beetle bailey
2 min readApr 16, 2024

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I think the push to have Black women shoe-horned into roles made for/traditionally played by white women is ... it's the bare minimum of inclusion. Barer than taking a chance on stories created by Black people--Black women--that can feature them authentically. Children of Blood and Bones is REAL inclusion and real different. It's the real step into what I'm sure many non-Black folks see as The Void. And no just regarding box office-draw and general interest. Casting Black folks in old, well-trod Eurocentric stories is far less of a risk and far less likely to turn away major markets around the world. Or so it's supposed. And probably rightly ... at least at first. The world wide anti-Blackness (even and sometimes especially in majority-Black countries and cultures) has NEVER been real-er and clearer.

After all ... Mulan, let's say, told a REAL myth not a mish-mosh of several cultural veneers with a core of Europe running deeply through it (from actors/VO actors down to the extremely Shakespearian bones, like The Lion King). I WISH I could say The Princess and the Frog was well-conceived and well-intentioned. But all I can say about it was ... it was entertaining in a Twilight Zone-way. Like seeing something I sort of know ... as seen by someone who doesn't know it at all.

This iteration of Romeo & Juliet, leaving aside the motivations of the actual actors/artists, is a sop. A bare minimum meant to put off anyone who desperately wants the media and the world to do more and BETTER. To be truer to non-white stories and letting the people who know and live them from the inside tell them and be the entire creative lead on it. Then when the non-Black or non-whoever lead project fails ... or proves to be mediocre in execution and sales, well. "DEI ... it just doesn't work."

It's all such a tiresome and self-fulfilling prophecy. No one likes when their culture is made into a watered down caricature. They won't spend time and money on it as they would something authentic and real-feeling. They won't hype it up and tell their friends. Then, producers can says: "We tried but they didn't like it. Back to rehashing Romeo & Juliet ... YET AGAIN!"

If I roll my eyes any harder, they'll get whiplash.

Fantastic article! Subbed!

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beetle bailey

Just a bug with progressive values, opinions, and Interwebz. Black, atheist, AuDHD, Âû. A-awesome. PROUDLY a transmasc coleoptera. Be warned: I clap back.