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Even when shows do have multiracial casts the problem with content still remains.Sut Jhally and Justin Lewis’ analysis of The Cosby Show showed how white audiences viewing the show’s portrayal of an upper-class black family believed that black families in general had the same opportunities that whites did and that economic disparities were a product of individual actions rather than systemic racism. Turner identify the trend of “diversity casting” as a strategy by TV producers to deflect charges of racism.While Hollywood’s “diversity problem” was on full display at the Oscars this year with no non-white actor or director being nominated for any award category, an argument could be made for things being better on TV.
Empire is effectively proving that diversity isn’t a dirty word.
It’s black, it’s queer, and it’s not apologetic about that.
Australian audiences will have to wait some weeks to see the final episode of the series, which screened in the US last week.
Lucious, diagnosed with ALS and given three years to live, is frantic to cement his legacy by taking his music label public and appointing a worthy heir from among his sons – Andre, Jamaal, and Hakim.
By picking a multiracial cast but choosing to ignore socio-cultural differences completely in the content of the shows themselves, producers neatly sidestep controversial issues.
So while it is important to underline the imbalance in casting, it remains vital to realise that a mere presence on the screen is not enough.Queer characters are usually a token presence on major network shows and queer characters of colour are even rarer.In this context the character of Jamaal and the intersection of his blackness and queerness feels monumental.A plot twist revolving around another character’s bisexuality doesn’t feel forced but rather throws into contrast the heteronormative scripts of other shows.And while Empire’s use of transphobic language has yet to be interrogated, it’s deliberate self-reflexivity doesn’t rule this out as an eventual possibility. Michael Lin, a Beverly Hills, California-based dermatologist and founder of Dr.