The World As We View It

Catra+and+Adora+from+%22She-Ra+and+the+Princesses+of+Power%22.

Art by Caeli Harman

Catra and Adora from “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”.

Noelle Gomez, Staff Writer

The bright, rising sun wakes you up early on a Saturday morning. The smell of pancakes leads you into your kitchen, where you enjoy your breakfast in front of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

That memory feels so long ago, doesn’t it?

For many young children, that memory is currently a reality. However, lots of TV shows and other forms of media lack an accurate representation of the culturally diverse world around us, which is detrimental to shaping the way we see the world around us–especially when we’re impressionable young kids.

According to the 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report done by UCLA, women make up 50% of the population but only account for 40% of casts in film in 2019. Furthermore, this same report found that 82% of positions in major and mid-major studios are held by men. Similarly, this report also notes that minorities (non-white people) only made up an average of 27% of leads cast in TV shows from 2018 to 2019.

In comparison, the same report states that 30% of people of color made up casts in film in 2019. Ninety-one percent of positions in major and mid-major studios are held by white people, yet minorities make up 40% of the population and will become the majority by 2050.

While there’s no rule that says that white people can’t write shows about black people’s experiences, or that men can’t write shows that feature stories about women, it is simply unethical. To say that a white person and a minority, or a man and a woman, have the same experiences is simply false, as we live in a society that treats people differently based on their gender or race.

We live in a world where racism and sexism, among many other divisions, exist and are ever-present. People face them everyday, which is why it is so important that the material we watch represents a world that aims for equality and diversity, as TV and film are one of the first ways to experience the world when we’re young.

However, amidst these alarming statistics, there is still hope. Many children’s’ shows today aim for creating an accurate representation of the diverse world that we live in. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra” series feature characters of color, as well as an accurate representation of Asian and Inuit cultures. “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” includes characters of all races as well as LGBTQ+ relationships. “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”, a show written and voiced by people of the LGBTQ+ community, includes characters that range from all sexual orientations, gender, body types, and ability.

But it doesn’t have to stop at shows that are just made for kids. Shows aimed at teenagers and young adults that feature diverse characters and relationships include “Pose”, a show that cast a diverse range of black people, including representation of transgender people, “I Am Not Okay With This”, a show that explores sexual orientation, “One Day at a Time”, a series that details life as a Cuban-American immigrant, as well as many more.

Representation is important. In such a divided world, it matters to have shows that our younger siblings and future leaders can see themselves in. It matters to have shows that include characters who are simply themselves, who showcase pride in different backgrounds, and hopefully educate future generations to just see a world of people who are treated equally. Accurate, authentic representation is so powerful. With it, we can break down barriers, be open to new ideas, and become more compassionate to those different than us, all while creating a world that’s more equal.

Everyone deserves to have a voice and to share their stories–and you can play a part in this as well. Watch shows that include a diverse range of characters and people working behind the scenes and that don’t include stereotypes. Leave reviews and show support. And most importantly, if anything is to ever change, demand more.

*All shows can be found on Netflix

 

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