Is the song Asian Girlz racist
Has Netflix ’ Bridgerton a racism problem?
Photo courtesy of Netflix
Danger: This article contains spoilers for the first season of Bridgerton and refers only to the Netflix series, not the books!
If you try Bridgerton to summarize in a few words, then maybe like this: "gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey", Or" Jane Austen, but not quite like that White". The historical-romantic series is the first Netflix original from Grey's AnatomyCreator Shonda Rhimes; So it's no wonder that our expectations are as high as the Queen's hairstyle in Bridgerton.
At first glance, the decision of Netflix and the works BridgertonCasting team, some roles in the show instead of with white (as suggested by Julia Quinn's book) with black actors: to have inside, perhaps exemplary inclusive; For example, Regé-Jean Page slips into the leading role of Duke Simon, who in the book as White is described. The makers reject the assumption of “color-blind casting”, in which the skin color of the characters has no influence on the plot Bridgerton but clearly like showrunner Chris Van Dusen in the New York Times clarified.
"That would imply that skin color never played a role, although it does play a role in the series," said Van Dusen. And Simon actor Page added: "There is a difference between showing black skin on the screen and representing black people on the screen."
And he is right there - but only if this difference is implemented clearly and carefully. Spoiler: The series has the potential to do so, but the first season still fails because of it. And since we are not just absolute fans of Shonda Rhimes and adore Regé-Jean Page, but also love nuanced stories about black women, let's discuss what we're up to in the following Bridgerton love - and what not at all.
Photo courtesy of Netflix
What is your general opinion about Bridgerton?
Kathleen: I was really looking forward to it before and found it mostly good. I searched the series away in a day - but in the end I'm disappointed. I love historical films and series; especially if not only white Actors: play along. After all, there are so few of them! After watching the show, however, I think that it reminds us of one thing above all: representation alone is not enough. It's just not enough to sprinkle a few light-skinned black actors here and there.
Ineye: I had fun watching and also love these old-fashioned settings. And Regé [Jean Page] is hot, so I was there immediately anyway. Even so, when it comes to films and series, I almost always think: "Hey, where are all the black people?" When I heard about the show, I thought it was great that there were black characters in it - until I realized that most of them didn't have a storyline at all. So while I was watching episode after episode and the storylines "evolving", I released myself a bit emotionally.
Kathleen: The series is romantic. She is hot. I suspect that the makers simply rely on their success that the series is historical and diverse at the same time. There are hardly any other examples in this genre, and people love it. When I looked, I kept thinking to myself: "Oh, white Spectators: the inside will love that. "
As in any other Netflix show, the black leads are all pretty fair-skinned inside. This clear colorism is simply exhausting.
The show thrives on Simon's and Daphne's relationship. Did you buy them from the two of them?
Kathleen: That was the biggest disappointment in the series for me, because a show like that depends on the couple's chemistry. Daphne is just total basic and boring. Of course, Simon is almost a god of a man, but there are simply no sparks between the two.
Ineye: To put it briefly: no. Daphne isn't interesting enough. Simon could interesting, but the dialogues would have to be more exciting. I was missing something with him and she just had nothing for me. I think the show relies on that very much Look of the scenes. People look interesting out, so that they are not interesting written must be. We're supposed to get excited about these characters because they're pretty. Unfortunately, I didn't really care about the relationship between Daphne and Simon, and I would have even wished that a third person had somehow intervened. I don't think I've ever been so much against a major couple on a series as I am here. They'd have a little something Scandals need sex appeal.
Kathleen: Ineye, you have sex appeal. I would have you like in Bridgerton seen, but you are a dark black woman with character and there seems to be no place for you in this series. And just like any other Netflix show, the black leads are all pretty fair-skinned inside. This clear colorism is simply exhausting.
The creators of the series have the roles of the main couple with one white Woman and a black man, although this is different in the book. How well has it been implemented?
Kathleen: In principle, I have no problem with it if not every film and series shows such a relationship - fortunately there are now enough examples that do. Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder for example. If But if you do a series that shows such a relationship, at least make sure that it happens realistically. A black man, one white Woman - this station wagon is historically loaded. Daphne is considered the “best catch” of the season, and it's a black man who advances her, but the skin color of the two is never an issue. There is even an argument between Simon and Daphne's brother Anthony because Anthony thinks Simon is not good enough for Daphne. Allegedly only because Simon sleeps with some women - there is never any suggestion that Anthony might also be a bit racist and might object to letting his sister marry a black man. I don't mean to say that Anthony should be portrayed openly as a racist, but at least the possibility should be hinted at.
Quite apart from that, such a relationship also includes the conversations that typically accompany it. Especially at the beginning of a relationship between people of different skin colors you have really tough conversations. We talk about racism, we point out mistakes in thinking to one another. It bothered me, therefore, to see Simon and Daphne as a couple at the center of the plot and listening to them arguing about their differences without even addressing the subject of skin color.
Ineye: Maybe Netflix and the production company Shondaland were afraid Bridgerton could become too socio-political. But you don't need racist characters to address the social relevance of skin color. It's a question of nuance: what if London society were shocked to react to Simon's appearance - but not because he did good looking is, but because he's handsome, rich and Is black? Just give us a little something that you can use to acknowledge that he is a black man in a world where most of his status is Not are.
Kathleen: I just think Hollywood thinks a series with black actors inevitably has to be about racism, death and violence.
Bridgerton does it again and again: this hint at socio-political issues without actually addressing them.
