Diverse casts and condescension regarding the preference of them

I watch old movies (you know, from the 80’s) – more than I used to before Netflix and Amazon gave me access to them that I didn’t have before (except perhaps in video stores - but the scale and selection was much smaller - and well - the movies that were new at the time in video rental stores I now consider old). I’ve noticed a trend towards more racial and gender diversity of casts. White women, and black men and women now more frequenly play major roles that would have been occupied by white men. It is more unusual than not in my experience of most new movies for the president to be diverse, rather than a white guy, unless he’s evil. It is striking, watching older movies from the 90s, 80s, and earlier how white they are compared to new films and shows.
So let’s say someone says this:

"I would prefer to see more people like me in movies." 

If a white man were to say this, he would be considered to be small minded and perhaps even racist. Surely one should be able to enjoy cinema regardless of the arbitrary matter of who is what race or sex, and what their role is in the film? But if in fact the details of the race and gender of the person playing any individual role were irrelevant to an audience’s enjoyment of the flim, American films would be just as enjoyable if acted out by an all female cast, or an all Indian cast, or an all Mexican cast. Accepting this then surely most American films would be filmed in Bollywood where the labor is cheaper.

And yet they’re not.

Leave a Reply