Yes, our media should reflect the reality of our diverse world. Here in the United States especially, our entertainment industry should take advantage of the rich melting pot that is our country. However, the notion that every TV show and movie must in some way reflect everyone’s point of view and culture is impossible both creatively and mathematically. I was struck recently by some natterings online about Gilmore Girls not being gay enough. Amy originally intended Sookie to be a lesbian but the network nixed this so there were no “out” LGBT characters in the original series (but Gypsy, if you were paying attention); in A Year in the Life, Michel was revealed and Donald was added. Still, people were not satisified.
I’m gay, so I have a stake in this, but seriously, I can just as easily hear other groups saying the same thing — Gilmore Girls doesn’t have enough African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Hittite-Americans, Pompous-Americans or Nerd-Americans (as if April wasn’t enough). You’ve got all these constituencies vying to have their stories told, but can you please everyone?
If you really look at Gilmore Girls, it was and is much more diverse than many other shows on TV — there was Michel, Gypsy, Mrs. Kim, Lane, Caesar, and Miss Patty, plus people of different social strata, body-sizes and levels of narcissism. In comparison, have you seen 7th Heaven? I’m only now catching bits of it because it’s on the UpTV timeslot everyday before Gilmore Girls and…hoo-boy. Why isn’t anyone protesting that show?
I can tell you’re still mad, so I say Do Something. Yes, keep up the pressure on Hollywood to be more inclusive. Encourage them to give a diverse array of actors, writers, and producers a seat at the table. That’s just a start.
If you don’t see yourself represented, write your own story, produce your own play, put up your own viral video. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself if you want it done right. It’s always been difficult to break through, but it’s easier now than ever with the aid of technology. I mean, there are YouTube stars doing videos in their bedrooms, making a living and amassing huge followings while the mainstream has no clue they even exist. You have to be good and there needs to be truth in the stories you’re telling. I’d love to see people build the own gay or Armenian or differently-abled version of Shondaland on our TV map. Create your own Empire (pun intended, Danny Strong).
To sum up: I’m over it. I’m Over the Rainbow. Now, can we all just go back to watching Netflix?