One of the hallmarks of a Shonda Rhimes production is a sprawling multiracial ensemble cast. As a viewer, I've watched sexy lawyers, Seattle doctors, and how to get away with murder-ers it's a thing of all ethnicities command the screen.
The fact that many of them were not white was just an added plus while bingeing Shondaland's addicting creations over the years. Rhimes' new Netflix hit, Bridgertonis no different. Only this time, she's executive produced a Regency Era period drama based on a series of bestselling romance novelsand the cast represents the richest of the rich in London.
You know, the very colonizers that were thriving as a direct result of their historic abuse and mistreatment of BIPOCs? Bridgerton raises the question of how diverse nobility could exist during a time when most Black and brown people in Britain were relegated to domestic work. For the record, according to romance novelist and historian Vanessa Rileythere were Black nobility. Even a Black duke.
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But both the scale and level of acceptance of those people shown in Bridgerton is largely historically inaccurate—but purposefully so. She says:.
To translate, Bridgerton exists in a fictional 19th century London society where, unlike today, Queen Charlotte's race was never up for debate. In the show, she is a Black woman who ascended the throne, resulting in a more accepting world filled with equal opportunity where it wasn't radical to see Black elite and middle class people: a duke, footman, lady's maid, or even a respected boxer.
To some, this understandably comes off as a far too simplistic way to delve into the very complex idea of race relations in 19th century Britain, particularly when Bridgerton was co-executive produced and written by Van Dusen—a white man. Critics not only address the implications of Black and brown people mingling with those who might have been their white oppressors, but also, the exclusion of darker skinned actors from leading roles. But at the same time, Van Dusen explained to OprahMag.
And that fantasy happens to include that Black citizens and people of color can live their lives and succeed without question or elaboration. Oh, and dance to Ariana Grande at a ball.
We're being naughty. We're being sexual, we're being grand.
All of the things that human beings are. I'm biracial.
I was brought up in England. My mother was crazy about period dramas, which made me crazy about them. I never thought that I'd be able to be in one. It was something that was far away. I couldn't touch it.
Can women and men ever really understand each other?
Now we can rewrite that story for the little girl who's sitting at home. That cycle is stopping now.
For him, episode 4's monologue from Lady Danbury was an essential detail. I think one of the best ways to do that is to have conversations with people because there are unique concerns that affect how we navigate in society. As a viewer and romance fanatic, the concept of BIPOCs living freely without issue is difficult to grasp inparticularly as those behind the Black Lives Matter movement are fighting everyday to ensure their community is heard.
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Bridgerton also raises the very real argument that instead of injecting brown people into a world that didn't actually accept them, it might be more productive for Hollywood to peruse and adapt from the plethora of acclaimed romance novels that are already inclusive. Novelists Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, and more are a great place to start. Is one warm, fluffy conversation between a man and his wise godmother really enough to explain multiracial casting in a series set in a country with a painful history?
For some, perhaps not.
But while I agree with much of the dissent, it was still a welcome breath of fresh air to not be faced with exhaustive on-screen dialogue about why my people deserve to be seen on a hit TV series. We've already spent decades saying as much. Bridgerton just reinforces it. Your Best Life. Type keyword s to search.
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She says: "Look at our queen. Look at our king. Look at their marriage.
Look at everything it is doing for us, allowing us to become. We were two separate societies divided by color, until a king fell in love with one of us. Love, Your Grace, conquers all. Related Story.
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