After reading the review of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, and some of the discussion afterwards, I’m starting to think that that it is not okay to like Problematic Things - and I think this is probably enough of a topic for discussion that it’s worth spinning off into its own thread separate from the review discussion.
That, by nature of being Problematic, they are also societally harmful - that by being problematic those works are intrinsically connected to harmful elements of society - racism, sexism, and other works of bigotry, and any attempt to redeem those works simply calls attention to those elements and heightens them further. You can’t make Tomb Raider less colonialist, and you can’t make Conan less racist and misogynist.
As a person with Autism who also likes film, one of the things I run into is depictions of autism in media that are generally never played by people who are on spectrum (the classic example being Dustin Hoffman in Rainman), or characters who are coded as being on-spectrum but who are explicitly stated as not on-spectrum (as in Big Bang Theory). These works are easier to reject, but on the other hand, the anime New Game! has a character who is coded (but not explicitly stated) as on-spectrum who I think is well written - but that show is absolutely covered in the male gaze, and has normalized depictions of workplace harassment, making it extremely problematic, so I feel uncomfortable having recommended it (or even had anything nice to say about it at all) in the past.
Am I wrong to feel this way? Are problematic works inherently irredeemable and consequently we should completely reject them outright - or is it okay to enjoy problematic works provided that we acknowledge what is wrong with them?