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The Triumph and Trouble of Charles Gunn

CharlieGunn1

Ready for battle...
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Hey everyone, I thought it might be fun to see what people liked and didn't like about ol' chuck. I wrote a thesis back in the day with the same title as this thread on his character, his introduction and overall portrayal, and I was wondering how others really felt about this character, his roll in the series, and if there was anything about his introduction that you particularly enjoyed or were annoyed by.

Considering the deep anaylsis of so many other characters, I think it's high time to crack open the head of one Mr. Charles Gunn.
 

thrasherpix

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In a nutshell: Gunn streetwise Xander who is actually cool (I mean no disrespect to Xander, but Gunn did normally avoid the awkwardness that Xander often experienced, and Gunn also started off as a leader while Xander never was much of a leader throughout the TV series). I absolutely LOVED how they introduced his character. And after that, I loved the slow but steady growth of his character and how he came to redefine himself.

On my comparison to Xander: I can see this confusing people because they define Xander as often being comedic and openly scared (even if he still conquered his fear), but I see Gunn's wisecracking nature (which could also be surprisingly self-depreciating at times) and black & white view towards demons and vampires in a very similar light (perhaps if Gunn was crushing on a girl that was instead going with Angel then he might've gone after Angel himself in similar petty jealousy, and jealousy did motivate his character later on). Xander sometimes felt insecure about his contributions to the cause, and Gunn sometimes resented being the muscle (not the same, yet similar enough to remind me of the other). Gunn would also confront dangerous criminals while Xander would confront the jocks that bullied him. Both were incredibly loyal that took the death of anyone close to them very hard, and they were everyday men who would fight the supernatural and live (this is one reason characters like Xander and Gunn fascinate me so, and elicit more admiration from me than the witches, slayers, rogue demons, and like). Facing a goddess, Xander gets a wrecking ball, facing vampires without a slayer and Gunn gets a tricked out truck. Both characters also knew their comics as well.

As a personal note...I was once a runaway (and had a certain plan of mine worked out as I had intended then I'd have been on the streets of Los Angeles just months before season 1 Angel aired, which could be very interesting now when thinking of the series assuming I survived the experience). In some ways this caused me to question many of the convenient things Gunn and his crew had going for them, though on the other hand I was also able to feel an affinity at the same time, and I know I'd have gladly followed a Charles Gunn into battle against the undead. That trick used in Blind Date where Charles walked into the offices of Wolfram & Hart to create a distraction that allowed Angel in is very similar to a trick me and the krew I was part of (and others) also did in order to steal from stores (a trick I regret in retrospect as it ultimately served to bolster racist attitudes, but it was survival for all of us who didn't have the luxury of ethical reflections, and the vast majority of us were just kids anyway).
 

Puppet

Actual size.
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Black Thorn
I'm kinda saddened that there is finally a decent Gunn thread and then only 1 person has responded...

What I like: I really like that Gunn isn't, imo, a cliche character. Sure, he has certain aspects fitting the cliche, but that's to be expected. However, the more you get to know him, the more you realize the depths that he has. I never even realized he was an underappreciated character until I joined here last month. I also completely understand the comparison to Xander, and many of my reasons for loving Xander can be fitted to my love of Gunn, too; bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, often the voice of (human) reason among enhanced people/beings, keeping a sense of humor in the face of such tragedy and trauma, a rough childhood that shapes a better person when it easily could have gone in the opposite direction. Plus Gunn is definitely a bad-ass :D

What I don't like: I was never a big fan of the Gunn/Fred relationship, though I do appreciate the writers trying to show that Gunn wasn't going to just fall for another version of himself (though I personally love the idea of Gunn/Faith or Gunn/Gwen). While his S5 lawyer arc was okay, it could have been handled better, unfortunately I think he suffered from the writers focusing on others and not giving him enough screen time to make us truly appreciate this arc.

Overall, I'd say that Gunn ranks rather highly for me as far as AtS characters go. I love his friendship with Wes, including the dynamic when it falls apart in S3, and then returns in S5, I love that he doesn't hero-worship Angel like the rest of the team - he's a realist - and that, even with the upgrade in S5, he never forgets where he came from.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I really love Gunn, but it took a while. I suspect he was intended to be a one-off. There was a whiff of tokenism about him and his Mad Max Blaxploitation crew.