Let's talk about the black women in Bridgerton speak. What do you think of Marina (Ruby Barker), the pregnant cousin of the Featheringtons?
Ineye: She is not a unique character. Even if she has a backstory, you don't really care about it - her story is all about the fact that she is unmarried and pregnant. She has no personality and doesn't develop any further as the series progresses.
Kathleen: At first I was completely on her side, like in any other series with black female characters - but Marina is becoming the villain. We should not be on their side. Instead, we should pity Penelope because Marina tries to lure her Crush into a marriage under a false pretext. We should also empathize with Colin because he simply loves Marina unconditionally. Her whole personality is built around being pregnant - and that's why it's so easy to see her as a bad guy.
Ineye: I even thought I accidentally skipped an episode because Marina's turn into bad guy is happening so quickly. That would have been the perfect opportunity to address racism again: A pregnancy is already stigmatized, and she is the only black person in it white Family. But this is only alluded to very briefly when Marina says to Penelope: "You have no idea how it is." Nevertheless, she never explains how their reality looks like now. And Bridgerton does it again and again: this hint at socio-political issues without actually addressing them.
And what about Queen Charlotte and Lady Danbury?
Kathleen: The two are such unimportant characters. Apart from a few cool little moments and a few good monologues, they don't have their own inner workings. They only exist for other characters. The Queen herself only seems to exist so that Daphne and Simon can stand up for her wedding, and Lady Danbury exists so that Simon has some support. That's it.
Ineye: Lady Danbury looked to me like the typical "Magical Negro“-Cliché, according to the motto: "I am the magical, omniscient person who guides you on your journey and is at your side with wise sayings." She should actually be a full-fledged character: after all, she was very close friends with Simon's mother before she died, and she also knows Simon's dad. But what's their story? Why does she know everything about each: n? How did she get so far in society? The Queen also had a few moments - something was wrong with her and the King, but the plot was always gone from them both so quickly.
Kathleen: I would have loved to have wished for what this genre can do so well - the longing, the tragedy, the love - for the black women in the series. But even from Marina we don't get to see much of it, even though Colin loves her. Instead, we are shown how he tells other people that he would love them - but hardly anything of this longing can be seen in front of the camera, let alone the lust. And the older black women certainly don't get anything from it. I guess the makers were of the opinion that it would be enough if these characters were easy there are.
In a scene between Simon and Lady Danbury, the two talk about being the only black royals. She says, “Look at our queen, our king. Check out their marriage and see what we get out of it - how far it takes us. We were once two divided societies, separated by our skin color, until a king fell in love with one of us. ”What do you think of the scene?
Kathleen: Simon barely responds to what she says and then the subject is never brought up again. The scene somehow didn't match the rest of the show, where racism doesn't seem to exist. In addition, there are strong vibrations like “Let's do that white Be grateful to people "- and" love wins over racism "vibes with, which is just strange - especially since their skin color is never addressed again. The fact that there is this scene on the show and the showrunner thinks skin color would definitely play a role in this world - although it clearly is does not -, is just frustrating. It feels like they just added that little appetizer to claim skin color is part of the plot. According to the motto: “We agreed to it, you see? Here!"
Ineye: Although this scene was short, the Queen's story should have changed the whole world of the series. When people in Bridgerton yes obviously knowing that skin color and racism exist, should that change the development of some characters from the ground up. Just think about Simon, the argument with his father and Simon's hatred of his family name. If he does know that he is black, that should completely change the way he sees his circumstances: Perhaps his father only treated him this way because he was suffering from the pressure of what appears to be the only black duke in the kingdom? This conversation between Simon and Lady Danbury should have influenced Simon more and made him more aware of his identity.
Kathleen: Perhaps he would have developed a desire to have children because at some point he would have understood what his father actually wanted to tell him: “Boy, we have to be twice as good as everyone else in this world because everyone is already judging you for being a black man and a duke. You have to be better than everyone else. That's why I treated you so severely. "
Photo courtesy of Netflix
The series is a Shondaland production, the first from Shonda Rhimes ’Netflix deal. How has it done in the past when it comes to representation?
Kathleen: For a long time I've found that Shonda actually does a good job in that regard. By Miranda Bailey and Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy I saw women of color on TV that I hadn't seen anywhere else before. In Scandal Shonda Rhimes then showed us Olivia Pope, a black woman who was the boss of everything and everyone. The series makes some grandiose statements about social injustice anyway. Nevertheless, there are hardly any love stories between black characters, and at some point I thought to myself: "Hm, there is definitely a gap." Except for a few subplots and the only exception in Grey's Anatomy - Bailey & Ben - Rhimes doesn't seem too interested in love between black people.
Ineye: But I think that says a lot more about the film industry itself - and Shonda Rhimes is actually the only black woman who really has something to say in the business. So everyone automatically assumes that she should represent us in a very specific way. She has practically the whole culture on her shoulders.
Ultimately is Bridgerton A love story in my opinion that is missing some key points that might have given the series some depth that people would have liked really would have drawn into it. As the producer of the show, Shonda apparently let go of these things Not occurrence.
Kathleen: As we talk like that, I wonder if maybe we are asking too much of the show. May be. But somewhere in Bridgerton definitely something missing - we both agree on that. We expected more of it. That's the way it is with things you love; you just look at them more critically. That's how I see it.
Ineye: It's also part of our job to look at things critically. This is entertainment, and of course it should be fun, but the aspect of representation is also very important. There is no such thing as a perfect series - but I think the older we get, the more it becomes clear to us that the creators of such creations simply have to put more effort into it. No more superficial Diversity.
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