless you are misinterpreting the “Dear Princess Celestia” at the end (which, by the way, is simply sharing the moral of the episode), then I fail to see the evidence of your point.
      Please excuse my blunt wording, but your weak argument is completely ridiculous. From your assumption that children will actually read into why the ponies are colored so, to your statement about friendship not being important in a show centered around friendship, to say I am simply appalled at your poorly disguised attempt to incite a full-blown “flame war” on this page is an understatement.
      I do not understand why the original topic is even being disputed. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic boils down to a show about Twilight Sparkle and her study of friendship, with the help of her five friends.
      Causedthefire, you are criticizing MLP: FiM from an adult standpoint. If I may repeat myself (as I cannot emphasize this enough), this is a childrens’ cartoon. For children. There are so many issues in this world that something is bound to pop up. For example, the royal guards. You are reading their color as a reference to slavery, and therefore you think the show is racist.
      That’s not what Ms. Faust was intending and you know it.
      I am amazed at your ability to analyze something so much you forget the entire purpose of the topic. Your disapproval of the emphasis on friendship is proof enough of that.

      • anon-brony says:

        hey i liked what you said it’s a really strong and positive argument for the show

        but i just wanted to say the scene about Rainbowdash that causedthefire may be referring too is from the first episode as i think they may mean the scene were she is introduced in which she uses a rain cloud to clean off mud from twilight and the dry her with an awesome mini rainbow tornado
        i honestly have no idea were mud-wrestling comes into it but i digress
        thanks for the effort you put in : D

      • “Onward to the dispute over friendship.
        “Friendship isn’t that important.”
        Although this may be true in the “grand scheme of things”, I am, again, honestly surprised. I highly recommend rereading the title of the show in question. “Friendship is Magic”. This means the show is going to be centered around the importance of friendship because, again, it is meant for children, and socializing is an important part in a child’s growth. What point is there in having a show titled “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” when the main focus isn’t even about friendship?
        Repeating my suggestion of watching MLP: FiM, I will advise you to take a look at Twilight Sparkle. She is obsessed with her studies, and is completely out-of-touch with society. In other words, she is taking her studies to the extreme. Princess Celestia sees this, and assigns her a task- study friendship.
        Now, I will agree with your slightly confusing statement “What is important is taking advantage of everyone of your opportunities, working hard, STUDYING….” I will clarify for you the reason for Twilight’s assignment. She was obsessed with her studies, and actively refused to socialize. Celestia found a way to combine work and play, and so came the task of studying friendship.
        I believe that not everything in the show is to be analyzed so deeply. Twilight Sparkle’s obsession with books is more of a personality trait than a message to viewers.
        Back to the topic, it is clearly indicated that Twilight balances work and play as best as she can, but is still a bookworm. This is her character flaw- taking everything so literally. She depends upon the books for everything, and so misses out on a lot of life’s pleasures. Learning about friendship teaches Twilight that not everything can be learned from books. Also, study is not put on the back burner. Twilight turns to her books in nearly every episode, and lives in a library. Not to mention there is a whole episode featuring reading and how fun it is. This is emphasized by using Rainbow Dash because her personality is generally not associated with being a bookworm. Basically, she seems like the least likely pony to be found with a book, so she was used.”

        No, reading books and being smart is not a “flaw”. You really think it’s better to be a complete idiot with a ton of friends?

        • No, you aren’t listening or you happen to only be taking out certain phrases. What she is saying is that it is great to read books. Hell I LOVE books I have so many I need yet another book shelf because they happen to be literally spilling out sometimes. But you can’t have a life devoted entirely to the reading and studying and thats it. If you were to actually watch the show you would know twilight had no friends besides her mentor and her assistant spike. She spent so much time stuck in a book and studying since she was a filly (elementary school age) to her young adulthood that she had no social graces and she even didn’t know how to talk to someone.

    • TheRainbowCrash says:

      Causedthefire

      I’m not even going to bother writing a well-thought counter to your comment, since it is so… ABSURD. You’re over analyzing the show, just like Miss Richter. You’re reaching for small bits of “evidence” to support your claims and blatantly ignoring everything against it. So, let’s keep this simple and just pick at all of your arguments. Time to wing it.

      Black Ponies
      “I know that ponies don’t have skin colors to define race” – Great. You already know this. Why are you even arguing about it then? Because-

      “but what would kids think” – Do you REALLY think any kid will make any connections there? Really? Only a misinformed, one-sided, and most I’m willing to bet racist adult could.

      “the only Horses in your show that are black, are servants” – Bad argument to make. A- if we really wanted to call a pony black then we would reference Zecora, who had an entire episode about tolerance and acceptance, and the age old message of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” B- The ponies in the picture were grey. And they didn’t intentionally make them grey to symbolize something. Artists pick colors based on other colors and themes in the rooms to make it more appealing to the eye. Imagine if everything in the shot were green. They avoid situations like that. C- They. Are. Royal. Guards. You know what a guard is? It’s kind of like military. THIS JUST IN- EVERYONE IN THE U.S. MILITARY IS A SLAVE TO THE GOVERNMENT. See what I did there? Your logic doesn’t work. Again, no, they are not slaves. In fact, I’d say a royal guard is one of the most prestigious positions one could have.

      Friendship and Intelligence
      “in the grand scheme of things, Friendship isn’t that important” – Without friendship, people can’t get along and work together. Without that, there would be no government or countries, and modern civilization as we know it would never have existed. Am I taking this a tad too far? Maybe. Did your social life as a kid suck? Probably. But I digress.

      “STUDYING (which Twilight is frequently frowned upon for doing, and never is it said in the first episode, that it was still okay for her to study, as long as she is socializing” – …WHAT?! WHAT ARE YOU GOING ON ABOUT? I don’t even… Okay, let’s try this again. A- Frowned upon? She is completely obsessed with her studies. Everything about her is books and studying. She was never frowned upon for studying. If anything, they frowned upon how it was affecting her life- she had none. The entire point was to show how one could mix friendship in with studying. No one hates her for her intelligence. B- “never is it said in the first episode, that it was still okay for her to study, as long as she is socializing” again, WHAT?! She was never told that she had to make friends and abandon her studies either. I don’t think anyone had to tell her that it was okay for her to continue studying. Well, no, wait, they did have to, since you apparently interpreted it that way. To use the same phrase again, and I feel like I will have to use it a lot, your arguments are ABSURD. C- Of course studying is important. Twilight is nearly always studying. Any kid could see how valuable it is, especially to her. She emphasizes this fact.

      “book-smarts and intelligence are really put on the back burner, on purpose” – Yes, Lauren Faust intentionally tried to make studying and intelligence look like a waste of time and effort. Clearly Twilight is the least important pony of the “mane six”. She also is not the main focus of the series. Now that we’re done with the sarcasm, I have to wonder. How often does your logic make sense? I haven’t seen any of it yet.

      “I understand what you are saying about Rainbow Dash, but their is a Mud Wrestling scene, you are kinda screaming it there.”
      Congrats. You’ve lost me. No, really, well done. I have no idea what you’re blabbering on about anymore. Apparently Miyuki is still able to follow you, so enjoy some Copy-Paste.

      Miyuki- “I will not go into the argument over Rainbow Dash other than she is simply a tomboy, and her design is being over-analyzed. By mud wresting scene, I believe you are referring to The Sisterhooves Social. The mud scene was Rarity in disguise. You are missing the point of the episode. It was about Rarity’s relationship between her and her sister, and how it transcends Rarity’s near-phobia of mud and dirt.”

      Princess Celestia
      You ALMOST lost me there, but I think I figured it out. You’re trying to say that they always depend upon Princess Celestia, and they never try to solve their own problems.

      You have not actually watched the show at all, have you?

      They do not always ask Princess Celestia for the answers to everything. In Swarm of the Century, they intentionally tried many different ways of solving their infestation without Princess Celestia knowing. Remember the moral of the story? No, I doubt you watched the series, so let me repeat it for you. Always listen to your friends’ ideas and opinions. Not “Ask the pony overlord for help. She’ll know what to do.”

      In fact, I can’t remember one good instance of the “mane six” going to Princess Celestia to solve their problems for them. I think you are, again, misinterpreting something here. I’m going to guess that it’s the way they are nervous around her and respect her as if she is a god. You know why? Because… SHE’S NEARLY A GOD! She is immortal, she raises and lowers the sun each day and also did the same with the moon for 1000 years, She is co-ruler of Equestria along with her sister, Princess Luna, and is basically THE authoritative figure of the show. I wonder why everyone tends to respect her?

      “Great Queen” This is why I think you didn’t actually watch the show. There are no queens. Yes, PRINCESS Celestia is in almost every way a queen, but she is still considered a PRINCESS. Why? If I remember correctly that is due to Hasbro wanting her name to sound less powerful and evil, more friendly and sincere.

      “and says you always need friends to do everything” Your thought process continues to amaze me. Again, I don’t know what you’re referencing, because none of the shows had this as a lesson. So let me just say this: If anything, the show as a whole teaches you that you have friends, and if you can’t do something on your own, your friends will be there to help you. Don’t be afraid to go to a friend for help. Don’t try to hide things from them or anyone else because you think they may not accept you. They will always be by your side. Don’t… You get the point.

      Nowhere does the show say that you can’t do anything by yourself and have to ask others. If anything, it only says that it’s ok to ask them if you have to.

      Bad argument Causedthefire, just bad. It’s sad to see that people these days are so… disappointing. Biased. Oblivious.

      And… DONE. I had a great time writing this. I hope you can come back again sometime and give me something else to laugh at and disprove. Maybe have it make sense. Miyuki may have already beaten me to the response… but oh well. I very much enjoyed his/her thought out comment as well. Since, you know, it actually made sense.

      • SpiritualThinker says:

        “THIS JUST IN- EVERYONE IN THE U.S. MILITARY IS A SLAVE TO THE GOVERNMENT”

        I know you were trying to be sarcastic, but if you pay attention to the world and what goes on in the government, I think you might realize, that statement held more tact than sarcasm.

    • 1. As Ms. Faust explained race was never something they intended to play a real role in the show. Everyone is equal. However you look way to deeply and completely disregard that. That is very stupid of you. You say “what will the children think” yadda yadda yadda. Solid fact: children don’t read into things as much as you do nor do they pick up on racism. You apparently are very narrow sighted into the whole issue and obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

      2. Friendship is extremely important. I cannot believe that any sane human being would say that friendship isn’t important whatsoever. That is a ridiculous statement in every way. Friends help you to learn and grow as a person. They help you discover who you are and how to interact with people which, as at least I know, is extremely important in the adult world. That isn’t to say that studying should be completely disregarded; it is extremely important, but this show is aimed at 7 year old girls. In addition to this, if you’ve ever watched a few episodes you’d know that Twilight is just as studious as before, saying multiple times (Season 1 Episode 16 Sonic Rainboom) “It’s been a crazy week of studying;” her floor is littered with open books.

      3. Many children of the age don’t know of sexuality, much less homosexuality. You again are reading too much into it. Rainbow Dash in the show is depicted as being very competitive, nothing more, nothing less. Calling out Faust on Dash being lesbian just because she is competitive is extremely hateful and totally against feminism. Cannot females who like a good competition also be straight? Cannot lesbians be less “tomboyish” than Rainbow?

      4. There is absolutely zero “God save the Princess” (ahem, not a queen, watch the show) and “what would the Princess do?” in the show. It is merely the ponies, Twilight Sparkle in particular, trying to meet her assignments and trying to make a good impression to her elders. She and her fellow ponies from Ponyville want to please her, to better the princess’ view of her and her friends. You are obviously looking for things to add to your long list of idiotic complaints and you’ve outright made up this one.