However, Gunn quickly grows to be a great character. I loved the idea of him and Fred. Their personalities are really compatible. For some reasons, the writers decide that Fred and Wes are meant to be, because both are white and educated. It does not seem to matter that Fred and Wes have zero chemistry and that they studied completely different fields. How was Wes able to read a journal on theoretical physics? It makes no sense. Bloody Da Vincian Renaissance man he must be!!

Gunn could have used more moments of triumph. He is always interesting to watch, but he constantly plays the underdog. He shares a lot in common with early Lilah. Two amazing characters that are constantly pushed around by the less interesting.
 
Taake
Taake
Lol. All academic types are experts in all academic fields, it's not like its hard or requires a lot of time and effort or anything.

Bop

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Gunn was a really good character, the problem was with the writers and their need to shove Wesley and Fred/Wes down our throats. I found it so disrespectful how Gunn was reduced to being an obstacle between Wes and his happiness, I love Wesley but it wasn't nice to watch a ship that I loved being set up so obviously to fail. I'm not surprised that Gunn is forgotten about a lot in the fandom, he was never allowed to make much of a splash on the show.
 
W
WillowFromBuffy
Hallelujah!

Bite-me

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I like that he is Joe regular in the vein of Xander and Riley. Proving one doesn't need to be all super natural to be strong and heroic. In hindsight, perhaps they could have empathized his superior fighting skills in comparison to Wesley's. Wesley did have the vogue rogue phase but it was definitely a phase. Wesley's development could have been more dramatic if this difference in mastery was highlighted at least in the beginning.


@WillowFromBuffy, Gunn is a sweet heart that is where I personally see the Fred similarities begin and end. And why I did not care when they made him go Mr. Jealous stay away from my women. Xander was a conflicted guy who never felt like he lived up to the traditional trappings of masculinity and desperately wanted to, insecure, jealous, possessive fitted as his character flaw, as all characters need one. Gunn was comfortable with his masculinity, some other trait or flaw would have better complimented his character better. I particularly liked vulnerable Gunn and wish we got a bigger exploration of his interior life, the emotional cost and repercussions, I think the actor shined in those moments.

@Puppet, I think Cordelia before they ruined her character, is the midway point between Faith/Gwen/Fred. She is sweet and tough and old fashioned and headstrong exactly like Gunn, I see the lighthearted bickering power dynamic between them very entertaining.
 

spikenbuffy

"Hi honey, I'm home"
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I don't like how his sister's death is fastly forgotten in S1, he lost his sister in "War Zone" and the next episode he acts all smilling like nothing happened. I find that weird. I also don't like him sometimes in S4 because of the triangle in "Habeas corpses". He's a little irritating.

But apart those minor things, I like Gunn
I like Gwen & Gwen, his relationship with Wesley, I am Fresley but I have nothing against Gunn & Fred they are sweet in some episodes in S4. I even like him in S5.
 

RachM

I'm busy. I'm brooding.
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However, Gunn quickly grows to be a great character. I loved the idea of him and Fred. Their personalities are really compatible. For some reasons, the writers decide that Fred and Wes are meant to be, because both are white and educated. It does not seem to matter that Fred and Wes have zero chemistry and that they studied completely different fields. How was Wes able to read a journal on theoretical physics? It makes no sense. Bloody Da Vincian Renaissance man he must be!!
Ahhh, bless you for this! Completely agree!
 

Bite-me

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I wonder if she was Gunn's sister in the adopted sense that he raised her, whether or not she was intended to be his bio sis that is the impression I got. And clearly intended to be less a story arc for Gunn's development cause we jut meant him then as a quick stand in representation for his street gang family and severing ties with them to go join Angel.

The Fred triangle never made sense to me based on the characters, unless we logic and fan gap it as being a consequence of proxy. They want to date and do not have a lot of options (Sorry Fred haha) so might as well be a fellow traveler in their very specific and difficult line of work.

If we based it on the characters personalities, my thinking is Angel would be the most likely to have a crush on Fred. Actually you could argue its established he likes strong blonde women but out of the three of them Fred's normality and innocence represents what he himself would most like to be but can never have.

I like Gunn and Cordy when they playfully bicker. I also think Gunn and Angel have good frenemy chemistry when they're antagonists.
 
