Network execs are making a halfhearted effort to cast more diverse characters — but too often those characters are exactly like the white ones. When will minorities get not just a presence but a voice?
Lena Dunham’s excellent HBO series Girls is only three weeks old, but the acutely observed tragicomedy about four overeducated, underachieving white women in their early 20s has already come under fire from its small but devoutly ambivalent audience. The charge: lack of diversity. Girls feels like an odd target for that complaint: Why not, for example, Game of Thrones, where, except for the random dude on horseback, “swarthy” is about as ethnic as things get? I assume that extensive historical research has shown that very few people of color resided in Fake Magical Dragonia (or, apparently, in the neighboring fantasylands of Grimm, American Horror Story, and Once Upon a Time). Then again, since the entire target audience for Girls is TV critics, high-volume tweeters, and people who like to argue about stuff like diversity, it’s not surprising that this has come up. And although Girls is getting a bad rap, that shouldn’t overshadow the issue’s importance. READ FULL STORY »