The Whitewashing Problem In 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'
Start writing a post
Entertainment

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

Yes, it was that noticeable.

686
The Whitewashing Problem In 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'
Fuse.TV

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

52860

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

91958

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

81836
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'The Addams Family 2' Film Review

The sequel to the 2019 reboot is an enjoyable, but unremarkable start to the Halloween movie season

55943
Photo Credit: MGM – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd82bSBDE84

There's a reason why the Addams Family have become icons of the American cartoon pantheon (although having one of the catchiest theme songs in television history doesn't hinder them).

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Latest Trends in the Music World

The music world is a fast evolving and ever changing landscape of influence. Over the last 20 years, we've seen the influx of home recording technology paired with the rise of streaming, making way for new independent artists and communities to flourish.

95126

The music world is a fast evolving and ever changing landscape of influence. Over the last 20 years, we've seen the influx of home recording technology paired with the rise of streaming, making way for new independent artists and communities to flourish. This is the positive side of the streaming coin, different kinds of music can exist in the same spaces in much more fluid ways. Aesthetic and musical styles are merging and taking on new life in the 21st century. Trends in the music industry can be most easily followed by exploring instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms to see what people are wearing and listening to. Let's take a look at a few style and artistic trends influencing the world of music.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments