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Jeff Davis, Teen Wolf, and the Invisibility of Whiteness


Let me be clear about some things. White people have a race. White people have various ethnicities. By golly, white people have a gender and sexuality, even when they’re white, male, and heterosexual! I know this disturbs the dominant worldview that suggests they don’t (and that when those “issues” come up, they’re irrelevant to white people), but I’m not the first to acknowledge that, and know I won’t be the last.

In response to recent critiques of the racial makeup of the cast on MTV’s Teen Wolf, Jeff Davis, creator and writer on the show, said, “I have also always said I will not make Teen Wolf an ‘issues’ show.” That’s funny, Mr. Davis, because I thought securing and maintaining the safety of your loved ones was an issue. I thought balancing the relationships you have and the secrets you keep with people you love was an issue. I thought that finding your place in the world or even within your own social space was an issue. Oh, wait…you meant those pesky li’l issues about race, gender, and sexuality?  Heaven forbid we ever acknowledge in popular discourse that they tend to converge from time to time. Oh, you meant you just don’t wanna mess with those issues.

Along those lines, Davis continued, “If I skirt the issues of race and sexual politics, the reason is most likely that I don’t feel like I’m going to be very good at tackling those issues within ...

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