The Whitewashing Problem In 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'

The Whitewashing Problem In 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'

Yes, it was that noticeable.
505
views

I'll be the first person to admit that I am obsessed with Harry Potter. And I mean obsessed. I grew up in the Wizarding World, fighting alongside Harry and Ron, falling in love with Cedric and Dobby while hating Umbridge. With a wand from Universal and seven books that have been well loved over the past sixteen years, it would be an understatement to say I was excited about the announcements of Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts. But my excitement started to fade into disappointment after reading the play and watching the film.

While Cursed Child read like a fan-fiction and completely neglected character consistency, I will admit that I still enjoyed it. Simply being back in Harry's world was enough for me. And as for Fantastic Beasts? I adored the movie. Newt was a precious Hufflepuff baby, and the story lines, alongside the talented actors, made the film captivating and entertaining. JK Rowling brought us back into her magical world with ease and love.


But there was one thing bothered me tremendously in the recent movie. As Fantastic Beasts takes place in New York in the 1920's, shouldn't there be more diversity and representation in the film? Shouldn't the setting allude to the historical events occurring during this time period? Sure, the 1920's was referenced by the costumes and props, but what about the people? Did JK Rowling forget that during the 20's the Harlem Renaissance was in full swing? Or did she neglect this historical event to appease the majority?

Upon seeing Fantastic Beasts twice I noticed that there were maybe four people of color that I counted, with only one of them played a seemingly important role. While I greatly appreciated the fact that Madam President was indeed a woman, and an African American woman at that, I missed the diversity of the overall cast. The more I think about it the more angry I get. Why was this film so white-washed? Why did JK Rowling decide to cherry-pick what historical events she included in her world (cough, the Great Depression, cough), neglecting other events that were so prominent and impactful to our society (cough, the Harlem Renaissance, cough)?


Even when I look back at the original Harry Potter films, I can't help but notice how unrepresentative the cast is. For goodness sake, they even replaced the original actress of Lavender Brown, Jennifer Smith, a young African American girl, with Jessie Cave. It's heartbreaking, in a way, realizing that the author of your favorite childhood series didn't accurately represent her world's population. As I've grown up, I've become more aware of this, and despite the fact that I will never not love Harry Potter, it frustrates me to no end that we allow films and books to continue to lack appropriate representation of our world.


This neglect needs to stop. We need to stop. Bring awareness to our fictional worlds. Allow for our favorite characters to be different, allow for them to represent a minority so minority fans have someone to look up to. It's time to stop white-washing and heteronormalizing everything, because when we do that, we continue to oppress individuals, further confirming stereotypical biases and ignoring stigmas.

Let's allow films, novels, poems, TV shows- any form of entertainment for that matter- to portray our society correctly. It's time to show our world as a collective unit, not divided by race or sexual orientation or ethnicity or whatnot. Fiction or nonfiction, magical realism or Utopian, representation matters.

Cover Image Credit: Fuse.TV

Popular Right Now

10 TV Shows That Can Replace 'The Office' On Netflix By 2021

"NOOO. GOD NOOOOO."

4271
views

Netflix has done it again. Created a mass panic. But this time the reason is not that "Friends" is being taken down or renewed for a giant price.

No, this time it is much worse.

Netflix has said in just TWO short years, it is likely NBC will be taking 'The Office' down. I know, it is unthinkable. What else are we suppose to rewatch a hundred times and quote endlessly? You cannot simply take Michael Scott off of Netflix.

The best thing to ever happen was for Netflix to put "The Office", they made it popular again. And you @ me on that. But now they are removing it. I guess we will just have to watch other shows now.

Find other shows on Netflix to watch and to fill the void that NBC is creating for us.

1. There are none.

2. There are none.

3. There are none.

4. There are none.

5. There are none.

6. There are none.

7. There are none.

8. There are none.

9. There are none.

10. There are none.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

929
views

They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


Related Content

Facebook Comments