In James Cameron’s “Avatar,” a white man once again plays savior, this time to a planet of tall blue aliens unambiguously suggestive of Native Americans. What if they’d cast Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a stereotypical no-nonsense doomed Latina side character, in the lead role instead of Sam Worthington? The context of an interesting movie about race is already in place. Without a single word changed in the script, “Avatar” would have taken on layers of new meaning, opened conversations that mainstream, white cinema has not even approached. […] Instead, though, we’re left with a cliché: the same old really nice white dude, filling a void in himself by appropriating and then saving another culture. What we could’ve had was something new: a story of intersectionality and solidarity across interplanetary colonialism.
via Whitewashed TV isn’t just racist. It’s boring! – Salon.com.
YES THIS ALL OF THIS!
There is constant complaining about the same old stories being told, especially in Hollywood. A very, very simple solution to spice those same old stories up, is to cast PoCs as the main characters. Then it becomes something new that we haven’t seen before.
The article speaks heavily of Sleepy Hollow; if Abbie had been a white guy, it would have been sooo boring–kind of how Almost Human felt to me. Karl Urban being the primary lead was boring. What if they’d switched the roles and Michael Ealy was the human, Urban the robot? Then it might have been a different story. I haven’t seen past episode 3, so I don’t know if Michael Ealy’s character has to deal with race at all in the futuristic world of the show, but it would have been prudent to introduce it in the first three episodes, since him being cast as a black man is a big deal in the real world. But since it wasn’t really mentioned at all, I think I got bored (for forgot to set my DVR to record all…) and wasn’t interested in coming back. I don’t need race to be a discussion, but it shouldn’t be glossed over. (this isn’t even what I started to talk about after I mentioned Sleepy Hollow above…)
It is so simple to change the dynamics of the same old stories we’ve heard before by changing the racial and sometimes gender identities of the characters. I don’t watch Elementary, but it took guts to cast an Asian woman as Watson, and look how that turned out for them. The show is great. They knew they couldn’t follow in the wake of Sherlock, so they changed the story in a very simple way to make it more interesting to people who have seen Sherlock and the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies and might be bored with the same old “two white guys solve crimes” story.
I’ve been looking forward to Almost Human for a while. I’ve been enjoying FOX’s apparent commitment to diversity, and knew I wanted to check out this show for two reasons: its futuristic element and its black co-star Michael Ealy.
The two leads have a great chemistry together that works both during action and also comedically.
It’s clear that so far it will be a classic procedural type show, with futuristic crime fighting and androids. I think the story arc of the case that went wrong and the missing girlfriend will be interested, especially the girlfriend. I have a couple of theories as to who she is and why she disappeared, but I suppose we’ll find out more soon enough. My initial theory is that she is an android but he didn’t know it.
I think I like it so far. Some of the case stuff blazes past me, but that’s just how I am with procedurals. I tend to watch for the characters as opposed to the case (unless it’s a really good, twisty mystery).
I can’t wait for tumblr and gif-makers start to make gifs of Michael Ealy’s facial expressions, because they are hilarious and awesome.
I don’t think I care about Minka Kelly and I sense no chemistry between her and Kennex for me to care at all. =/
It’s a really interesting move that two of the most genre’d procedurals on the network are going to be aired the same night, both with black/white duos, with a focus on another time, and missing ex-love interests plus current ones. I dunno, there is something actually very similar about both of these shows. I hope they pair well together. Didn’t seem like too much for me tonight when I watched live and in succession.
Until next week! We’ll see how it goes.
Of course it may seem like a no-brainer, but execs told those in attendance that their shows must reflect today’s current and increasingly multi-racial and multi-cultural world in order to attract those coveted younger viewers.
Of course the success that Fox has enjoyed with their runaway hit Sleepy Hollow, which has already been renewed for a second season, and other current shows, like Almost Human and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, are just some signs of the network’s commitment to its new programming strategy.
Fox TV Says That Diversity Is Just Good Business Sense [Shadow and Act]
At least FOX is getting with the program. I love BK99 and Sleepy Hollow (and a bunch of other people are watching and talking about it) and I am looking forward to watching Almost Human. When you have a diverse cast, you basically double your expected audience, because while I watch plenty of “mainstream” (read: majority white cast) TV shows (and enjoy them), I have more pre-interest in a show that has a diverse cast. I look forward to it more. If Michael Ealy wasn’t in Almost Human (if the character was a white person), I’d perhaps be interested because it’s JJ Abrams, but I would be less interested, less invested, and less likely to watch it. Other people feel the same way. The same goes for Sleepy Hollow. I didn’t know anything about it before it premiered. If I’d heard about it (merely the title), I didn’t really care. I checked it out because I learned there was a black female star. I probably wouldn’t have if Nichole Beharie (or any other black female) hadn’t been the star. Networks really need to pay attention, the success of Sleepy Hollow and Scandal is not isolated to social media, their premises, or even the good writing (because both shows are great, but they’re not perfect). Those things are a factor, but their diversity is what has helped them skyrocket to the hit shows that they are.
Black TV 2013: Fall and Winter Preview | Old School 94.5.
Check out this article, which discusses some of the [network tv] shows airing this fall that feature black characters. It’s sad we still need articles like this to point the shows out, but it’s useful. Especially since when I last looked at NBC’s Thursday Comedy Lineup, I did not spy not one black person on the posters (as much as I looove love Parks and Rec, it doesn’t add much for NBC’s lead/co-star diversity).
I am about to watch Sleepy Hollow tonight and as yesterday’s post said, I watched Brooklyn 99 and was pleased by a diverse cast. I am also interested in Almost Human and I already watch Scandal. Glad to see that there is some color on network TV, but it’s a shame that most of these shows the black character is a co-star or supporting, not the main actor/lead character. Kerry and Blair Underwood (Ironside) are leads. The Originals seems to star the black lead, while Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, and Brooklyn 99 seem to be a dual lead deal thing going on.)
Hopefully, if there are midseason replacement shows, we can get some more diversity on network television (or some break out supporting minority characters who get increased storylines), because it feels like an all-time low right now. (Is Brooklyn 99 the only network sitcom starring a black person right now? With Mindy making 2 shows with minority leads? If there are others, let me know…)
JJ Abrams? Sci-Fi co-starring a black actor (Michael Ealy)? I shall have to check this out in Nov. (Uh oh, it’s on FOX. Uh oh, the last time JJ tried a show with a black lead it sadly failed [anyone remember Undercovers?? Hopefully it goes well this time])
Hopefully I’ll be more in a posting mood as the fall tv season approaches.