      Causedthefire, stop adding to the fire and think things through next time.

      • Well, let me stop you there about sexuality. Kids may not know what the word means. But, the do know whether if there is something different about them. Kids are smart and understand if they are gay, straight, or bisexual. They know from a vary young age. They may not know terms or how to explain it outside of them feeling like they are different than other kids their of the same sex. Talk to any gay person out there. They will tell you the same story. “When they were young they knew that something was different. Something was off about them.” Some kids will even think that something is wrong with them.

        So, is it really horrible if there is a character that might be gay? Is it wrong for people to read into that? The answer is simply no. Art is all subjective. And once a person puts their art out there, they have no control over what people think of it or read into it.

        I think Rainbow Dash is gay because I am gay and she is an icon to me, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. It doesn’t change or hurt what other people think about Rainbow Dash. So people, just give it a rest.

        • The point isn’t that Rainbow Dash is gay or not, or whether being gay is bad or not. The point is Rainbow Dash has NO sexuality, because she is a fictional character; until her sexuality becomes plot-relevant at some point, (which it never will, as this a cartoon for pre-pubescent girls) it doesn’t exist. Anyone who argues otherwise is reading too deeply and is attributing characteristics to her that she doesn’t have.

          • Anonybrony says:

            I think it’s more that no sexuality for Dashie is or should be canon, but people can interpret her preferences however they want. Same with all the others. It’s if they start assuming that her personality or mane somehow make her gay that’s the problem, because stereotypes are bad and I will not love and tolerate them.

        • Honestly, I don’t see what the problem with homosexuality is either. But, as a Christian, many have tried to teach me to abhor it. That aggravates me to no end because some of my favorite characters from my favorite shows, books, etc. were incredibly different. Technically I don’t have a favorite pony since I like them as equals, but if I had to choose it would Rainbow Dash. As for you, just dismiss any comments pertaining to your sexual preference. Some idiots may say you’re evil and God hates you or some crap like that, but what matters is who YOU are, not who they want you to be.

    • Dude you got some nerve, you know that? You have the balls to criticize the whole show on shallow, broken statements and then call Ms. Faust out on it. My reasons for thinking these are 1). The. ponies. don’t. specify. race. sure different colors and appendages are evident but are only ever mentioned in “Bridle Gossip” to which the problem was resolved and Zecora became a sub-character 2). I’m familiar with LGBT and the whole mud fight fiasco but, dude RD isn’t a cheap shot at lesbians. It’s a kids show and even I, a 15 – year – old male fan never determined this. In fact RD even seems more like a pony with attitude than a tomboy, but that’s me. 3). Celestia is almost never called in and when she is she doesn’t even do anything major. She’s only called in when one of the villians are about and even then she doesn’t do anything. Nightmare Moon made her disappear, The mane 6 navigated their own way through the labyrinth which Celestia could’ve easily brought down, and she was simply there by chance when Chrysalis revealed her plan. So you need to be ready, and stuffed up the wazzoo with information and facts before you attack the biggest fanbase for any show out there.

      • oh wait i forgot about Twi and how her intellect is, in your eyes shunned. c’mon. Celestia intends her student to actually go out and get some friends istead of being the pony that is inside all day. what do you think about people who are reclusive hermits? now celestia thought wisely about this and decided to tell her student about what was important. you and richter saw things a little too deeply. It’s a cute, funny, entertaining, cute, kick-plot, cute show.
        and i said cute 3 times there.

    • I find it worrying that you not only consider friendship not important, but that “what is important is taking advantage of everyone”.

      Wut.

      • Mysterious Stranger says:

        Actually that was a typo on her part. She meant “taking advantage of every one of your opportunities…”

        Causedthefire, you don’t know what you are talking about!

    • Darkwyng says:

      I don’t expect you to change your mind with a simple comment, but here we go.

      Again, Twilight Sparkle’s main flaw at the beggining of the series is that so much of her life revolves around studying and learning she’s pushed aside everything else, including socializing and friendship. Sure studying and working hard is important to reach your goals and dreams in life (and I should know this, being in med school and all), but burying yourself in books WON’T help you deal with other people, and definitely WON’T automatically give you a free pass to a job, EVEN if you’re a fan of self-help books, that by the way, will never consider EVERY SINGLE VARIABLE of humanity, because as individuals and as part of a society, we’re an extremely complex race, and the only way to truly learn about ourselves is well, going out and meeting ourselves!! So Twilight is not being pressured to drop the books forever and dumb herself down; she’s being persuaded to give a bit of her time to hang out with other ponies, to balance out her bookworm tendencies.

      Also, none of us are self-sufficient, and while we may perfectly be able to do some things on our own, for bigger projects or difficult tasks it’s always good to have a friend, colleague, etc. that we can trust on when we get stuck on something and need some valuable input. Notice, for example, how Rarity or Applejack go about their normal routines with little to no interference from their friends, but when it comes to something they’re not quite familiar with, they either try by themselves or turn to their friends, with mixed results (because the show has never stated you ALWAYS need help from others or ALWAYS can do things on your own, pretty much like in real life, where you NEED to know the extent of your abilities and WHO to call on when you actually need help; or in other words, sometimes the choices we make aren’t the best).

      It’s a bit like surgery: it’s definitely necessary to read up on your anatomy and surgical instruments and procedures, BUT being able to number all the steps to removing, say, a tumor, off the top of your head will be useless until you actually TAKE THE SCALPEL AND NEEDLE AND DO IT. And have you ever noticed how there’s at least 4 doctors/nurses around the patient in the operating room? That’s because the surgeon CAN’T pull off everything on his own, at least not without prolonging the operation to more than 2 hours (and risk the patient’s health with each passing minute): he NEEDS his helper to give a clearer view of what he’s operating, as well as pointing out what he may have missed on his own and doing little cuts and ligatures here and there; he NEEDS the scrub nurse to quickly give him whatever instrument he might need at the moment, as well as clean and count everything that’s been used; he NEEDS the non-dressed circulant nurse to go around and give the non-sterilized supplies that may be required, note down the inventory, etc; and he NEEDS the anesthesiologist to monitor the patient and ensure he’s not operating a dead or complicated patient!!

    • 1. What about Thunderlane? He’s a black pony, and the girls loved him.
      2. What about the episode where Rainbow Dash starts reading?
      3. I don’t remember anything like that in the show, and I’ve seen every episode at least twice, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

      And don’t forget that Lauren Faust isn’t completely in control of what goes in the show. I’m sure if it weren’t for the need to market toys to little girls, it could be taken more seriously.

    • Jerilyn Nighy says:

      The armor that Medieval knights wore was blackened, so as to prevent rust, so black is appropriate for her guards.

    • Jack Grayson says:

      Did anyone mention this? White (colored) guards abound! I’m thinking “A Bird in the Hoof” and “A Canterlot Wedding”.

    • richfiles says:

      You forgot about Thunderlane.

      He’s a grayish black. He’s employed with the weather patrol, along with Rainbow Dash and many of the other pegasi in Ponyville.

    • Causedthefire: “In the grand scheme of things, Friendship isn’t that important.”

      It is to me. I have tried being alone while living with depression and the only thing that got me through was the love of those who genuinely cared about me, even though at the time I didn’t believe in love and thought everybody in this world was just out to use one another. As an aspiring computer programmer (the stereotyped male-dominated field of stereotypical hardworking and intelligent “loner”-type personalities) I have to say that I could not find life worth living without love and friendship and a sense of purpose about who you are.

      Watching My Little Pony actually really helped me to get out of a real depressive slump. Every time someone in the show said “I forgive you” I could feel the love of the characters really was sincere, and the characters themselves had rationality and reason and weren’t just forced into a workable plot but actually expressed their humanity (hehe) and emotions. Seeing that love in such genuinely worked characters has made me realise that some people really do believe in love, enough to really think about what it is and to express it in such a sincere art form (there is so much depth invested into these characters, and the message of friendship and love is detailed and has been carefully investigated, there is nothing “glib” in this show). Seeing all of has given me so much hope to live in this world again.

      Thank you Lauren Faust, your show really has made a huge change to my life and helped me to accept myself, to realise that other people in this world really do believe in genuine love, and to not be afraid to reach for my dreams again, and I really wanted to let you know that.

    • Almost all of my arguments have been stated by others, so I won’t address most of this post. However, I would like to point out that the Royal Guard consists of grey and WHITE ponies. If you watch the arrival at Canterlot in the season 2 finale, that will be evident.

    • Anonybrony says:

      Dear Startedthefire,
      I feel the need to counter your ignorance with love and toleracne, so I will force myself to tolerate the fact that you barely seem to watch the show and explain why you are wrong.
      First, the highly-esteemed Royal Guard does have some unicorn stallions with black coats. HOWEVER! If you were paying attention, you would have seen that as memebers of the Royal Guard, they’re highly esteemed ponies and nothing whatsoever like servants, you silly pony. Also, there are many, maaany members of the Royal Guard who are white-furred. Furthermore, when a brony sees a black pony, they don’t think “oh, look, a black person serving as a slave, how appropriate!” they think “Cool, a black pony! That’s awesome!”
      Seriously, why would anyone be racist against a pony race that doesn’t exist? Black is just a color in Equestria.
      Second, friendship IS important. Good friends can help you get through hardships much more easily then if you were struggling on your own. This brony knows. And Twilight’s studying is never, NEVER looked down on by her friends. Where in Equestria did you get that bonkers idea? Twilight reads in almost every episode! Celestia tries to help her find balance because she’s so isolated from society; she doesn’t say EVER that it’s bad for Twilight to be studying. How can book-smarts be put on the back burner when the MAIN CHARACTER is a humongous, GINORMOUS bookworm who’s extremely intelligent, loves science and has so much potential she’s being trained by Celestia herself? Silly pony, that’s not right.
      Thirdly, I’ve watched every episode of MLP: FiM seasons 1 and 2, and Rainbow Dash never mudwrestles. Ever. The show can’t scream something it doesn’t reference; your interpretation of Dashie’s sexuality is entirely your own.
      Fourthly, in what episode is it implied that doing things by yourself is a bad idea? THAT NEVER HAPPENED. What’s more, in the second season premiere, when Discord escaped, Celestia immediately called on the Mane 6 to defeat him because she couldn’t do it herself. Not once did any of them ask Celestia what the answer was to Discord’s riddle or what they should do. She asked them to defeat Discord, and they did it on their own. The same goes for, oh, let me think…EVERY OTHER EPISODE EVER. And most importantly, Princess Celestia isn’t a queen. She’s a princess.
      You know what? I think you’re a troll. Have fun trolling, but don’t expect anyone to believe your faulty arguements! Buh-bye now! Buh-bye!
      ~Anonybrony

    • “in the grand scheme of things, Friendship isn’t that important.”

      Wow. Did you get that from watching Reality Television? That’s just a terrible line of reasoning. The fact that Twilight is told that she NEEDS to get out from under the books and socialize is what makes her such a great character for the graduate student set that watches the show because we understand what it’s like to get so immersed in our studying that we neglect the people around us. And there is a certain place where we need our friends just as much as the extroverts.

      “I understand what you are saying about Rainbow Dash, but their is a Mud Wrestling scene, you are kinda screaming it there.”

      I always thought that the cowgirl was the lesbian pony. Regardless, they are both very happy and upbeat characters so the idea that they are “miserable” because they are lesbians is just stupid.

    • If it were not for MLP, people like you would have caused me to lose absolutely all faith in humanity.

    • The12thDoctor says:

      Ditzy said in the MLP-Doctor Who crossover:
      “We are an egalitarian society.”
      They’re all equal!Dang it.