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I really like Gunn. I like that he is smart and not necessarily in a 'street smarts' way but just in a normal - figuring stuff out way. It's him that suggests that, when Drusilla talks about a nursery, maybe she means a plant nursery, he is the one that spots the pattern in the stuff Wolfram and Hart took from Lorne's head, he juggles the expensive conjuring orbs to get the man to put the gun down in 'offspring' - when Wes's' threats of the police didn't work and he speaks enough Japanese to get him and Gwen out of trouble at the party they are breaking into. I like the journey he goes on in season 5 (though tragic) because he clearly didn't recognise his own smarts as one of his strengths (I think Gwen says something to him about 'they really have you believing you're just the dumb muscle, don't they?') and his attempts to 'better' himself are what lead to his down fall (and Fred's).
His desire to be this super smart lawyer has its roots way further back than even he realises. He starts off as the leader of his own mission - and then he joins Angel and becomes the sidekick. He even acknowledges that he isn't a leader anymore (in Supersymmetry). He might be able to do more good with Angel than he was with his crew - but it's still a loss of rank, that he feels. A loss of identity, too. And then Fred and Wesley are so very book smart, which leaves him feeling under educated - thinking the best he can do, for the team, is hit stuff. Plus their shared connection of (massively wide ranging) academia is a reason for insecurity for him, he thinks Wes can connect with Fred better on an intellectual level - which makes him feel stupid. So his grabbing at the cerebral upgrade seems almost inevitable ... only for him to find out he never needed it - and having it takes away from another part of him: that he is a genuinely good man.
And he is a much better human being than Wesley, at the very least. He chooses to fight - rather than being born to into that world or chosen. When we meet him he has nothing - but is working to keep others safe. His 'home' is open to all the runaway teens and he is insistent that everyone is allowed to stay there and everyone gets to eat - when his deputies want to throw out some newcomers. He believes in justice - not vengeance - wanting to stop Fred from killing the professor, where Wesley aids and abets her. He's open minded and not resistant to change - whereas his old crew are killing any demon they can find, he has moved on to understanding that demon does not equal evil. And he can admit when he's wrong ... like with the ballet.

I really think Gunn is one of the most positive and least problematic male characters in all of the Buffyverse. I think maybe only Oz tops him in terms of being unproblematic ... and Oz has literally no flaws. So Gunn is a bit more realistic.

One thing I do always wonder about him - well J.A.R more, is what he thought of the occasional cringetastic 'street' language that was put into is mouth by middle class, rich, white writers. I get stuck for days saying 'I'll hook up wit y'all back da crib' whenever I even think about it, never mind see it. And that bit where he goes to the casino and Gangsta's Paradise is playing in the background...???? oh very dear.
I mean, J.A.R pulls it all off very well - but sometimes I just listen to Gunn talk and then think 'oh wow - a white person wrote that.' (not 'wow' in a good way). There is nothing more tragic or embarrassing than someone who isn't street saying (or in this case writing) street things - and I can't help but wonder if it just came across as patronising, overly stereotypical or even offensive when they had Gunn say something very street - which always stands out because most of the time he talks just like everyone else.
 
T
thrasherpix
This is all gold, and you just explained why I don't want Joss Whedon in charge of writing a Black Buffy (at least not one from the inner city).

telperion66

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Gunn for me was a great anchor of season 4. I love his romance with Fred in season 3 (just so cute at the breakfast diner) and its so obvious he loves her deeply. I thought that romance worked a lot better than Fred and Wesley, whom I preferred with Lilah in all honesty.

Upon Gunn's introduction, we see him being typecast a little bit with a "ghetto gangster" accent and so forth, but thankfully by season 4 he has truly blossomed into an integral part of Angel Investigations, without the sterotyping. It seemed he had just found himself a lot more by then.

I hate season 5, but from the little I remember of it I thought they took the transformation way too far with the new "cheesy lawyer" Gunn who was supposed to be super slick. This totally didn't work for me. I much prefer the gritty, down to earth Gunn we get in season 4 and as Fred's loving boyfriend in season 3.
 

Bite-me

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Gunn's way of talking has grown on me exactly for the reason that "no body talks like that" I use to linken it to a street tough..... as appeared on the fresh prince of bel air, haha. though the character is fundamentally wholesome or in other words, a good man, so I don't mind the white writers version of a blackaccent anymore, time has redeemed it, its a ,idiosyncratic unique part of the show, lets just pretend people talk like this in L.A on Angel.
 

WryttyGal

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Charles Gunn was smart, caring and strong. BUT, he was am embarrassment to the Black community. He was a walking stereotype. I wonder how J. August Richards could stomach that character all the time. Did he have to swallow part of his soul? His stereotype reaches his height in Season 4 with the Spin the Bottle episode. The only Black character on the show and he had to be that- a walking, breathing, ignorant (even though he was smart) stereotype. For Joss Whedon to be okay with that shows what kind of man he is. Charles Gunn ruined Angel because the stereotyping is so strong, it's disgusting. I often wonder if Richards is an Uncle Tom. Or, did he just want to get paid? Or, did he really have to swallow his soul to play such a disgusting stereotype.
 

