White Washing In Film And Television

White Washing In Film And Television

How long will this issue continue?

Television and film have expanded to grab many types of audiences around the globe. But, it seems that in the last decade, the way that media cast their roles is getting a lot of attention for negative reasons.

First, the media loves to white wash in film. If you don't know what white washing is, it is the casting of white actors for historically non-white roles. A great example would be the film Gods of Egypt, where not a single character in the film was from Egypt and the main character was played by Gerard Butler. In a more historical context, there is the film Stonewall.

The film was about how the gay liberation movement started through riots against police raids at their clubs. The film cast a white character as a fictional lead role. The character was the person who started the riots, but in reality the riots were started by Lesbians and trans women of color. Another role that was white washed was the role of the Lone Ranger's native American sidekick in the move, the Lone Ranger. This role was played by Johnny Depp and as soon as his role was revealed in the film. Hollywood has to seem to have a big issue with intersectionality in their films.

Film is not the only issue in Hollywood, but so are the shows that some of us see as our favorites. We are only beginning to see intersectionality in popular TV shows like How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal. Still, in other shows, we see a lot of token minorities that make a show seem diverse. These shows add in a few background characters of color and fail to give any of them a bigger role. We see this in most television shows anywhere. If we see a show with main characters of a different race or sexual orientation, it typically revolves about them being that race or sexual orientation. A good example of this would be the Real O'Neals and the way they seem to only mention the main character being gay. These shows make it so that a single piece of someone's identity takes up their whole life.

Cover Image Credit: Vanity Fair

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An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


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