    • The12thDoctor says:

      No,Stop the fighting.He/She is just trying to start a Second Great Internet Flame War,and we need to just use our ability for Love and Tolerance,(:.

    • Riburticus says:

      My take on the darker colored Royal Guards is that their color scheme is more “adult” and “serious,” versus the bright and playful colors of the younger ponies. That said, it is everyone’s right to interpret things differently.

      I wanted to add something else to the conversation: TWILIGHT SPARKLE. Yes, the guards have a darker color scheme, but so does the main character of the entire series! If you look at the Mane 6, TS’s purple is the darkest shade (http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com//wp-content/uploads/multi/2012/11/MyLittlePony_splash_2048x1536_EN.jpg). Granted, Rarity, the richer and somewhat snobbier one, has the lightest color scheme.

    • Can’t resist my own rebuttal, here.

      Children will not think, “There is no pony (as they are ponies, not horses) that is black in color; therefore, it must signify that none of these characters could possible represent a person with a darker color of skin.” A girl of ANY race, if she were to imagine herself as a pony, could be purple, or pink, or blue, or orange, or, yes, even black or white, if she wanted. And the Black Stallion/Black Beauty stories frankly have no bearing here; there is no point to be made in saying, “This story about a realistic horse should influence your work about fictional, magical, rainbow-colored ponies.” Unless you think more of the ponies should also be chestnut, or pinto, or spotted. Moreover, you’re bringing that up as though the color of a horse’s coat is equivalent to race, which it is decidedly not, and as though it has bearing on their personality, which it also does not. Much of the reason black horses were chosen for those stories was because when considering real horses, black ones are simply more visually striking than most other colors; the same would not be true in a bright, almost-pastel cartoon, as the shine of the coats, the contrast against the more common colors, is not apparent.

      It’s a little like saying, “Hey, there are black dogs and cats, too! If you don’t include them, black people won’t feel included or be represented!” Surely you can see the problem there? (Although I would not ever put down anyone who would try to raise black dogs and cats in the public’s eye, as they suffer their own, non-racially motivated prejudices, due to superstitions about bad luck. This is not at all equivalent, though, to human racial prejudices.)

      To your next point: NO. I say this as a person on the autism spectrum, who would rather spend most of her time alone and stimulating her mind: it is not okay to tell children that socialization is unimportant, and that one cannot (and, by your insistence, it almost seems SHOULD not) have social relationships while still striving for personal success. It isn’t okay to tell ANYONE that. My only point of discomfort would be in forcing it upon someone, but it’s ridiculous and very nearly offensive to imply that friendship and human relationships are of no importance. Right now, or, rather, some time ago, by writing this, you were communicating socially — albeit in an indirect and decidedly unfriendly manner, but you apparently felt it important to have SOMEONE hear your voice, and even directly address one person (here, Ms. Faust) while remarking on another’s behavior. You would probably, as most people would, wither emotionally and mentally without social bonds. If you wouldn’t, a brightly-colored, generally-happy cartoon about ponies probably is not going to do anything for you anyway.

      And it’s especially important for girls, in my mind. There is a lot of media where women are reduced to nothing but their romantic or familial relationships with men, and their more casual, personally chosen relationships are completely ignored. Even business relationships often get more attention than regular friendships. And then you get into the lovely mindset some media (and people) have that girls don’t have friends, they only have enemies they keep close. Ha! Women, too, are social creatures, who should not be told that they should sacrifice happiness through friendship for driving themselves to death just so they can get some kind of success. (That is actually another unhappy trope often seen: the businesswoman who has so focused herself on her career, to the exclusion of other forms of personal happiness, that she is a cold, bitter spinster. Most of the time she can only be opened up by a man’s love, instead of by friendship. Let’s not go there, if you will.)

      Your mud wrestling comment just screams heteronormativity and homophobia. There is almost nothing a girl can do, even playing in the dirt, that would not decide her sexuality for her in the eyes of others, is there? (I won’t say I don’t see any orientation in the characters, but there is no sexuality to them, and certainly none that would present fighting in mud as titillation; they are chase without being prudish. It’s refreshing, and wholly appropriate for the atmosphere.) I don’t suppose you assume med wrestling is some kind of lesbian rite of passage, or a traditional pastime of women who love other women, do you? I can tell you that in my instances of attraction to other women, I have never once had the urge to fight her, or any other woman, in mud. As a matter of fact, mud wrestling is more an indicator of male sexuality than female, as it is done largely for male audiences rather than for the pleasure of the contestants. Lesbians are attracted to women, after all, and not dirt and water.

      Your “Great Queen” comment makes it seem as though you have no ability to think on your own, ironically enough. If you take it at face value, yes, some episode might seem as though they follow a formula of “Princess Celestia gives a direction, and Twilight tries to follow it” — except that there are many episodes without Celestia at all, and in most of those were she gives directions, they are short, undetailed, and undirective, leaving Twilight to either find the solution on her own or — gasp, yes, horror of horrors — rely on another for assistance. Because that is okay. It is okay to ask others for help, and to seek their guidance, when you have a problem you are not able to deal with on your own. Nobody is perfect enough to solve all their problems on their lonesome.

      It’s almost funny, to me, that you’d cite a “lack of morals” here. I find it less than moral to imply that women should be forced into an emotionless, friendless lifestyle to get what they want, or to qualify as feminist, or whatever you think you’re fighting for; I imagine many would not find it moral to compare human race relations to the interactions and appearances of animals, as well. It certainly doesn’t seem moral to insist that women who act one way must be sexual in a corresponding way, or to imply that the things a woman does are inherently sexual, regardless of context. Friendship, acknowledging and accepting your own weaknesses and finding strength in others, taking responsibility for your problems and knowing when you need help — those seem like fairly moral ideas, to me. I won’t speak to creativity; sure, I find the show creative, but I don’t particularly care if you find a show that is not quite like any other available right now to lack creativity; you’re certainly allowed to dislike, if you want. But don’t pretend to be high and mighty while swooning over hate-driven impressions someone wrote while glancing at promotional material and showing her own prejudices while blaming others for them.

  2. Arkalidor says:

    Lauren Faust, after reading this article and seeing the efforts you put into making My Little Pony something different from the “toy commercials” we used to know, I want to thank you for two things you achieved. They are basically the same but apply in two different domains.

    The first is to have finally managed to breach through the “unidirectional gender barrier”. What I mean is that for very long, girls have been enjoying things made for boys, because these are well made, and genuinely enjoyable, whoever you are, while things made for girls are generally impossible to enjoy if you’re not a girl. Thanks to you we finally have something made for girls that is actually good enough to be enjoyed by everyone. Such a feat is really noteworthy because it creates an exception to one of these unspoken rules that float around in the collective subconscious. Finding an exception is the first step to proving that a rule is wrong and shouldn’t exist.

    I still believe that boys and girls have deep difference that education has no effect on, but we are all human and that is a huge common ground to work on. If peopled spent time learning to be human before learning to be a boy or a girl, our world would without a doubt be very different. Probably better if you ask me.

    The second achievement is an other breach of a different kind. You brought back art, creativity, humour, in one word you brought back effort in a show that originally was created by adults to make children want to buy their toys. And by doing so you gathered an unexpected fanbase that I have no doubt Hasbro will manage to make money out of.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against commercial corporations. They are something our society couldn’t exist without. But I strongly believe that whatever you do, if you do it for the sole purpose of making money, then you should find something else to do. And by creating this new version of MlP, you showed all the “corporate thinking heads”, in Hasbro and other similar corporations, that if you actually put effort in something, it will generate much more profits than if you just mass produce following a template. This is especially true in the industry of entertainment.

    In short, thank you for showing people that the girl/boy separation in their mind is faulty and should be reconsidered, and for showing the industrials of entertainment that effort and implications are not a waste of time and money.

  3. Thank you for this, Lauren.

    I was amazed by that article (I just saw it now) About how Rainbow Dash is somehow a lesbian :/ People, look at the name “Rainbow….Dash”….Where is a rainbow? In the sky….The rainbow existed long before it was adopted as a gay symbol….”Dash” means to move quickly….And a Pegasus can do just that….Therefore, Rainbow Dash makes perfect sense as being a Pegasus who flies quickly- aka- into sports! *headdesk* People are far too critical about things. I was a tomboy as a child, and I am straight….Just saying lol.

    Twilight is naturally a very reserved character- I can relate, I have a social anxiety disorder. I would rather stay holed up inside my home reading 24/7- than to deal with people. I read 4 books a week and I practically live at the library. Since I am so antisocial, I don’t have any friends, and I’m *literally* afraid of people, and would rather learn. SO I force myself to go outside once in a while to interact with other people- because I know it’s important. Celestia was 100% right. You can be smart and love to read and learn, But it’s important to have friends too. Life is all about balance.

    And the “slaves” as people call them, are not slaves, they are guards. Guards have the job they have because they want it. They could very easily quit if they wanted to. And they are grey, not black. They are grey probably because a Pink guard would look ridiculous- and then all of the crazies would start up with their “OMG!!! You’re making fun of gays!” because of a pink male.

    One thing I’ve learned in life? You can never please everyone.

    This show is fantastic, and the naysayers are just ridiculous. It seems to me that the people who complain and nitpick about things like this, are also the most judgmental and illogical. Get a life, and stop complaining about ponies…lol

  4. Kathy M. says:

    As the mother of a ten year old camo-wearing, self-professed tomboy, I wanted to thank Ms. Faust for creating a cartoon that speaks to my daughter. Her show is my girl’s obsession, and regularly eats up at least 1/3 of my very large DVR! Your ponies inspire my daughter to create and draw her OWN ponies, to write her OWN pony stories- your stories make her laugh out loud, and rage with indignation. She feels a kinship with Applejack, because they are both “country tomgirls,” (her words) and I suspect that she insists on wearing ponytails because of it! Thank you for creating a show that my daughter feels is just for her- for creating a pony world she wishes she could inhabit :-)

  5. OH my goodness, where was this show when I was a little girl? It is completely brilliant. I can’t stress how impressed I am with the characters- they are like real girls, like my friends and I were, instead of the air-headed-pieces-of-fluff/stereotypes/super-ultra-action-boob-fanservice-girls I resented and felt bad for not being. And the messages are heartwarming, genuine and relevant to little girls. This show would have been soooo good for me as a child. But I have no problem watching it at eighteen instead ^_^’ Thanks so much for your art, Lauren Faust.

    • i hear ya. 11 months ago if you told me to watch my little pony i would laugh in your face. now i’m on the recieving end of the ridicule but i could careless. Ms. Faust managed to create one of the only shows i’ve seen with simple, but good animation, great story, great actors and actually acknowledges it’s fanbbase. MLP:FiM is gonna go real far at this rate

  6. Never actually watched this show, although I probably will at some point given how I keep hearing about it. But Lauren Faust gets big points in my book for this post. This passage in particular: “There are lots of different ways to be a girl…. This show is wonderfully free of “token girl” syndrome, so there is no pressure to shove all the ideals of what we want our daughters to be into one package. There is a diversity of personalities, ambitions, talents, strengths and even flaws in our characters–it’s not an army of cookie-cutter nice-girls or cookie-cutter beauty queens like you see in most shows for girls.”

  7. Roselover411 says:

    I had never watched My Little Pony before today. I found a video on YouTube that was a cover of a song from the show, and through an argument between a couple people raging in the comments, I followed a link one of them supplied leading me to a bunch of different things in support of the show, this page in particular. After reading all the messages and articles, I found myself wanting to give it a try…and I did. I actually really like it. I had thought previously that it was childish and couldn’t understand why so many people I knew liked it. I should apologize to one of my friends; I have no doubt she would’ve shown it to me before if she hadn’t known of my automatic hatred for things people force me to watch. But by going after it myself, I found something adorable with actually good messages. I’ve only seen the first 2 episodes so far, but I believe I will continue to watch it.
    And thank you, Lauren Faust, for pushing so hard to get a show out there that is actually good. So many cartoons today are total crap, in my opinion, and I’m glad to see there’s a cartoon that anyone can like, in spite of all the haters. It’s been a long time that there’s been an animated series other than Avatar that’s American-made that I enjoy. I’m happy to find a new one. ^_^

  8. I used to be a huge fan of the MLP tv series and movies as a kid. However, the late 90s lost the plots, the ear-catching musicals and characters I could relate to. It was just blatant ‘hi I’m this flat-character with the same personality as these fifteen other ponies and we’re going to just spend this entire episode introducing so you’ll ask Mommy to buy us’.
    Then, FiM came out. I wasn’t sure at first, but after a couple episodes, I was amazed and enchanted all over again. People read too deeply into things just hoping to rain on someone’s parade sometimes. Sure, you can look into anything and make your own conclusions about it, but it doesn’t make it so. This is the best show I’ve seen on tv in a very long time. I want to say thank you for bringing out the magic in something I treasured when I was little and breathing whole new life into it. Big Brother ponies! There have been references to the 80s MLP beginnings I’ve recognised and applauded. Amazing work! Everyone who’s worked on this series has a big ‘thank you’ from me!
    I can’t believe some of the rubbish that is presented as children’s cartoons these days. FiM has restored my faith that our present young generation does, in fact, have something wonderful to watch, learn and grow from. I will be definitely be keeping this series on DVD or Blu-ray or whatever else they come up with by the time I have children so they can share the laughter, too.

  9. Lol, that blogger is funny

    Oh wait, she’s serious?

    Let me laugh even harder

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  10. I don’t have a long response like some of the above comments, nor do I have bad things to say about the show, as it’s now one of the only things worth watching on Saturday afternoons, and I’m a male college student. But, no, I think my comment will focus on the fact that Lauren was able to rise above the hate and stupidity to point out exactly what her purpose and meaning is. She shouldn’t have had to, but if the world weren’t so full of ignorance, than people wouldn’t want to escape to Equestria so much, would they? My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the best kind of cartoon it can be, because it can and does teaches lessons, but doesn’t take itself too seriously (*cough, Trollestia, cough*), and that’s what the targeted demographic needs, to learn the importance of friendship, of being yourself, and of how awesome rainbows can be when they break the sound barrier. Thank you, Lauren. You keep doing what you’re doing. I don’t need to tell you that, but I will anyway. It’s a really great show and everypony should watch it.

  11. Just to point out there is no Asia, Africa, America, or any other continent of earth in this show only equestria so how can there be racism without races (except earth pony, Pegasus,and unicorns) therefore Ms.Richter. argument is invalid

  12. Courtney says:

    Well to make a point there are a good amount of males for how many females there are. In horses there have to be a bigger female to male ratio. Anyways who dosen’t want to make babies with Big Mac ;)

    But no there is no racism in this show. The ponies are colors of the rainbow. And Celestia’s sister is a very dark blue with black markings. Often she appears ‘black’ given she only comes out at night. Frankly Luna by herself is the better of the sisters.

    And hey so what Rainbow Dash may be a closeted lesbian? If she is why does that matter? It shows that you should be accepted no matter who you are!

  13. Old enough to know better... says:

    Dear Ms. Faust,

    Although you rebuttal was published around 18 months ago, there are 499 replies, and I want to be #500!!! That’s 20% cooler than…uh..NOT being #500!

    Just a little background to support my support for you: I am a father, 55 years old, have a Master’s degree in Music and I am a teacher.

    And I have seen every episode of MLP:FiM at least 4 times…at least. My daughter, who is in college, introduced me to the show in the fall of 2011. She has a poster of the Wonderbolts in her dorm room, right next to Vincent an Gogh’s painting of an exploding Tardis. Blue and Yellow were her favorite colors long before either show aired.Curious.

    I did not read the original article by Ms. Richter, for if I had I would probably be firing off a “real” letter to her with some very impolite suggestions as to her lineage and what she should do with her life in the near future.

    MLP is one of the finest, most creative, clever and entertaining shows ever!

    It has no hint of impropriety on any level. I am amazed that anyone could elicit anything related to race, sex, gender-bias, anti-intellectualism or any other “weirdness” from MLP! One would have to superimpose one’s OWN biased template over the show to “force” any such conclusions referenced in the article or the negative replies.

    MLP is loved by kids of all ages for it’s LACK of impropriety, LACK of bias, LACK of sexuality as well as its wit, humor, character depth and development, interpersonal relationships (Sister Hooves Social is a great example), clever cultural references, music…I could go on and on…I could actually write a doctoral thesis on what makes this show great!

    BTW – The Canterlot Wedding was amazing!

    Thank you, Ms. Faust! Please note that you are loved by all of us who are 20% cooler!

    DrJ

  14. Bronymaniac says:

    erm I hope you realize that when facing a big problem (Nightmare moon, Discord,Changeling queen) Celestia either was not there, or didn’t participate in helping in any way possible.

    • richfiles says:

      Celestia took on the Changeling Queen… And lost.

      Celestia is also powerless against Discord and even her own sister when she was in her jealousy and anger corrupted form, Nightmare Moon.

      It’s been made clear in the show that Celestia (and Luna) are simply no longer bound to the power of the Elements of Harmony. Had Celestia or Luna attempted to take on Discord, they would have been powerless against his corrupting nature. Recall, it took the Elements to defeat Discord. Can you IMAGINE Celestia or Luna under Discord’s influence. They were powerless against him, and HAD to allow the girls, the true current bearers of the Elements of Harmony to defeat him.

      Had Celestia confronted Nightmare Moon before the Elements purified her of her evils, it likely would have ended up a fight. Celestia understood that the girls would bind to the Elements. It was necessary for them to become close friends to be able to manifest the power of the Elements. Celestia wanted her sister back… Not killed… Without the elements… Nightmare Moon would likely have battled Celestia to the death, and Celestia had no desire to fight back against her own little sister.

      With the Elements, Nightmare Moon could be purified of evil and Luna would be able to return to Equestria as Princess of the Night.

      With the Elements, Discord, and being OF pure chaos, could be bound in stone again, saving the world from his twisted form of evil.

      The ONE time Celestia does take on an enemy, she is trying to defend her ponies from Queen Chrysalis. Celestia is proven to simply not be powerful enough to take on the love empowered changeling, having just fed on the majority of Shining Armor’s love for Princess Cadance.

      It does go to show that in this world, love and friendship are truly the most powerful forms of magic in existence. Even Celestia, with her connection to the sun, is not able to counter such forces, even the forces of love corrupted as mere food for a changeling queen.

      So, to your statement that Celestia was either not there, or didn’t participate… I have to disagree.

      1 Celestia guided Twilight on the path that would lead to both her new friends, and the Elements of Harmony. That was the ONLY way to save Princess Luna from the grip of evil that had changed her to Nightmare Moon.

      2 Celestia (and Luna) are both powerless against the influence of Discord. Elements are a REQUIREMENT to battle him, and they no longer have a connection to them. There was absolutely NOTHING they COULD have done. They simply gave Twilight and friends the knowledge needed to combat Discord, and Celestia DID send Twilight all the friendship reports she had received from Twilight, to break her free of her corrupted state and allow Twilight to rekindle the power of friendship in her heart. Again, indirect influence, but CRITICALLY necessary to proceed forward and succeed.

      3 Celestia DIRECTLY attacked Queen Chrysalis, in defense of her ponies who were under attack. She risked her own safety for her subjects… Unfortunately, she simply was not strong enough.

      Your arguments don’t really match up with all Celestia HAS done for her ponies, and for Twilight and her circle of friends.

  15. Someoneoutthere says:

    Oh WHY must people be so stupid about crap like this?

    It’s a CHILDREN’S show. It’s not that important. Heck, My Little Pony is the most tame show out there! Why people over analyzing things now? I swear, people are getting so oversensitive now-a-days, it’s getting old!

    Oh, and to me, those ‘black’ ponies look a lot more like a dark gray.

    And one more thing, rainbows are just a girly thing. It doesn’t automaticity mean ‘gay’. When I was a little girl I drew rainbows all the time, I thought they were the most beautiful things on earth. But I didn’t grow up and become a lesbian. (Not saying that there’s anything wrong with that, because I’m sure I’ll get crap for saying that)

  16. My god. I don’t understand the devotion. Millions of lines of text just to defend a show about flying ponies.

    Countries and presidents have been overturned for less.

    • Fluttershy says:

      “Countries and presidents have been overturned for less.”

      Oh please. Billions of dollars and many wars are being compared to text from a developer of an excellent show with a strong fanbase.

  17. RD-loves-RA says:

    Lauren Faust dignifying the original article with a response is too good a fate for it. Thank you Ms. Faust, for all of your effort. You’ve made the world a better place with ALL of your work. Thank you for making my life, and the lives of all your fans better. You are an inspiration, and I have nothing but praise for you. Keep up the amazing work.

  18. Floweraise says:

    This is a GREAT response to that other article. Ms.Faust, you are an inspiration to all of your fans. Thank you so much for your hard work!

  19. I’d just like to say that in comparison to all the other kids shows out there, MLP is by far the only one worth watching if you want your child to grow up normally and not formatted into what I like to call the Barbie Girl plastic case. When you put it up against shows like Strawberry Shortcake or something of the like, you immediately notice that you can distinguish the characters not just because of their names or colors but because of their personalities. The characters are so stereotypical that it amazes me how they don’t sue each other for being clones.

    So…Love you, ponies!

    Sincerely
    A college student who would rather go watch MLP than discuss this further

  20. Laura Shanae says:

    You rock, Lauren!

    I know a lot of men in their 20s have become a fan of your show… it’s one of the main points of cynicism that people I know have for the show. (How can men abandon their manhood?!)

    I see it as a tribute to your profound efforts to personify females and portray them in intriguing, intelligent ways.

    THESE characters–these whole, balanced, imperfect, innocent masterpieces–are the kinds of girls that get the attention of honest, gentle men. (Did I mention that my male friends who enjoy this show are incidentally, some of my favorite males in existence?) It thrills me to see men excited to watch pink ponies learn how to treat each other better instead of excited to watch violent, sexually arousing explode-athons.

    Thank you for the reminder to be human, and feminine in a true-to-ourselves way.

    And thank you for the laughs (your show is hilarious!).

    ^_^ 22 year old woman

  21. NoisyPanther says:

    If this whole situation has taught us anything, it’s that it’s impossible not to offend someone who’s looking to be offended.