Hobgoblin

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Charles Gunn was smart, caring and strong. BUT, he was am embarrassment to the Black community. He was a walking stereotype. I wonder how J. August Richards could stomach that character all the time. Did he have to swallow part of his soul? His stereotype reaches his height in Season 4 with the Spin the Bottle episode. The only Black character on the show and he had to be that- a walking, breathing, ignorant (even though he was smart) stereotype. For Joss Whedon to be okay with that shows what kind of man he is. Charles Gunn ruined Angel because the stereotyping is so strong, it's disgusting. I often wonder if Richards is an Uncle Tom. Or, did he just want to get paid? Or, did he really have to swallow his soul to play such a disgusting stereotype.

While I agree that the writing of the character is problematic - particularly in the final season where his apparent lack of learning becomes a damned plot device of all things - I still don't think it's fair to hold the actor to such an exacting standard. J. August Richards didn't write or create the character, and we don't know how much clout he had on set - if any. Most of the black characters in Buffy were killed off after a season, if even that. Actors need to eat. He probably had to do what he was told to keep his job, especially after seeing his white female colleague have her character ruined and destroyed for daring to get pregnant. You'd be better served aiming that hostile energy at Lord Wheedon and his cabinet of white writers.
 

DeepBlueJoy

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I think Gunn was a great character! He and Zoe Washbourne are two of the best characters of any race in the whedonverse. I'm glad they were both people of colour.

As a person of colour, I've NEVER seen Gunn as a stereotype. I have known black men like him. Hell, I've known a lot of WORKING CLASS men of various races a lot like him. He is intelligent, kind, funny, tough and resourceful. He cares about friends, he cares about family, he's warm and though he went through a self destructive phase (something a lot of people do, particularly people who grow up in trauma) I think he grew hugely as a character and repeatedly adapted to new situations over the course of the series. He shows immense resilience. He's smart and he's sexy.

The only somewhat stereotypical thing that happened to him was that they stole his girlfriend to 'give her' to a white man... for no obvious reason besides the colour of that man's skin. But that shows the soul sickness of the writing, not a weakness in the actor's portrayal of the character. How could they NOT see what they were doing? But then, this is the same crew who put Connor with Cordelia, so we know they are not playing with a full deck!


A stereotype would be a dumb (and/or maybe servile), horny misogynist and violent man who commits crimes and doesn't amount to anything, somemone who does drugs... someone a lot like most of the characters we've seen in so many police procedurals and a lot of other TV. Gunn was NOT any of those things. Could he have been even better, of course, but that might have run the risk of turning into the 'Black Man Mary Sue' and that would not have been a good thing, IMO.

Yes, the Buffyverse had a dearth of black characters and this was an immense shortcoming. Yes, Gunn was underused, though I think his character was pretty three dimensional. Gunn was not a stereotype and he was no Uncle Tom. He did not accept disrespect and he was not servile in any way.

Just being a poor, working class black man from the inner city does NOT a stereotype make. That, sadly, makes him REAL.

**Yes, his girlfriend with whom he had fabulous chemistry was stolen from him to be a WhIteMan-ManPrize...

I have MAJOR ISSUES ABOUT THAT STORYLINE.

They tore apart the most functional and most fun relationship in the entire Buffyverse (that happened to be biracial) so that they could try to force a pairing with the most emotionally destroyed, sick and dark character in the human part of the Buffyverse. A relationship that NEVER happened (thankfully).

A man who keeps a woman chained up in his closet while he screws his EVIL girlfriend and who makes said evil girlfriend dress up as his OBSESSION (Fred) even when it's clear he's hurting that actual girlfriend is NO PRIZE. I cannot imagine a real life Fred wanting any part of a man who would behave as Wes did. I find Wesley a fascinating character, but deeply broken and very disturbing. I don't see ANY chemistry bewtween him and Fred. HE WAS OBSESSED with Fred. That is not love, that's madness.

Also? Wes does NOT treat women as equals. He objectifies women in a way that no other adult male in the buffyverse does (not one who isn't a villain, anyway)
Gunn shows respect to various women over the course of the series, even those he disagrees with.

