Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Five Shows That Are Inventively Exclusively White

You know what I love about television? I love how it’s a medium where worlds can be created, worlds limited, for the most part, only by the imagination.   After all, imagination is really what makes television great. 

And that’s why I want to applaud these five shows for really using their imagination when it comes to excluding people of color from their casts. 

Game of Thrones

This is a show that’s got 27 regular characters which is an impressive feat.  But even more impressive; none of those regulars are not white.  And this is a show set in a fantasy world with dragons, huge wolves and sorcery. 

Now some people would balk at this exclusively white cast and say; really, you couldn’t make any of those characters Black?  But since it’s based on a series of books, you’ve really got to stick with the source material.  You don’t want to take too many liberties, like say giving a character a facial scar as opposed to cutting off their nose. 

Mad Men

What’s truly great about Mad Men is that it’s exclusion of minorities is part of the of the show itself.  It’s in it’s sixth season and it’s first Black regular had her first storyline.  How impressive is that? 

You’ve got to really applaud a show setting itself on Madison Avenue in the 1960’s.  It’s a brilliant way to keep things exclusively white and do it in a way that keeps the conscience clear.  Nice! 

House of Cards

How do you set a show in Washington D.C. and film it in Baltimore, while still keeping it exclusively white?  By making it a political thriller where quite a bit of action takes place in the White House. 

You’d think that making a political thriller, without a Black character of note, would be tricky considering the last two Presidential elections saw a Black man prevailing, but it’s a testament to the writers of House of Cards that they pull it off glowingly. 

The Killing

The producers of The Killing made two wise decisions right off the bat.  First they chose to set the show in Washington State, which has a Black population of 3.8%.  Since it’s well below the national average, the idea that none of the major characters are Black is entirely plausible. 

Secondly they made sure Rosie Larsen wasn’t Black, because honestly do you think the American public would invest two seasons worth of shows in finding out who killed a Black girl? 

The Americans

Yet another period show.  But the producers of The Americans decided to up the ante; would it be possible to set a show in the 1980’s and still have exclusively white leads?  Yes, but centering it on KGB agents.  Genius! 

In fairness, the show did have two minority supporting characters, which they killed off in successive weeks.  Bold move.  

You’ve really got to admire those five shows for making sure that not only white actors stay employed, but also that Black actors remain available for Tyler Perry movies.  

You guys are all white in my book!   

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