  22. Well played, Ms. Faust. Well played.

  23. SotoKonoha says:

    I never built up a reason to look at this article until now. For the longest time, I have thought of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as a childish, really stupid show only meant to memorize girls into believing in false hopes. For most of my life, I had to deal with hard times that no one could understand, and they tore my life into pieces. I have even forgotten if there was even a reason worth living. I shut myself off from everything, and a lot of people that talked about MLP I flamed on and called them gay and many other bad names. One of my friends, seeing my position in life actually suggested for me to watch it. I refused him countless times for bring up such a thing, but he never left me a days rest without telling me to watch it. I finally agreed after long months of refusal. I started watching MLP around Feburary 20, 2012, very long after it was released. Being already used to anime, I found the first couple episodes average, and a little more creative than I expected. As I continued on, I made it to the Sonic Rainboom episode, and my heart sank down far enough to just be crushed more by the dark blue sea. Watching Rainbow Dash freaking out over failing, be bullied, countless numbers of practicing and failing, I realized how similar I was to her (not the exact same but somewhat similar). I was very competitive, and I hated it when people downed on me for what I did. I always put myself out of my way to prove people that I was much different than what people thought. I worked very hard at whatever I was good at to become better. Mostly, I freaked out under pressure, and I was too stubborn to let anyone try to make me feel better because they never went through the life that I went through of being pressured to live the dream of another person. I never had my choice to choose what I wanted to do for about 14 years of my life (and I am 17). I hated being controlled by others that I started to refuse my studies to get my way. Then I referred myself back to Apple-bucking Season. Just because I didn’t want help to get through life doesn’t mean that I don’t need it. Everyone needs a little help to guide their way through life. I also referred myself to the episode when Fluttershy was being a model for Rarity. I learned I should not be something someone else wanted to be for their life, and I should just be myself and become what I want to be. There were so many things that I learned from every episode of MLP that changed my life into the way that I wanted it to be, but it also allowed me to move on through life at the right pace that I was still successful.

    Whenever I come back to my thoughts of saying that this show was gay and only meant for little girls, I realized that it was not only meant for girls, but the whole world to experience the wonders, and magic, of not only making friends, but being yourself without being afraid to show it. Then I think about how I call it gay, but I realized that if people are gay for watching it, then I am gay too.

    Looking over the recent comments posted on this article, and the article itself, I find comments given from people like Causedthefire. People that over complicate a story and make, not ridiculous or stupid, but SILLY comments like “What would the children think of these black ponies (who are grey by the way) being ‘servants’ of the Princess”. I just laughed my ass off at this because if you can tell me, What children ever think in such a way? I mean come on, they would be lucky enough to know what a servant is. Think of this as racism and slavery? Children don’t even care the color of one’s skin. The only time they do is when their parents say so, and even then, they still don’t just based on the color of their skin. To finish my comment I will end on the most personal note that threw me into a hot boil: Homophobia, being attracted to the same sex. It seems our world is full of a bunch of judgmental animals, if I have to say, that believe that the world will end if they see even ONE homosexual. No one is judging your interest in certain people, and you don’t seems to criticize Pedophiles and Rapers, two of the worst things to see happen in the world next to murder, as much as you criticize homosexuals. That is really sad on your end, to let off the impression that you would rather have Rapers than homosexuals. Gays are just as much similar to me and you, and the only difference is our ideas and attractions toward certain people, places, or things. I know they won’t, but it would laugh if they did have an episode like that just to prove a point. I know they won’t being as most of the world is very judgmental. I hope one of these days you guy will realize that despite how much you hate repeating the past, you are doing it just on a different subject. Instead of racism, it’s now about homosexuals. Instead of not treating black people as equals, you are doing so to gay people.

    I really thank you, Lauren Faust, you have changed my whole life with this magnificent show. I am truly sorry for thinking of this show is such a way, and all I can ask for is forgiveness. Whether it be taken or not, I really still believe, in my right mind, that I should apologize for this. You have brought me from what I thought was hell, to this magnificent world that taught me what there is to appreciate in my life, and brought me back to my life as a changed person. It is because of you that my signature will forever be posted on everything that I write.

    From hell, to you, and back again,
    Soto Konoha

    Thank you for giving me hope.

    • Kaheliini says:

      Glad to hear you overcame your suspicions and actually bothered to watch the show. So many people just judge it without knowing what it’s all about. To be honest I used to think I would never, EVER in my lifetime bother watching what I thought was just another ‘lame-ass show about boring, colourful ponies’. Then I actually saw some episodes earlier this year and boy oh boy, I was hooked.

  24. Lauren, or anyone from the cast of my little pony, has to answer to this. Tell me absolutley EVERYTHING about the rainbow factory. Every single detail.

  25. Why cant any god damn cartoon or animated person in a series for kids ever be gay, when is it gonna change,I feel worthless sometimes while thinking about it. I feel that Dash is probably bisexual, and wait for it, fluttershy (dont ask me why) is a lesbian. Back to the crying bit I got really sad after watching hearts and hooves day, Why? because i thought miss Cheerlie might have been a lesbian and big Mac gay, and that it would be a learning episode about LGBT. God damn sorry about the rant, but it´s hard sometimes…. Is there anyone else feeling the vibe with fluttershy, i feel like she might be a libstick lesbian

    • Jerilyn Nighy says:

      There are countless LBGT characters in anime.

    • Amanda, I have some theories about RD and Fluttershy, will put it up on my tumblr account soon. (unfortunately it is currently very bare as I have just set up my account and have been very busy but watch this space for some interesting discussions on those two (soon!)).

      http://arbtree.tumblr.com/

      Also, to answer your question: CENSORSHIP :(

      Hence this atrocious statement:

      “There is considerable social stigma attached to homosexuality in the U.S., particularly where children’s entertainment is concerned, and there is a strong association between homosexuality and sexual acts. Due to this, anime containing homosexual characters is often heavily censored through plot changes, dialog editing, and the deletion of scenes.” -wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editing_of_anime_in_American_distribution

      There is very heavy censorship, but I think MLP gets around that pretty well by making the show very asexual in general, and by showing the close relationships between the female characters, allowing the fans to speculate what they will.
      But there will be more speculations on specific interactions and relationships between characters on my tumblr account soon :)

    • Wolfantix says:

      In this show there is a character “Fancy Pants” a big fashion mogul that Rarity puts on a show for……While I can’t remember the person’s name that he is obviously based on (the main host for that Project Runway show) this person is openly gay in life…..and while there is zero focus on this character or his sexual orientation, I would say it is a nice tip of the hat to that respect….just understand that if we had cartoons for kids that openly portrayed gay characters there would be a S%$# storm from the Christian Coalition and their Republican Conservative Cronies.

  26. Wolfantix says:

    To Lauren Faust,
    Please know that you have my support and I applaud the work you do in the rebooted My Little Pony show. I am a father of a single son and I encourage him to watch this cartoon, and I watch it with him.I fully am aware that this show is aimed at young girls so I always talk to him to try and teach him that girls are just as smart, strong (in more ways than just physical strength), and capable as us boys are. Not once have I ever observed anything that would indicate anything less than female inspirational material in the show. In fact the only episode I can think of that ever came close to being racial was the episode where little Spike went on his trip to the “Great Dragon Migration” to find him self, there the other dragons accused him of being a weak little pony. Not much racism there. I think the only way this show could go wrong is if it starts to portray a message that girls are better than boys (but I don’t see that here, just a simple lack of male characters doesn’t constitute claims of gender superiority, just a bias toward the gender the show is aimed at which almost all cartoons do…some for boys (like G.I. Joe) some for girls (like our pony friends) and some for both (like Pound Puppies). Keep up your good work madam, and rest assured my son and I will continue to follow the ponies adventures.

    To the people who truly think this show has some form of negative hidden messages,
    GROW UP! It is people like you who continue to perpetuate these messages of hate and intolerance by finding these flaws in everything! More like you impose the traits you fault into the shows you watch. I could to (hey look the two male characters Snips and Snails portray boys as stupid, slow, trouble makers! OMG the world will end!!) If any thing, the main characters of the Ponies could be compared to the Spice Girls……Oh wait……You people would probably accuse these girls of being prostitutes that promote a message of promiscuity due to your ignorance. Take your stupidity and leave!

    To everyone else,
    Thank you for having the intelligence not to fall into the hate-mongering, Nazi skin head idealist who are superimposing these crazy non-existent claims on this wonderfully entertaining kids show. Keep up the good fight for this socialy nutral show.

  27. @Amanda: “Why cant any god damn cartoon or animated person in a series for kids ever be gay”

    Google “DerpyGate”. Oversensitive freaks will shit bricks if somepony as much as says “hi” the wrong way to somepony who’s not a balding middle class male WASP. That’s why. And it sucks :(

  28. I just want to say that I always love reading this article, no matter how many times I read it. I can really relate to it. Like what you said about girls’ cartoons. Whenever I would watch a show when I was little, people would say “hey, that’s a boys’ show.” Well I watched shows like Dragoball Z(it was my favorite show) mostly because I didn’t like the shows for girls. Mostly because of the same reasons that you mentioned. And when you said that others said “girls don’t watch cartoons” I thought to myself “who the hell would think that?” because, when I was little, I watched a lot more cartoons than my older brother, he watched a lot more live action shows that I did. But I never liked most girl cartoons. So I was a little closed minded about My Little Pony. To be honest, I thought it would be like the other girl shows. But after hearing so much about it I give it a chance, I turned on the tv in the middle of the episode at the Gala. That episode convinced me that this was different. Also, you talked about how the show shows that you can be a lot different than your friends, a moral I always held. Also, I’d like to change animation for girls, too. I have a lot of animated movie ideas to do that. I just wanted to say what was on my mind, even though you will probably never see this. Oh well, just putting it out there.

  29. Look, I’m a brony (A guy in the ages 13-30 that likes MLP: FiM).

    I see Ritcher’s points on racism, pro-monarchy, etc.

    Only one problem….

    IT’S A F*****G KIDS SHOW. 8 YEAR OLD GIRLS AREN’T GOING TO ACCEPT RACISM OR STOP STUDYING.

  30. W/o reading all the comments (did read the article) I just want to ask some commentors who are still insisting that the black servant pony thing is racist; when you saw that some of the “servant” ponies are black, why do u immediately assume it is some type of racist idea? Sometimes a black pony is just a black pony. I think ridiculous statements like that (ridiculous because of the context in which we are speaking of this so called issue) are quite telling about who the racists are. I guess the color black should be avoided all together just to make sure no one is offended by racism. :<

  31. one more white feminist who can’t take any critique about her work despite any validity, uses words that hurt differently-abled people (lame? really?), and a horde of fans who tell us we’re “overanalyzing.” Pop culture is our modern literature unfortunately and this has to be looked at. Poor response, Ms. Faust, ignoring anything said in Richter’s article indicates a lack of intersectionality that is fatal to feminism.

    • Did you bother to read her rebuttal? She countered the arguments point by point. Your inability to see that is rather short sighted, blinkered, blinded to the truth… should I go on? Or will you decide I need to be taken to task for possibly offending a blind person somewhere?

      Oh, and by the way, I reject your politically-correct (read censorship) bending of the language on the basis that it may offend. And before you get on a high horse, I am lame in the literal sense that I cannot run anymore due to injury. I don’t need a multi-word description of what is wrong when there is a simple, unoffensive four letter word that does the job. LAME!

    • This is unrelated to the article, but relevant to your comment. I have a permanent injury in my left leg, and am unable to walk without assistance. When people call me “differently-abled”, I literally want to punch them in the face. Stop acting like we all have extra sensitive feelings and just call us disabled. Hell, I wouldn’t even care if you called me lame or a cripple. Just don’t goddamn patronize us.

  32. Future author (shall be the best!) says:

    Haven’t seen the show yet, but it looks really fun actually, especially after seeing over 500 comments just to defend it from two people. This has seiously suprised me from catching my attention,me, a fifteen yr old boy! from what I’ve read here, I can safely say, respect to Faust. And from what little I’ve seen of it already, it looks great! Good way to get my little sister off the garbage of today too…
    Causedthefire, try actually watching it first!

  33. I just have to say, my 5-year old son loves, loves, loves the show. He only gets to watch it on airplanes (at home we don’t have cable, so it’s all PBS), but when he can, he’ll watch the episodes several times in a row. I think he does latch on to how the characters work things out together. And just a reminder that “girl” shows aren’t only watched by girls…

  34. Sorry folks,
    Just watched the season 2 finale where a bunch of black monsters tried to take down Equestria. In the grand tradition of bad guys wearing black, MLP is continuing to perpetuate darkness = evil. There are no good ponies (or any ponies for that matter) that are dark, neither as main characters nor as background tokens. (Nightmare Moon is good now, but she started out evil and is the ONLY dark pony around. Call her Princess Token now.)