I loved Fred and Gunn together... and they 'showed their work.' as they say in math class. We could see why they were together every time they were together on screen. The actors had tremendous chemistry and that and the writing made us feel as if we were looking in on a comfortable, natural and unforced relationship.

Fred and Gunn were full of laughter and light... they were friends, they were partners and they were a joy to watch. They were cute, they were sexy... it was so much fun. Wesley by contrast tried to misuse his power as 'boss' to mess with their relationship and to punish them because Fred did not choose him. Wesley was so arrogant he assumed Fred would choose him. Yet, Fred and Wes had NOTHING in common at the beginning, and little in common even over time.

Gunn and Fred were an excellent fit in these and many other ways.
I think that the way they interacted together is in part due to the great character of Gunn:


  • Emotionally, Fred was happy, positive and warm. He enjoyed laughing. She could laugh at herself.
  • Emotionally, Gunn was happy, positive and warm. He enjoyed laughing. He could laugh at himself.
  • Emotionally Wesley was unhappy, negative, cold and vindictive. He did not laugh. He took himself too seriously.

  • Fred was open
  • Gunn was open
  • Wesley was closed and secretive (something that came close to destroying his relationship with Angel and the others)

  • Fred was working class and survivor.
  • Gunn was working class and a survivor.
  • Wesley was upper-crust and snob - for a very long time he was truly incompetent at life and he did not even realize this!!

  • Fred was about Family and we saw how she and Gunn instinctively parented Connor. She had very close relationship with her family and it was mutual.
  • Gunn was about family and we saw how he and Fred instinctively parented Connor. He had close relationships with his sister and friends, and was a protector of others even as a teen.
*Yes, they made mistakes with Connor, but they tried hard in spite of the impossible situation they faced.
  • Wesley, by contrast did not show any ability to take care of others... AEB by his gross mistreatment of Faith that almost destroyed her, and 'the girl in the closet' as well as Lilah. Wesley doesn't show much emotional intelligence THROUGHOUT both series. He may become a decent fighter against the forces of darkness, but he sucks at relationships from start to finish. Even near the end when Fred tries to flirt with him, he doesn't even notice.

  • When Gunn was infected with Billy's essence, he urged Fred to knock him out.
  • When Wesley was infected with Billy's essence, his darkness came to the fore... and Fred had to build a trap to take him out.

  • Fred was resourceful and practical and survived 5 years in a hell dimension by her wits. (even as a semi crazed outcast, Fred saved ANGEL)
  • Gunn was resourceful and practical and survived years on the street by his wits (and saved others)
  • Wesley was often barely able to survive. He was not initially resourceful and survived more by luck and by being rescued. He finally began to figure his way around... with the help of the Scoobies, Angel, and eventually Gunn and others. He did grow, but he and Fred have very little commonality.

  • Fred used her mind, her wits, her practical life experience to survive... she was an innovator and improvisor. (her traps and weapons) She was brilliant and she was a fighter. (you don't survive a demon dimension without using everything at your disposal, and even inventing things)
  • Gunn used his mind, his body, his wits and his practical life experience to survive. he was an innovator and improvisor (the vampire fighting truck and his weapons) (you don't survive on the street and fight demons without innovating) He was someone who strove to be better. That is part of why he was attracted to Angel's crew. When he was given a chance to improve his mind, he took it -- and we saw he was no slouch mentally either. The legal education did not make him a good lawyer... his MIND did that.
  • Wesley was more over-educated than he was brilliant. He WAS bright, but he thought that was enough way too long, and this is why he fell flat on his butt repeatedly in Sunnydale. He was fundamentally, an arrogant child (and then man) of privilege. He was impractical and blindly prideful and had to be taken down several pegs repeatedly before he figured out he was incompetent. He was essentially an academic, and even as he grew as a person, a large portion of what he did well depended on his studies, not practicality. Other than being an almost supernaturally gifted shot, he was not that great a fighter, though he slowly became competent. He used the tools of magic and weapons as a force multiplier, but he didn't make those weapons from scratch. Yes, I believe he would make himself learn about Fred's science because of his obsession, but he wasn't a scientist any more than Gunn was. Wes was a fascinating character to watch, but most of the time, he was NOT fun.

