Um...It Ain't About Us
So I deleted a comment on one of my Merlin posts in which an Anonymous commenter was saying that Angel Coulby's casting was "to appease a certain race of people" and that it was "rubbish."
Issa [Rae] and I sat down with a television executive from a prominent network. In short, his response confirmed our worst fears. He felt that in order for "ABG" to become more mainstream, the entire cast would need to be replaced. His suggestion for the lead character, J, was a long haired, fair-skinned actress....
Awwwww...come on now. Talk about pissing on someone's leg and then saying it's raining.
First off, it's not about us
Let's be clear: these Black women we constantly see cropping up opposite white men are not being written for Black people's benefit. It's not even really written to draw in the Black audience; if it was, we'd have more say in casting, writing, and ignoring bitchy white female fans who try to get shows canceled.
They are the white female interpretation of Black women, with no care for reality at all. I say female because when you refer to any of these women as "Black", both their white female fans and haters rush to "correct" you.
No, this isn't new
White men desire Black women, and it's nothing new. To say that it's been going on for centuries would actually be an understatement. It is what is, and the Black women who are on these shows and in these films are there...because white guys want them there.
White guys own Western media. If they don't like it, it's not broadcast. White women may be writing some of these storylines, but it's white guys who are making damn sure the stories come to life, are put on the big networks, have the big screen budgets, and oh yeah...they're making sure Black women are put opposite other white guys.
Dilution don't mean dick
This is precisely why we need to lose the colorist rants in communities of color.
Dark-skinned sistahs; I feel you. I feel your pain. I understand what you mean about your beautiful complexions being devalued and dismissed. I get your frustration when the Black women being cast in popular, mainstream material all seem to conveniently fit the same mold.
It's just easier for white female fans to get mad at them rather than at the white guys who blatantly want these women.
Over on the Black Girls Club post, we discussed how a lot of these characters are treated like dirt on their shows. They're the poorly written punching bag, misfit, "best friend" (*shudder*), and overall handmaiden - having light skin doesn't save them from this fate. Yes, the white guys may find them attractive (alas, an unfortunate side effect), but their sole purpose is still to serve the white chick, make her feel better, and even been willing to lay down their own lives if necessary to protect the fragile pale princess of the show.
So they're not there for us. Our "appeasement" was the last thing on the minds of their characters' creators.
All these bitter, simmering haters who watch these films and shows need realize that you can hate the player all you want...but it won't change the game.