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Editor in Chief Monique Jones JUST ADD COLOR ( and COLOR BLOCK Magazine is owned and operated by Monique Jones. JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine is a site focusing on critiquing and commenting on Hollywood and general entertainment’s levels of racial, sexual, and gender inclusion or exclusion. JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine are not affiliated with other sites or magazines with the word “color” in the title and/or sites or magazines focused on race and culture in entertainment. JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine uses photography, quotes, links, and social media embeds in a responsible manner. Referenced work, such as photos, quotes, etc., are provided with captions or other attribution. JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine uses press photos, video, audio, and other provided content in accordance to press site rules and don’t use materials in a way to promote racism, verbal or physical violence or hate speech, lewdness, or other forms of unlawful behavior. JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine uses photography, video, audio, and other forms of content to comment, publicize, or provide coverage on movies and television. In the future (2016 and beyond), usage of screenshots will be limited, but in the case a screenshot is/has been used, the screenshot will be/has been used under the fair use argument in a way to comment or critique on how the screencapped work contributes to the discussion about race and culture in Hollywood and international entertainment. If a studio/network/creator would like a screencap removed, please contact and it will be removed promptly without need for legal force. Any questions, comments, or requests concerning usage of quotes, audiovisual content or other forms of content can be emailed to and the necessary action will be taken immediately without need for legal force. These terms are written by a non-attorney.

EDITOR'S NOTE Welcome to 2016! JUST ADD COLOR (originally known simply as COLOR) has seen its first full year in operation, and to head into its second year, there seemed to be no better way to ring in the new year than with a brand new magazine. COLOR BLOCK Magazine aims at giving you even more quality content, available for free download.

This year, JUST ADD COLOR will give viewers tons of content, lots of fodder for discussion, and hopefully it'll give you some new ideas for how you think about the state of race and culture in entertainment. It's not traditionally thought of as a "civil rights" issue, but representation in films and movies is, in fact, a civil rights fight. I'd say its one of the biggest, yet most underrated, civil rights fights, and the more people we have educated about the importance of representation, the faster we as a society can move towards an future in which everyone can see a version of themselves on television.

I hope 2016 brings tons of good things to JUST ADD COLOR and COLOR BLOCK Magazine, and I hope 2016 brings tons of happiness and cheer to you, too. Happy new year!

Monique Jones

2015 DIVERSITY IN TV Happy New Year 2016, and so long to 2015. With last year coming to a close and a brand new one staring us in the face, followers of Hollywood’s push-and-pull with diversity of all kinds are probably wondering (and hoping) that 2016 will provide a better focus on marginalized communities that aren’t represented as much as they should be. But in order for there to be growth, there already should be some attempt to address existing problems. How far did Hollywood go with problem-solving last year? Let’s take a quick look back at 2015 to see how much progress was made.

Daniel Wu in Into the Badlands, Season 1, Episode 1. Aired Monday, Nov. 16 (10:0011:00 ET/PT). Photo Credit: James Dimmock/AMC


DOMINATION Madeleine Mantock in Into the Badlands, Season 1, Episode 4. Aired Monday, Dec. 7 on AMC (10:00-11:00 ET/PT). Photo credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

The quotient of characters of color has increased over in 2015. But, to be more specific, several of the most popular prime-time programs, new and old, showcase women of color in leading roles.

Members of the WOC Class of 2015 TV Priyanka Chopra, making history as

Jaina Lee Ortiz, Lorraine

the first woman of South Asian descent

Toussaint, and Gabrielle Dennis

to helm a U.S. drama, Yasmine Al

(FOX’s Rosewood)

Massri, and Aunjanue Ellis (ABC’s

Danai Gurira and Sasha Williams


(AMC’s The Walking Dead)

Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood and

Viola Davis, Aja Naomi King,

Shannyn Sossamon (FOX’s Sleepy

and Karla Souza (ABC’s How to


Get Away with Murder)

Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo and

Angela Bassett (American

Ivonne Coll (CW’s Jane the Virgin),

Horror Story: Hotel)

Kerry Washington (ABC’s Scandal)

Yaya DaCosta, S. Epatha

Constance Wu (ABC’s Fresh off the

Merkerson (ABC's Chicago



Taraji P. Henson and Grace Gealey (FOX’s Empire) Meagan Good (FOX’s Minority Report)

L-R: William Devane and Natalie Morales in the "The Curious Disappearance of Mr. Donovan" episode of The Grinder aired Tuesday, Oct. 20 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Suzy Nakamura, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Krista Marie Yu (ABC's Dr.Ken)

Kelita Smith (SyFy's Z Nation)

Natalie Morales (FOX's The

Nasim Pedrad (FOX's Scream Queens)




