I know I’ve been complaining about Hollywood fucking up all last week. Well here’s to things they’re getting right, or if not getting right, they’re at least trying. I’m not going to count the numbers of different races, genders and what have you, in these projects because I shouldn’t have to.
One day we’ll reach a point where this sort of thing is unremarkable. It will be a good day, when anyone of any color, ability, sexual orientation or whatever else, can open any big budget film, get to be the hero, or the love interest, and no one bats an eye at the thought.
But first the good news:
I’m disappointed again at the lack of woc in the trailer but maybe they just weren’t being shown. At any rate, I’m looking forward to seeing this in December. One of my new rules is, there are far too many great SciFi movies being released, for me to only settle for problematic stuff. I also don’t have the kind of financial situation that allows me to go see just anything. I’ve always had to be choosy. We really are living in a golden age of SFF movies and TV shows, so I can actually afford to get a little picky.
I am in this for September. I loved the original which had an all dream cast. I’d heard there was going to be a remake of this movie, but like all rumors out of Hollywood, I dismissed it as something people were only talking about and not doing. It turns out they actually were doing.
X-Men Age of Apocalypse:
Actually this movie has a pretty diverse cast with Storm and Jubilee added to the narrative.
Marvel’s Agents of Shield:
I stopped watching this in its first season, because it kept getting the whole diversity thing wrong. I came back in the third to see that it had noticeably improved. Yeah, its still killing off its poc, after making them bad guys, but its still trying, thanks to one of the co-creators of the show, being a woc. Joss ain’t getting no credit for that. She is.
How to Get Away with Murder/Scandal/Grey’s Anatomy
This is a Shonda Rhimes joint. I don’t watch this show, because I simply haven’t the time, but I respect the Hell out of it, tho’.
This show started out pretty diverse, but I missed the entire season, and now have to catch up during the Summer, if I can.
A lot of black people hate this show, but I guess I’m one of the few who doesn’t watch it for completely different reasons. I’m not about respectability politics, which is what much of the hatred skirts very close to doing. I also don’t watch it because I don’t have the time, and don’t watch soap operas. I have some issues with Terence Howard, who has said some very problematic things about woc, in the past, and I just can’t forgive him for that level of bitterness and hatred.
Fresh Off the Boat:
I don’t watch this but I’ve heard good things about it. I’m glad its one of the few shows that tells Asian stories without erasing the Asian people from the stories.
This is hands down one of my favorite sitcoms of all-time. I may be indifferent to most comedies, but I never miss the 99. I will do a post on this one at some point. I love this show and what’s surprising is that I didn’t think I would.
Another one of my favorite shows, currently on hiatus. Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key have just released a new movie titled Keanu, about one of them losing their kitten to a neighborhood gang.
The Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead:
We know why I love these. Zombies! And its nice to know that poc will survive the apocalypse.
American Horror Story
AHS, has always been one of those quietly inclusive shows. They’ve never made a big deal out of it and most people, even if they’re fans, haven’t really noticed that the show often has gay actors, actors and characters with disabilities, older actors, transgender characters. Even if it doesnt always get it right, the show is at least making an effort
Legends of Tomorrow:
I’m still on the fence about this show. Its often a bit too cheesy for my tastes, but it makes an effort at inclusion, and I like its depiction of Firestorm. (Also, Wentworth Miller, as Captain Cold, is always a joy to watch.)
I haven’t watched the rest of these but I’ve had them recc’d to me:
Jane the Virgin
Master of None
Orange is the New Black: I’ve watched this sporadically since it first aired and I’ve got nothing but love and mad respect for it.
Becoming Us: The main character is a transgender woman.
The Fosters: About a multi-ethnic family with two Moms in an interracial relationship.
Transparent: Another show featuring a main character who is a transgender woman. This show airs on Amazon.
I probably won’t see these movies for budgetary reasons. Not all geeks possess unlimited funds to go to the movies. I carefully pick what I’m going to pay so much money for, and SFF movies take priority in any decision making I do.
Barbershop The Final Cut
Birth of a Nation
Queen of Katwe
And a special shoutout to Universal Film Studios, for having the most diverse output in movies. Their program seems to be to go for smaller budget films, with better quality, diversifying their portfolio, instead of putting all their budget on a couple of white male leads, that people may at any moment, decide they’re no longer interested in seeing.
Every year fewer and fewer white people are buying movie tickets but the slack has been taken up by PoC, and we are going to see different films than white people choose to see. Mostly, unless its a genuine “blockbuster”, PoC, won’t go see films that aren’t properly representing them, and this shows in the box office receipts.
This is not a comprehensive list. I’ve no doubt left out a few shows and upcoming movies, but this is a start. It’s a sign that somewhere, somebody is listening to what the audience wants, noticing that diversity sells, and they’re at least trying. If they want people’s money, the PTB, are going to have to start thinking beyond the idea that only white, straight, men between the ages of 17 and 35, as the only ones who go to the movies, especially considering this country’s changing demographics, and the actual tastes of overseas audiences.
Television is a little different. It allows for niche programming based on what advertisers want to sell, and who they’re trying to sell to, but everybody who owns a TV, watches something that airs between the hours of eight and eleven on weeknights, so it’s in network television’s best interests to be diverse, especially considering the huge chunk of ratings that cable and streaming has taken out of their viewership. If they don’t want to do diversity, HBO and Netflix will be more than happy to take their viewers.