    • Mysterious Stranger says:

      Your argument is invalid becuase children are the target audience and children are too innocent to understand racism. I remember when a reporter asked a child about race, and the girl thought the reporter meant a recreational running race.

    • Note that the black monsters in the season two finale were also ridlled with holes. Looking at this I put it together, and think they are zombies because decaying flesh shrinks blackens and splits apart. I could be interpreted in any way.

    • I love the fact you just write luna off as princess token even though SHE HAS THE SAME AMOUNT OF RESPONSIBILITY AND POWER AS HER SISTER. Considering the fact she got her own episode, which celestia still lacks, by the way. She got more character development then her sister. For the love of all that’s holy she was in the same episode where the villains, who are black and green, why? Because those colors match well together.

      Thunderlane, a background pony, is black. Zecora, well black and white really. The problem you have is that all you see is color, the problem is, it doesn’t matter when the populace are purple, blue, yellow, orange, and pink. You are simply trying so hard to put racism where there is none. Luna’s guards, are black.

      Well you are correct there are no black characters, or caucasian characters, or asian characters and so on and on and on. They. Are. Not. Human. It’s such a basic premise but you simply can’t seem to grasp it. There are only pegasi, unicorn, and earth pony.

  35. Mysterious Stranger says:

    I LOVE how this post is so popular that it has been in the “Today’s Most Viewed” section for almost two years! :) ~

  36. My kids watch this show and they find it cute! I don’t see any sort of racism in the show though.. Is it about the colors, or I am not just that observant?

    • Mysterious Stranger says:

      It is not about the colors. as Ms. Faust said, color was never an indication of race on the show. Wings, horns, or a lack thereof are indicators of race, yet the characters are integrated.

  37. About the girls show being stupid, I think W.I.T.C.H subverted it with the aid of Gargoyles creator. Winx Club might count too. Ironically, I hated these shows while my sister loved it. Today, she hated My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic while I adore it.

    • SapphirePhoenix says:

      Wait a minute,what’s wrong with W.I.T.C.H?It was one of my favourite childhood shows,and I still adore it!Diverse characters,nice plots,beautiful animation…Why is it that you find it stupid?

  38. normalmente no hablo ingles en el 100%… traducido por el traductor de google.
    hello, I present myself as a simple Mexican state that obserbando series hasbro has been developing for little girls called my little pony friendship is magic, is a series that has taken me by surprise in advertising among youth and adults, and I find it very difficult not to misunderstandings in the world, it is very difficult to make people see something nice without encountering any Rasismo footprint in the stories, and what I have read is that feminist or even that we lleba too macho to disagreement in some people, what I mean is that everyone makes mistakes, and our herror is that some want to be more than others, when the truth is not to be so, there are people of different shapes and colors, and does not mean we have to despraciarnos each other for our differences, how many people in this world have suffered from discrimination.
    I’m not complaining the show is good, but you have to find a way as anivelarlo, I’m not sexist and I like doing this kind of drawing, but good any more censillo is this, and I admire him a lot.
    I hope not aver offended or have dropped your self esteem.

  39. The critique that “racial diversity” is lacking in Equestria is coming from the wrong perspective. Although you don’t have any black ponies, it’s obvious that any hard cultural definitions of characters is avoided, especially within the main cast. Some exceptions are the “safe” stereotypes of the very unusual, and are usually intentional. Though that doesn’t usually limit the character completely.

    What is unfair is that the author of the original article clearly was biased from the beginning. After what seems like 5 minutes of poking around Hasbro’s website she found suitable enough targets based on a character description, a synopsis of the first episode and a decontextualized screenshot of the show. Those three elements, individually, founded the basis for the three accusations and by extension the whole article. An article that reads more like an anecdote.

    If you pay attention, as with any social production, the show reproduces it’s share of the structures of the field. As such, the smart girl has traits that suggest an Asian ethnicity (eg: straight dark hair, almond eyes); the zebra is clearly African, living in what is said to be a lawless forest, fitting the wise magical eccentric foreigner stereotype etc. You can also see these flaws do not stem from a dominant or intolerant positioning. Bearing this in mind, critiques of these flaws should be constructive and any analysis should elaborate on the fact that the formulaic nature of the show’s plot is prone to reproduce most well ingrained as social patterns, specially the ones not yet strongly opposed as politically incorrect (depiction of the Roma as fortune tellers, of the different African cultures as a single culture, of culture as something not to be understood but unquestionably accepted).

    If I may, the last example is of particular pervasiveness in the show, and western (democratic) cultures. It’s as though any valuation of practices of foreign cultures is somehow illicit, taboo. Even though there are many mechanisms to do exactly that, they are ignored in fear of establishing an objective measure of cultural value. The fear disregards the dialectic an relational nature of culture, and the fact that, contrary to popular belief, culture as all human production can indeed be faulted (as in bad, unjust), there’s just no way to determine these faults a priori or through an unilateral cartesian approach.

  40. Anyone nay-saying the show obviously hasn’t watched it. And I’ll admit, I was a tad biased against a cartoon meant for little girls at first. But you know what? I’m 19. And I make sure I watch every episode now when I get the chance. It’s a damn good show! And causedthefire and… Whoever wrote the original article (didn’t care to look), you are WAY over-analyzing things. Seriously. Black ponies are slaves? No. They’re grey, first of all, and also there are white royal guards too. Not to mention that no one describes ANY of them as ‘Asian pony’ or ‘African pony’ or anything like that. It’s more like a box of pony-shaped crayons. Plus, I’ve never once seen an episode where they run to Celestia to solve their problems. Ever. One of the co-rulers doesn’t even appear enough to do that much even if the show WAS like that (Which, I’ll admit, I’m a bit disappointed in since Luna’s awesome)!

  41. Chrisw521 says:

    I am a Brony and I don’t care if anyone hates im still just a teen to not a 50 year old man in a basement but now i must state that this is nothing but a cartoon it shouldn’t need analyzing or invalid raicial argument it is simply a show for people to escape reality and get lost in a fantasy land with lots of imagination and creativity and rainbow dash is my favorite character in the show and I will say that she may be a tomboy but far from lesbian the richter ladies arguement is invalid and her points can easily be stumped

  42. Clawgerber says:

    Whoa…
    And this is why I’m a brony.
    The care put into this show is amazing, Lauren’s work and focus made the show even better then most guys shows. The byproduct being a show that not only breaks gender barriers for girls, but guys as well.
    Guys are supposed to be masculine, emotionless, and bigoted; All football and beer. I hate sports and would never touch alcohol. To have something interesting that isn’t (for lack of a better word) girly or macho is a great thing, and to attach a community of people against such social standards makes it amazing.

  43. I just have to say (even though the response from Ms. Faust happened three years ago) that adults arguing over the sexuality of a fictional pegasus pony in a children’s cartoon is just mind-bogglingly idiotic. Why on earth does Rainbow Dash have to have a sexuality? Why on earth are our children expected to understand homosexuality or ANY SEXUALITY WHATSOEVER? Half the people in these comments applaud the innocence, sincerity, and lack of cynicism in this series, and a substantial portion are bemoaning Rainbow Dash’s still-questionable sexuality. Seriously? You want to explain to your five year-old why the pegasus might be homosexual and what that entails? A big part of the problem with childhood today, in my opinion, is that kids are losing their innocence earlier and earlier. Let them be children, for God’s sake. Parents spend God knows how much time and worry to block out the violence and filth of the mass media from their children, and here we have people crusading to sexualize My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

    I’m a thirty year-old adult and I enjoy this show for its humor, its music, its great characters and storytelling, and most of all for its complete lack of cynicism. I can get jaded sarcasm from every adult book, tv show, and movie in exist. I am pretty jaded and sarcastic myself. It’s refreshing to let that go sometimes and just enjoy an extremely well-done show that’s visually appearing, sweet and cute without being cloying. It’s wholesome in the best possible sense of the word, and that’s a nice break from just about everything else on TV.

  44. About Rainbow being Lesbian, one newly inducted Brony named Tobuscus thinks that she is one. Just hope that Pew Die Pie didn’t became one.

  45. Here I am, visiting this famous article on the night before the Season 3 Finale, “Magical Mystery Cure”, airs. Only 10 hours remain!

  46. blood emocat says:

    Um… Wow. I read EACH and EVERY comment up there… Took me a while. Ms. Faust, love what you’ve made, regret what you left.

  47. Unicorn Farts says:

    My thanks to Ms Faust for helping to create Friendship Is Magic. I watched half of the first season, and at the same time, started watching older series of MLP online. Without FIM, I would never have bothered looking into the older shows. As far as I can tell, none of the previous MLP generations were so pretentious or came with an underlying political agenda. They were just fun; there was no purported attempts at social engineering of the viewer. Nothing else I can say about FIM really matters because it’s been a huge success at least for creating publicity for itself. I will continue to be a fan of G1 and G3 even though they have been replaced by something that’s a lot less fun and a lot less interesting. I don’t care if FIM has racist stereotypes or if Rainbow Dash is a raging lesbian. The animation is crude, the characters are pretty one-dimensional, and the show’s focus on friendship feels like it is preaching something that even the main characters seem oblivious to when they start every episode without any indication of having learned anything from the previous episode. I watched as many episodes as I did expecting to find the sophistication and nuances that fans of the show keep talking about, and I came up empty. FIM, to me, is a big show about nothing. It’s part Looney Tunes, part Seinfeld.

    Lots of FIM fans feel uninhibited about picking apart the older MLP shows, and they are entitled to their opinions, just as I am entitled to mine. So thank you, FIM, for helping me find what I really like.

  48. This show is one heck of a psyop/marketing job and every trick was pulled from other anime to almost guarantee an audience beyond little girls.

    1. (a) The rainbow has been adopted as a symbol of gay, lesbian, and tg rights and awareness. So for Richter to see Rainbow Dash as representing a lesbian is not an illegitimate interpretation. It also cuts both ways; Rainbow Dash is either great for being there in subtext or bad for that depending on whether would one be insulted or not over being mistaken for lesbian if you weren’t.

    (b) The tuffgirl who can hang with the guys is a male fantasy. Not sure why; maybe it puts a feminine stamp of approval on maleness that is usually otherwise told to behave by women/girls, or just an extra special conquest; unattainable but it she could be, bonus kudos.

    (c) Of course RD hangs with the girls, flies high and plays hard without being made to feel too boyish by her peers, in fact even supported. So Faust is also correct in that athletic girls may identify with a message that is OK to be physical and excel at it, even beating boys.

    (d) Yes, its relevant because little kids are being taught gender preference tolerance at an early age, what with books like “My Two Moms”.

    2. (a) A black pony would be a black pony; why should they be associated with human races? Bottom line, the pastel colours have to be bright, bright, bright; its probably not a race thing, its a bright shiny girl’s toy thing scientifically tested for appeal. Although, MLP:FIM dolls may have ‘action figure’ status now.

    (b) The soldier/guard ponies are all white or grey; its not just Celestia. The subtext of a military or police caste IS alarming, unless its just a uniform colour magically imparted to recruits of any pony colour to make them more visible. I can remember when police uniforms weren’t all black, and intimidation not so strongly implied by law enforcement, and preferred it that way.

    3. (a) Children getting out and making friends is a universal parenting/mentoring concern. It doesn’t have to mean discouraging studying; studying all alone instead of with smart friends isn’t very productive in the long run.

