Not everyone is happy about television finally having some ethnic diversity.
There are finally more TV shows with black, Hispanic, and Asian characters; shows like Empire, How to Get Away With Murder, Blackish, and Fresh Off the Boat are some of 2015’s highest rated pilots, with some of the highest ratings primetime television has seen in years, and all have ethnic casts and lead characters. Empire, for example, was renewed for a second season after several episodes aired because of its overwhelming popularity. While most people believe the diversity happening on the small screen is great and is to be celebrated, there are some that are trying to keep Hollywood the way it was.
A recent article from Deadline Hollywood has dared to ask if the sudden abundance of ethnic castings is “too much of a good thing.” The boldly titled article, “Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?” was mostly positive, saying “The TV and film superhero ranks have been overly white for too long.”
And then came this very disparaging statement:
“But, as is the case with any sea change, some suggest that the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal.”
As much as I can say this article is disappointing, I can also say I was not surprised. There was a New York Times article that called Shonda Rhimes an angry black woman, and labeled Viola Davis as not “classically pretty” after the success of How to Get Away With Murder. It seems to be a trend nowadays, to publicly bash a successful television show with a black female lead.
Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, and Anika Noni Rose all sounded off on Twitter in response:
1st Reaction:: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings, somebody hold my purse! 2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can’t even be bothered.
RT @shondarhimes: 1st Reaction: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings! 2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can’t even be bothered. (PREACH)
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) March 25, 2015
People spouting falsities & fear mongering on a platform of journalistic truth. Don’t yr hands get tired? Doesn’t yr mind ache from effort?
— Anika Noni Rose (@AnikaNoniRose) March 25, 2015
— Victoria Bolling