The darkening of our screens and stages and its part in the theft of our past and future
20 June 2020
BOY OUTA BROOKLYN — You fly into London on a British Airways plane on which you are shown an animated film about safety. It stars a cartoon Black man with his cartoon White wife and their cartoon mixed-race child. You pass through immigration control and are poked and probed by Brown people wearing hijabs and turbans who jabber at you in an unintelligible version of the English language. Heading for the tube you pass a poster that shows a Black woman dressed in Elizabethan garb beckoning you to the Globe Theatre.
On the ride into town you see posters for the latest West End plays. There are productions of Shakespeare’s Richard II and Henry V starring Black women in the title roles. (The critics rave that these classic plays finally make sense.) There is also an Asian actor playing David Copperfield and Christmas pantos starring Blacks and Asians as Cinderella, Dick Whittington, and Snow White. Next to the entertainment ads are those for mortgages and mattresses all featuring Black men with White women. And, they are almost always blonde women.
You get home, put your feet up in front of the TV and notice that there are an unusually large number of Brown people on the streets of Victorian London as depicted in the BBC’s latest version of A Christmas Carol. And the villages of Midsomer are teeming with more people-of-color than your local benefits office. Even Doctor Who is suddenly a Black woman! You channel surf and are confronted by Black vikings, Black centurions, Black Tudors and an Asian King Arthur!
The news is read by a Brown person. The weather is given to you by a Brown person. Your favorite gardening program is presented by a Brown person. The Brown person presenting your favorite wildlife program explains without a trace of irony the danger of extinction faced by native fauna and flora due to the invasion of alien species. […]