Chicago Med, "iNO" Episode 102, Pictured: (l-r) John Byrnes, Brian Tee, and Aislinn Debutch . Aired Tuesday, Nov.24 on NBC (9:00-10:00 ET/PT) (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Asian representation has shot up exponentially, relatively speaking. In the wide television market, Asian representation is still exceptionally low. But, ever since the success of Fresh off the Boat, ABC in particular has invested more money into Asian-led shows, such as ABC’s Dr. Ken and Quantico. AMC

Li Jun Li in the


Mori” episode of Minority Report aired Monday, Nov. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Katie Yu / FOX. © 2015 FOX Broadcasting.

has also gained interest in Asian leading men with Into the Badlands, starring Daniel Wu, and the CW’s My Crazy Ex-

Other Asian actors might not be the leads in other shows,

Girlfriend, co-starring Vincent

but, for shows like Chicago Med, featuring Brian Tee,

Rodriguez . Netflix also has a hit on their

CBS' Code Black, featuring Raza Jaffrey, CW's iZombie,

hands with Master of None, starring Aziz

featuring Rahul Kohli, AMC's old crowd favorite The

Ansari and Kelvin Yu. Hulu also took

Walking Dead featuring Steven Yeun, and Minority Report,

The Mindy Project after its cancellation

featuring Li Jun Li, these actors were either part of an

on FOX.

ensemble cast or are valuable secondary characters.


ASIAN EXPERIENCE The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Roc, The Parent’hood, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and plenty others on during the same five year period. There could be discussion on the variety of experiences African-Americans in this country. Whereas, when there was just one show on TV, like Julia, for instance, the African-American experience got distilled down to one show, and even if there was

Hudson Yang in ABC's 2014 pilot episode Fresh

criticism, there was still the idea that universal

off the Boat. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

One of the biggest criticisms Fresh off the

support was needed to get another show like

Boat fielded from viewers, particularly

Julia on the air. (The '70s saw the beginning of

Asian viewers, was that the show only

the black sitcom boom with Good Times, The

focused on one type of Asian-American

Jeffersons, What's Happening!!, and Samford

experience. To be fair, the show was based

and Son.)

on one man’s own experiences, not everyone’s. But other shows that were

Incidentally, the same concerns Fresh off the

pioneers for minority families on

Boat came up against were the same criticisms

television also faced the same criticism

The Mindy Project received, since Mindy

and eventually other shows began to fill

Kaling’s show was the first star an Indian-

the vacuum. The same has happened for

American woman in as the lead in a comedy

Fresh off the Boat. Now that there are

and it was also the first to have an Indian-

more stories of Asian-American life now

American woman as the executive producer. A

being told on-screen, people are beginning

lot of concerns, ranging from the lack of other

to find what speaks to them instead of

Indian-American characters, Kaling’s

hoping to find something familiar in just

character’s string of white boyfriends

one show.

(something which has been often discussed on many outlets and in many think pieces), and

Likewise, there might also be a bit of

the character’s general experiences, were

room for discussion on how people react

thrown at the show, all of which reflect a

to these different experiences.

marginalized demographic hoping to see

For instance, in the early to mid ‘90s, there

something of themselves in the show, when in

were A Different World, In Living Color,

actuality, The Mindy Project is one show

Living Single,

detailing one woman’s experiences and thought-processes.



Telenovela, "The Rivals" Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amaury Nolasco, Alex Meneses, Jadyn Douglas, Jose Moreno Brooks, Eva Longoria, Jencarlos Canela, Diana Maria Riva, and Juan Carlos Cantu. Sneak preview Monday, Dec. 7 (10:00-11:00 ET/PT), Series premiere Monday, Jan. 4 (8:30-9:00 ET/PT). (Photo by: Ben Cohen/NBC)

Just as, Asian Americans are just now seeing themselves on television in a big way, Latinos are beginning see more versions of themselves on popular television shows. Some examples: CW's Jane the Virgin is still entertaining fans in its second season. NBC provided a sneak peek at 2016's Telenovela, starring Eva Longoria, and Superstore, starring America Ferrera. NBC has also advertised Jennifer Lopez in their upcoming cop drama, Shades of Blue, and Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. still have the presence of Monica Raymund, Joe Minoso, and Jon Seda. FOX has gone to Miami with Rosewood, featuring Jaina Lee Oritz cobilled alongside Morris Chestnut, and with FOX’s futuristic show Minority Report, Wilmer Valderrama holds down the fort as Det. Will Blake. FOX and Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens has popular


film actor Diego Boneta as a part of the cast as Pete Mart nez, and as mentioned above, Natalie Morales is a part of The Grinder. FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine's multicultural cast includes Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz.

