Racial identity and multiculturalism inform these TV shows because while they are made to entertain an audience, they are also made to make a statement about real injustices in the world.  These are also the reasons that they are structured the way they are and also have the characters act the way they do.  Because I have only seen the first episode these shows I am not fully sure if they will challenge stereotypes and typical representations.  For example in Dear White People they have the main character hook up with a white character and when they go to a meeting a lot of the other black characters find the white guy to be out of the norm.  They had one of the other black characters confront the white character and talk to him and the white guy ends up leaving the movie.  However, after he leaves the movie the original character who made him leave then apologies to the girl.  In On My Block one of the Hispanic characters joins a gang because that is what everyone in his family has done and to me this seems more of a stereotypical norm that the show is not breaking.   However, in the end of the first episode the three other main characters talk about how they need to help him get out the gang and this seems to me like they will continue on to try and break stereotypes in this show.  I also believe that Netflix is falling into some stereotypes but that the reason they do this is to eventually dismantle the stereotypes in their show.  For example the reason they have a character join a gang in On My Block and look stereotypical is so that later on they can show he is actually a good person being forced into this life and that he doesn’t even want to be there just like people in real life.  I also do not believe that watching these shows would help to change the minds or worldview of anything or anyone because I believe that when people are watching TV shows they want to be entertained and if they wanted to hear facts they would watch a documentary.  No ones mind or worldview will change when they watch a TV show because the people who watch these shows watch them to help confirm their worldview and the people that don’t watch them, don’t watch them because they don’t want to be taught a lesson or hear people complain about inequality when they just want to be entertained.

Unfortunately for me I was unable to connect to any of the characters because they are all in a very different situation than me and what happens to them does not happen to me.  Almost all of the characters are from a different ethnic background than me, because I am a white male and most of the characters shown were of color or female.  So this unfortunately makes a lot of their everyday problems not very relevant to me since I do not go through what they have to but also I am not racist towards people of different color than me so their concerns were not super relevant to me.  From an industrial standpoint the difficulties that are faced when trying to communicate their stories through mass media are many.  They have to face people trying to not be able to even tell their stories and then they also have a lot of people who will not even listen when their stories are out.  Another problem they face are people telling them to stop complaining or enjoy that it is better than it was but that is still a problem because things are still not perfect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s