    (b) The Ponyville MLPs have responsible jobs; a dressmaker/fashion designer, a farmer/caterer, an animal caretaker, a party service, and a meteorologist/stunt pilot. So MLP is not off in the smart independent career girl department.

    General Conclusion 1.

    Overall, the show has positive values, but these are sometimes mixed up and poorly expressed.

    If Ms. Richter wanted to go on about racial stereotyping and other problems with the show:

    Season 1 Ep. 21: Over a Barrel – Favoritism of lies over truth.

    Typical cynical wild west adventure supporting the European Conquest and dissing Aboriginal rapprochement while trying not to look like dishonest liars about history.

    Peaceful ponies steal buffalo Indian land so they can plant a town and eat from its apple orchard. The buffalo don’t have to eat sweetgrass or something; the selfish jerks just want the land to stampede, and so threaten to smash everything. Ignorant annoying liberal (Pinkie Pie) sings a song about the disease of sharing and caring.

    It all ends in a food fight, except the buffalo Indians are to crude to foodfight and just smash stuff while the ponies throw cute little pies. The Indian buffalo are so backwards their chief is not a female but a caricature of a patriarchal noble savage; in fact, apart from Little Strongheart, there are no Aboriginal women characters.

    Wayne and Shuster mended irreconcilable differences so much better in their Plains of Abraham battle spoofed as a food fight over thirty years ago.

    RD goes ‘Dances with Wolves’, Applejack sides with Appaloosa, and the rest of the pony girls just nag and nag and nag. All are ignored. The male sheriff and male chief duke it out and find the solution their own way.. Message to little girls: stay out of men’s business and don’t pretend you can solve real problems.

    MLP bias is disgusting here, trying to teach that kind of patriarchial racial bigotry with cuteness. At least the video game Custer was not at all deceptive about its intended message.

    Season 2: Ep. 26 A Canterlot Wedding Part 2 – Cronyism.

    So much militarist wrong hidden in beautiful sentimentality. Canterlot under terror threat? Armed ponies everywhere (for all the good that did them…)? What is this, GI Ponies in pink voice?

    Lets focus on just one thing.

    Princess Cadence fails to rescue her bridesmaids and put them back in her wedding party. One assumes they were chosen before Cadence was kidnapped by the changeling Queen, since if not, it would be suspicious of her to choose total strangers to be in her wedding party.

    You’d have to watch the episode to understand how it came about, but really, of all the supporting characters to make disposeable. They don’t reappear at the ceremony after the defeat of the evil Queen, only at the end when they again miss the thrown bouquet.

    Bridesmaids are supposed to be the bride’s closest friends, but Cadence apparently has none, or lets them go in favour of Princess Cestia’s favoured MLPs. So much for a show about freindship; there really isn’t a set limit on the number of bridesmaids a bride may have, but Cadence lets her freinds down.

    Anyone else see a systemic pattern of inversion and usurpation happening after enough good karma is built up?

    Season 3: Ep. 13: Magical Mystery Cure. – Nepotism.

    Um, Fluttershy with a whoopie cushion? That kind of lowbrow guy humour is just what killed the last Muppet Movie for me. In MLP, its yet another example of the bronies influence on A LITTLE GIRL”S CARTOON having gone to far. The male-dominated creative team just takes over and steals the feminine voice to flatter themselves and their brand of humour.

    However risque Henson was (The classic “Mahna Mahna” song, for example, was taken from an Italian adult film soundtrack), he would never stoop so low as his successors to cater to potty body humour. That’s why we loved Henson’s Muppets so much; the genuine innocent desire to make people happy with genuine humour that was as universal as it was clean, and universal because it was clean, leaving no-one put out..

    In any case, this is the episode where we fins out Twilight was an Alicorn all this time. Maybe all unicorns can become alicorns, and earth ponies unicorns, working their way up the ladder. But that would be a dumb game.

    General Conclusion 2:

    Women and girls need a room of their own. It was that almost peek into a mysterious culture of girlhood idealized that gave the show its magic, a unique voice and perspective on common enough story-tropes unlike anything else out there. And its being lost.

    What was it they call women with the values of male assholes? In the credits, men are the major decision makers on that show. Lauren Faust just taught them all to walk the walk and talk the talk, but maybe only she had the heart.

    Richter is right; friendship isn’t everything; in fact friends helping friends has the dark side of favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism.

    Its almost a good thing Hasbro pulled the Season 3 plug at 13 episodes, although allegedly a season 4 is on the way. Watching My Little Bronies was bringing the cringe back into watching kids’ cartoons in an unexpected way, like watching big brother take away baby sister’s favorite toy for himself.

    • The message of over a barrel was that other childrens’ media often pushes the idea of sharing in an obnoxious way, and people shouldn’t “shoot the message”. Pinkie telling adults “it’s a bright sunshine-y day, so let’s go out and play”. Does that sound more like something a straw liberal would say or something an anoying character from some other preachy kids’ show would say? The chief also almost listens to the others at one point only for Pinkie to ruine it by singing her obnoxiously moralizing song.
      There are only two Aboriginal characters with a confirmed gender, one is male and the other female. How exactly is this a problem? And since when can only backwards people have male leaders?
      Not only is favoritism of lies over truth not even remotely the same the same thing as favoritism of people over other people, it’s not necessarily what’s happening in the episode because despite numerous simularities Equestria isn’t America. It’s never said that the Appaloosans stole the land they built the town on, only the land they used for the apple orchard. Unlike the USA Equestria is at least 1000 years old, and if ponies were willing to just steal buffalo land they would have already stolen all of it long before the episode happened. So from an in-universe standpoint it seems more plausable that the Appaloosans got permission from the buffalo to build the town and then failed to comunicate about where they’d get thier food.
      Princess Cadence’s bridesmaids aren’t introduced untill after an imposter has already taken her place, so there is no evedence that they ever were freinds of the real Cadence. But then wouldn’t her friends show up after the imposter is gone? No, because that would mean introducing new characters at the end of the last episode of a two-parter. And yes, you do have a point about the militarism. So why didn’t you write more about that instead of about Cadence ditching ponies who might not have ever been her freinds in the first place?
      Nepotism means favoritism twards members of ones family. Celestia and Twilight are not family. And why would you take one unicorn becoming an alicorn to mean earth ponies can’t directly become alicorns?
      I take it you have reasons to think bronies are having to much influence on the show other than Fluttershy using a whoopie cushion in a scene meant to showcase how making jokes is not something she’s good at. So write about those other things. Maybe if you make enough of a fuss about things (in your own article) Hasbro will make some effort to fix whatever the problem. But first learn or remember or whatever how to write, you seem to have taken three possible negative sides to friendship and three episodes you don’t like and mashed them together even though those particular episodes didn’t actually have those particular problems.

      • Morals aren’t inherently obnoxious and neither is Pinkie Pie. She’s usually the source of wacky fun intuitive wisdom that’s spot on, if not always tangible. A regular Pinkie Pie follower would have expected her to suggest the obvious solution of a path through the orchard as soon as RD and AJ started arguing. That is, if Twilight didn’t first. “Over a Barrel” was a cleverly obnoxious hachet job against caring and sharing, aboriginals and feminism using passive attack marketing techniques.

        Bison civilization is represented by token “Big Chief” and “Pocahontas” stereotypes, with a uniform background cast of male braves. There’s little to pony-ize (humanize) them as a civilized people. In contrast Appleloosan background scenes were called forward, from a pony high on salt (humour with no place in a little kids show), to (painfully punned) ‘mild west’ dances. The bison nation may as well be a street gang compared to pony civilization, ‘bro’.

        Ask Hollywood about backward leader stereotypes. The noble savage male leader is their convention.

        How is saying as little good about one people and exaggerating the positive qualities of another not playing favorites between them? How is one to separate the quantitative cues ported from America into Equestria from the qualitative expectations that make such transfers meaningful?

        Suppose instead the bison told RD and Pinkie that local sweetgrass stands were rare good medicine, used in Pinkie’s mash and a bandage for RD’s head. The ‘thunder of the hooves’ of a stampede this time of year causes sweetgrass to go into winter rest till spring. RD could recall recall the pony races that made fall leaves fall (S.1, Ep. 12 “Fall Weather Friends”), and understand the bison also faced existential need for the land. The Mane 6 inspired by Pinkie Pie make the stampede path themselves, and get pony and bison to help them replant trees with Applejack’s expertise, despite Thunderhooves and Silverstar spoiling for a fight. Their rivalry is resolved in a shootout foodfight at high noon just between those two, and they look silly except they discover they like ethnic food and can start to be friends. That would have felt like a real MLP:FIM episode. Any amateur could figure out the alternative angles even before the credits stopped playing.

        Chief Thunderhooves says outright, “But they have taken our land; what would you have me do Rainbow Dash?” Sounds like an accusation of theft but the screenwriters couldn’t bring themselves to use the word. It doesn’t matter when the ponies steal the land, only that they have.

        If some people accidentally planted a vegetable garden in a public park/nature preserve, local authorities are within their rights to remove it, no questions asked. The bison aren’t presented as entitled owners, just squatters who may be challenged.

        Cadence would no more place complete strangers in her bridal party than a real bride, and she would have no shortage of candidates. Faux Cadence wouldn’t risk suspicion by ditching Cadence’s real friends either. The Changeling Queen clearly did her homework to fool everyone into thinking she was the real Cadence.

        The bridesmaids were already introduced when faux Cadence visited Rarity for their dresses. When the Changeling Queen asks how Twilight and Cadence escaped her bridesmaids, Cadence simply had to say, “You mean MY bridesmaids!” in voiceover during the fake bouquet scene. Then, include the rescued bridesmaids in that scene opening the real wedding; there’s space ahead of the Mane 5/6 behind where the bride will be opposite Twilight. No extra time or scenes were needed. Just a voiceover and retouching one static scene. Given MLP:FIM’s excellent record of tying up loose detail, the poor treatment of the bridesmaids stands out.

        The episode is about a wedding, and a wedding is about the bride. So the question was, did the episode reflect that, or was it too lost in matriarchal/patriarchal games praising the male ego to stay focused? Of course, a wedding usually needs a groom, so you bring up an interesting question.

        There is nothing wrong with militarism as responsible use of force. It worked in the story when applied consistently. When it didn’t, that also stood out. The complete failure of Celestia’s male-only grunts to be a factor in the fight for Canterlot was very unusual; one moment they’re everywhere, the next, they’re gone. Was Shining Armour tricked into sending them all away but the two seen glued to the street? Shining Armour’s lack of backbone isn’t a feminist touch either.

        Shining Armour’s most vapid lines came before the climax when he needed a female to re-empower him. A real guy would default to male posturing and reckless action on principle of the Changeling asking for it. A real hero Captain of the Guard would not admit to being ‘useless’. Suppose Shining Armour didn’t look pathetic and whine when his magic was gone. Suppose he simply stood up, heedless of his magic failing, and told the Changeling Queen, “You may have cheated my magic, but I’m still taking you out!”, poised to charge like a stallion of the light brigade. Then, Cadence reminds Shining Armour of his true strength, his capacity for love and to draw upon theirs.

        Its kind of important; feminism envisions gender equality and patronizing neither party. Shining Armour in gelding mode flatters the matriarchal ego with male dependency. The useless male army that can’t fight makes the Mane 6 look good, but women got stuck with all the chores again. Matriarchal concessions end up complimenting patriarchal expectation that emasculated males serve feminism. Matriarchal-patriarchal alliance is also present when Cadence and Shining Armour are finally united as ‘mare’ (adult female horse) and ‘colt’ (juvenile male horse); ‘stallion’ is a male adult horse and the more logical word to use.