  • Gunn supported and respected Fred's brilliance and that mattered to her a great deal.
  • Wes put Fred on a pedestal and worshiped her. This was not a good recipe for a healthy relationship.
-

Charles Gunn was smart, caring and strong. BUT, he was am embarrassment to the Black community. He was a walking stereotype. I wonder how J. August Richards could stomach that character all the time. Did he have to swallow part of his soul? His stereotype reaches his height in Season 4 with the Spin the Bottle episode. The only Black character on the show and he had to be that- a walking, breathing, ignorant (even though he was smart) stereotype. For Joss Whedon to be okay with that shows what kind of man he is. Charles Gunn ruined Angel because the stereotyping is so strong, it's disgusting. I often wonder if Richards is an Uncle Tom. Or, did he just want to get paid? Or, did he really have to swallow his soul to play such a disgusting stereotype.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Richards is no Uncle Tom and neither was the character. Do you even understand what an Uncle Tom is? Being POOR, UNEDUCATED AND BLACK is not a stereotype. That is a reality for about 1/3 of black men in America. Gunn was never STUPID or SERVILE or a mindless sex crazed criminal - that would have been a stereotype. He was, in actually a character who grew and changed and showed himself to be way more than 'just the muscle'. He may have been uneducated, but he was resourceful and resilient. He made his own weapons, put together an army of survivors and fought demons and vampires even without any thing like a council. He was a leader and he made major sacrifices to save his friends and protect others. That makes him a hero and a champion LONG BEFORE he ever meets Angel.
 
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crazy chicklet
crazy chicklet
I love you.I totally agree with you

WryttyGal

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I'm not saying J. August Richards was an Uncle Tom. I said I was wondering if he was. Yes, actors have to make money, but Charles Gunn character is so incredibly disgusting...not just his character, but the way he was treated by the other characters. You have real brains working for Angel in Fred and Wes, and yet they think Gunn is dumb. They never made any comments about the fact that he was smart and just uneducated. And that was never explained in plain English to the viewers. Wes says that W & A increased Gunn's mental capacity. Gunn has to correct him and say that they did not change his mental capacity. This means that he was smart all along, he just did not have the knowledge. But he does not explain that part. Instead of explaining that the knowledge W & A put into his head was something that he could have gotten from school, but he did not get due to his childhood, he simply says that they "revved up his brain cells." Whedon could have turned this around, at some point, by having Charles getting educated, even just showing him going into a GED session. But no. Whedon presents things like Gunn is so stupid, that he can only be smart with knowledge stuffed into his head. Whedon's racist presentation of Charles Gunn is so disgusting it's hard to watch at times. Whedon is a fool, a terrible human being, and a sexist. Why is Angel never verbally put down, but Buffy is called a bitch by so many people? I think Whedon is a sexist and may just be a racist, as well...and he is certainly a buffoon.
Post automatically merged:

DeepBlueJoy, I understand what an Uncle Tom is. The stereotyping comes in from HOW the character is presented...HOW. Forget it. I don't have the time, nor patience to explain stereotyping to you. Just take my word for it, Charles Gunn is a walking stereotype and his character is portrayed in racist fashion. I don't have the desire or time to educate you, but thanks for your comment.
 
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DeepBlueJoy

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@WryttyGal dismissive much?! I think I as a black person for six decades might just KNOW what a black stereotype was without you kindly "explaining" it to me!

I have lots of problems with how the buffyverse treats sensitive topics, including race, and I have NEVER been shy about criticizing it. If you said that Gunn's old crew is full of stereotypes, i would not argue.

But calling Richards black bona fides into question is frankly insulting.

Even if the character had been stereotypical, one is not an Uncle Tom merely for WORKING. That would make everyone who did a job they were not happy with for some cultural reason some version of betrayer of their tribe. Nearly every minority and nearly every woman has faced complicated work choices. Every one of us has at some point done work under less than ideal circumstances. Most of us don't and CANNOT stand against 'the man' every time a situation comes up. We have to eat. We have to feed our families.

The arc of Gunn is round and complex - the opposite of stereotype. Is he perfect? No. But then, neither are any humans. Is he politically sensitive and 'correct' at every second? No. This makes him much more interesting and relatable than pablum-boy model-minority and crushing bore 'blinded by revenge' Robin Wood, who IS a stereotype of a different kind, at least at times.

I think MOST characters when first introduced are played for laughs/used for whatever plot point they serve - and therefore not that fully drawn - this happened with bumbling toffee nosed Wesley (for example) and even drunk, broke Irish Doyle. A show must efficiently and broadly draw a character. Only time fills them in. The stereotype is as much in attitude and in how they are treated going forward. None of them really were.

Well, maybe Harmony. But I know people like her. They really ARE that shallow.
 
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