        Also, the only time Shining Armour raised his voice in the episodes was against Twilight. That needed to be balanced off. He felt free to be aggressive against his little sister, but goes wimpy in front of the Changeling Queen? Only bullies and cowards bend before bigger bullies; they don’t stand for anything better. The militarism in S.2, Ep. 25-26 isn’t much better than bullying pretension, as it often is in real life, but who needs that in a cartoon.

        How can the viewer be sure that Twilight and Celestia come from different royal houses?

        Its make-believe; Earth ponies transcending to unicorns at once seems wasteful of plot devices. They don’t have to do anything but make a good story. In S.3, Ep. 1, “The Crystal Empire”, if King Sombra was a transcended earth pony, enslaving the other earth ponies to stifle rivals makes villain-sense. Celestia and Luna fighting him to free the Empire and prevent him from realizing alicorn powers makes an obvious good story in the bank. Crystal Empire magic is represented by aurora borealis lights, powerful magic as those lights are earth’s magnetic force field in action against solar and cosmic charged particle storms.

        The pony species can likely exist in two of three tropes; a races in harmony (or not) trope, fallen race trope, or ascending race trope. Races in harmony, the present setting, ignores origins and focuses on getting along; friendship. The ponies are clearly meritocratic and equal in personhood, each pony fulfilling destiny guided by cutie mark and honest ability. S.3, Ep.13 introduces adoption of one of two elitist tropes; the fallen race, where the alicorn species was broken into constituent abilities by mishap or punishment and must become whole again, or an ascending race, where ponies may aspire to become full alicorns, spontaneously or under Celestia’s guidance.

        Starswirl the Bearded’s last theorem, er… spell, was possibly one he didn’t finish on purpose because the new magic breaks the harmony of pony civilization and makes conflict more natural. Ponies may know ambition beyond initial base forms and capabilities, and cutie marks aren’t cute anymore and become caste marks unrelated to pony true-selves. Twilight is Celestia’s chosen Pandora.

        As a season ender and potential series ender, S.3, Ep. 13, “Magical Mystery Cure” is Twilight’s ‘growing up’ episode when the certainties and constants of childhood are left behind, and the excitement of newfound wings (freedom) masks an uncertain destiny of ominous challenges, to be met friends at side. With Season 3 cut short and the new direction, it feels like Twilight grew up too soon into a wrongly upended pony world.

        There are a lot of gags Fluttershy could fail at, that aren’t signature guy humor. Failed mime, illusionist or dancer would reflect that Pinkie Pie is an entertainment pro who can read any audience to nail any act. Might a women’s creative and editorial team insist on something more imaginative and respectful of Fluttershy’s supposed innate elegance and grace, or go along with letting guys haze an archetype of ladyhood (even drawn reminiscent of ‘Lady’ from Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp”). Would a more sensitive creative team than one into boy’s action-adventure have recognized and respected that?

        Who is the show supposed to be for? Who’s tastes and code of conduct does it reflect into the universal? Do women find groucho marx glasses in MLP funny (or even at all)? They are out of place in a world without humans and separate history, the artifact of a legendary male comic genius known for no few sexist jokes. Is some sort of subliminal marking of territory going on?

        MLP:FIM began as girl stuff guys could buy into; is it now becoming guy stuff girls have to go along with? The shift in narrative focus from hooves-on-the-ground character development story arcs (the stuff of girl stuff), that may invite high adventure, to larger-than-life epic adventure arcs that only play on character (guy stuff), may not be something all girls and women want to anchor the series on. The Mane 6 just become guys in drag – the dorky straight leader, the tough guy, the steady Eddie, the pretty boy, the joker, and the scaredy-cat who always comes through for his buddies. There is only so much time to develop stories; more sophisticated peacetime story arcs may never develop at all.

        Does Hasbro see a problem or a plan come together? Patriarchy and matriarchy share the same sense of merit-optional entitlement. Neither are feminist, which is about equal rights and equal opportunity. “Over a Barrel” was too polished a hatchet flown under the radar not to have been deliberate. If somehow an accident, its a basket case of Freudian slips showcasing the creative team’s true values.

        Hasbro only needed feminism for a fresh feminine voice formula. Perhaps responding here will help better placed people more experienced at patriarchal deconstruction to make a positive difference exploring the significance of MLP:FIM faux feminism.

        There was a lot going on in the background of that post. The chosen episodes appeared to mark turning points on-screen and behind the scenes as the creative team moved away from feminism into a matriarchal-patriarchal fusion, tribalizing the universal virtues of friendship.

        MLP:FIM revolves around six defined elements of harmony objectified as necklaces and envisioned as energy; honesty, loyalty, kindness, generosity, laughter, and most of all magic – which could also be called charisma – the binding element that channels the other five energies to do work. Productive real world friendships or at least working associations are based on applied virtues and shared charisma. Positive virtues with universal resonance can also be tribalized against the universal to sour intimacy into insiderism. The original Mane 6 were budding career girls; they ended Season 3 as a nascent mil-intel unit.

        Tribalized into cliques of insiderism, the dark side of friendship really isn’t friendship at all, just sociopathic insiderism that spawns alienation and more insiderism in a downward spiral. MLP:FIM was not made in fairyponyland, but by the real-world entertainment and finance industries, which are known for insiderism and spectacularly unhealthy relationships, lifestyles and business practices. They probably aren’t ashamed of this, prefer to see it validated, and glamorize the military-intelligence complex as an ideal of empowerment.

        “Over a Barrel” misrepresented aboriginal history and modern motivation to remedy past and ongoing wrongs, while overstating the settler cause to make it look far more justified. As many subtle, informal tricks of attack marketing were crammed into the storytelling as possible. That’s favouritism in the extreme. During the first season, a rift in the creative direction of the show appeared to appear, and this may have been the resolution point.

        “A Canterlot Wedding” said (among many, many off things) that its ok to formally replace your lesser connected friends (the original bridesmaids) with better connected friends (The Mane 5/6). That’s crossing the line from informal favoritism to cronyism. The winners of Season 1 appear to be consolidating their core message, means of delivery and who will deliver it. The sisterhood of feminism is off; matriarchal alliance with patriarchy is in.

        “Magical Mystery Cure” revealed Twilight is of alicorn blood, a true-born Equestrian princess. Celestia’s favour was likely not earned by merit alone, but by blood mystical connection with the alicorn family. Nepotism is the ultimate formalization of insiderism. Nothing is more insider than to be family, and particularly, of royal family. The new magic’s destruction of genuine meritocracy in Equestria also resolves a symbolic problem undermining the elitism of Equestrian Royalty; alicorns really were the most fit to rule by innate talent and ability. Now, anyone creating new magic can become a royal and vie for leadership, shirking whatever task they are better and happier doing that was matched to real social needs, in exchange for power for security in a more competitive society.

        S.3, Ep.13 seemed to celebrate the realization of separation of virtue from universal value. The Mane 6 were elevated along with Twilight from connection to a greater society of strangers as ‘friends not yet met’, their circle no longer on the same plane as their fellow ponies. The elite can only know true friendship and realize their potential; or at least their’s is the only experience that counts; let all cheer the creative team’s subtext games.

  49. Lets just say its a cartoon and leave it at that and not be a bunch of overanalyzing pathetic excuses of left wing nut jobs I for one see the show as just a show as the same for harry potter as just a good book my point is stop being so cynical and just leave the people who like it alone P.S. don’t assume things about people (or the ponies) because that makes you a racist which just kills your argument that the show is racist (assumeing Rainbow Dash is lesbian because she is a tomboy with rainbow hair). Also saying Twilight can only study is wrong because you need social skills in the work place and Celestia is more of a Teacher then a Queen she infact only fought Once she never did anything to stop Discord or Nightmare Moon she sent Twilight and her FRIENDS to stop them P.P.S I am 15 years old and I just killed there arguments.

    • Inviting people not to think only raises more questions, right wing nut jobs aren’t always nice people either, Harry Potter has entered the literary canon and been analyzed and studied as not just any book, lesbianism is a gender preference, not a race, appearances of choice like hairstyle call the cues of how one wishes to be perceived and not inherently racist.

      Richter may have been an egghead like Twilight was and didn’t prioritize social skill – which girls are sometimes encouraged to over-prioritize anyway. Or maybe Richter she got burned by experience, not knowing something she should have studied for. Or maybe she was just trying to encourage discussion. Queens (or princesses) don’t take out the trash; they command others to do so.

  50. I’m inclined to believe Ms. Faust rather than Ms. Richter, because she works on the show, and judging from what she has written, probably has actually SEEN it.

    • Believe and think or believe instead of think? Its been 2 years since Richter wrote her cautionary about subtext and Faust wrote her rebuttal. Who was right?

      MLP:FIM has negative subtexts, just not those simple ones Richter focused on. MLP:FIM only emphasizes those feminist messages that don’t conflict with patriarchal-matriarchal sentiment.

      In that time, in the real world of women, news has been made about how women make great spies and women special forces soldiers do a great job winning hearts and minds. Meanwhile, the civilian economy isn’t as friendly to employment or small businesspeople.

      If Richter seemed a little out to lunch, its only because she was suspicious of the menu to begin with and opted out. Trotting out Faust is like draping a female model on a sports car. Sure, she helped engineer the thing, but she’s just there for decoration and to deflect criticism because people like her.

      Faust wrote MLP’s production bible but had limited real power to say where it would be driven, let alone how closely it would be followed. She retired to ‘creative consultant’ after season 1 and retired completely after season 2, but cheerleads the fan section, particularly the bronies.

      Season 3 Episodes 1 & 2 “The Crystal Empire” saw the Mane 6 used as an intel/special forces team tasked with winning the hearts and minds of an old conquest of Princess Celestia’s. Celestia has installed new rulership under Princess Cadence and Shining Armour. There’s even an objectified crystal heart to win so the indigs can defend themselves against their old leader.

      The Mane 6 use the nation’s own history to propagandize them to Celestia’s interests with a fair. Pinkie Pie had night vision goggles, a blacksuit, and a Fluttershy-suit disguise. The Fluttershy suit seems a metaphor for the superficial and disposable kindness inherent to such missions, and its somehow appropriate that the joker of the group acknowledges the subtextural punchline. This is more ‘over the top’ than just paying homage to spy thrillers; it taps the real world.

      Never mind that King Sombra really was evil, his former subjects did need rescuing, and Princess Celestia is sincere; its make believe and perfect villains, victims and heroes can be manufactured. This episode reeks of propaganda from the real world of brass-knuckle, knife-in-the-dark realpolitik, of invading foreign lands and winning hearts and minds of the survivors.

      Should this behavior be normalized for little kids? When kids watch GI Joe the premise of special services is in the open and viewers knowingly join a militarist fantasy. That is, if their parents allow it and don’t censor the glorification of violence and military careers over civilian success. In MLP, people default-think they are getting cute little pony stories, not an intelligence service recruitment ad.

      Isn’t stealth-militarizing MLP a problem? Even cartoon spy shows aren’t that sophisticated. Twilight is a sorceress’ apprentice and might be expected to go on epic quests now and then, but not modern cointel missions. The other five should have real jobs that shouldn’t be reduced to just covers for Celestia’s private Splinter Cell.

      The Mane 6 weren’t even deployed with the Elements of Harmony superweapon; if ‘special forces girls’ was flirting moral fail, this certainly is a tactical fail. The magic of friendship is reduced to a small-unit cohesion tale complete with fumbling brass.

      Read the credits at the beginning and end if you want to know who writes the stories, edits the stories, directs the final product. There are a surprising number of credited producers.

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