Jaina Lee Ortiz in Rosewood--premiere date Wednesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Justin Stephens/FOX,


L-R: Guest stars Raquel Castro, Jamila Velazquez and Yani Marin in the

“True Love

Never” episode of Empire, aired Wednesday, Nov. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

A decisively marketed campaign for Latino viewership has happened during Empire’s second season, with Becky G, Adam Rodriguez, Victor Almanzar, and Jamila Velazquez, Yani Marin, and Raquel Castro (the three of whom create Hakeem’s girl group Mirage a Trois) joining Rafael de la Fuente and Sari Sanchez on the hit show. Pitbull was also cast as a guest star.

The specific casting of Becky G, a prominent singer/rapper/songwriter, and Velazquez, who has sung several hit English-language songs with Spanish lyrics, seems to be calculated towards attracting and retaining a viewership that might not have been as present during the first season. Empire’s strategy makes sense business-wise, seeing how a large chunk of social media conversation on Instagram and Twitter are fueled by Latinos and African-Americans, respectively. But it’s also smart from a representation standpoint, since Empire, possibly the biggest Guest star Becky G as Valentina in the "Fires Of Heaven" episode of Empire aired Wednesday, Oct. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

television success FOX has ever had since The X-Files or COPS, is not only showing diverse black experiences, but Latino ones as well.


ON TELEVISION When there are Latino characters and Latino-centric shows on television, there’s still a microaggression happening, and that’s by the shows mostly highlighting European or mestizo Latinos, not Afro-Latinos or any other minority in the Latin American population. However, Telemundo seems to address the Latin American part of the black diaspora with Telemundo’s Celia, a musical television show showcasing the life of singing legend Celia Cruz. The Chicago line of NBC shows also showcase the Afro-Latino community with Raymund and Seda’s Gabriela and Antonio Dawson and Minoso’s Joe Cruz on Chicago Fire, as well as Chicago Med’s Nurse April Sexton, played by Yaya DaCosta. (Sexton’s family is Brazilian.) Sexton’s heritage is probably by DaCosta and/or the writers’ design, since DaCosta’s father is Brazilian. (Mentioning Sexton in this portion of the article is with full recognition that the U.S. Census doesn’t classify Brazilian Americans as Latino, even though Brazil is part of Latin America.)

Celia, Season:1 -- Pictured: Aymée Nuviola. Premiere date: Tuesday, Oct. 13 on Telemundo (8:00-9:00 ET/PT). (Photo by: Juan Manuel Garcia/Telemundo)



“The Gift of the Magi”,

Episode 205 (Aired

Monday, Nov. 9, 10:00 ET/PT on FX) Pictured: Zahn McClarnon. CR: Chris Large/FX

Native Americans have routinely had

Currently, Zahn McClarnon (of

little to no representation on television,

Native American and Irish descent) is

except for the last season of The Red

entertaining viewers with his complex

Road, featuring Gary Farmer, Jason

character Hanzee on FX's Fargo.

Momoa (who has Native Hawaiian and

McClarnon's role is just one of the

Native American ancestry, among

extremely few high-profile roles for

others) and Tamara Tunie (who has

Native actors on TV (and this writer is

African American and Native American

being generous with her word

ancestry, among others). There were


also "historical" presentations like History’s Texas Rising, which didn’t go

However, television needs to do

into as much detail about the Native

exponentially better when it comes to

American side of the Battle of the

showcasing and educating the public

Alamo and the fight for Texas, and

on Native American culture. There is a

provided as much stereotyping of

lot of sensitivity in America, to be fair,

Native Americans, Mexicans, and black

but there’s also a lot of insensitivity

Americans as it did providing even

that still needs to be rooted out. The

more fuel to the American propaganda

more people become aware,

about the battle at the Alamo.

sympathetic, and empathetic to Native Americans, their history, what they’ve

SyFy made history with its zombie

endured, and their culture, the less

show Z Nation by being the first zombie

we’ll have insensitivities such as a

drama to showcase Native American

team name, mascots, and stereotypes.

characters. The series' episode "We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon" featured Tinsel Korey, Eddie Spears, Jeff Barehand, Tonantzin Carmelo, and Gene Tagaban.

L to R, Gary Farmer and Kiowa Gordon in the SundanceTV original series "The Red Road". Aired Tuesday, Mar. 3. Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert


REPRESENTATION Mr. Robot , "m1rr0r1ng.qt", Episode 109 -- Pictured: Rami Malek. Wednesday, August 19 on USA Network (10-11 p.m. ET) (Photo by: Christopher Saunders/USA Network)

Middle Eastern characters don’t have

form of Tyrant and Mr. Robot.

many characters on television during the

Tyrant’s second season improved

fall/winter primetime season and the

dramatically upon the first, with much

earlier spring/summer season; there are

more layered storytelling and more

less than a handful, including Necar

nuance to characters, despite the

Zadegan’s Deliah (Bravo's Girlfriends’

continued problem of certain

Guide to Divorce), Yasmine Al Massri’s

characters like Bassam and his mother

Nimah Amin and her twin (Quantico),

being played by white actors. Mr.

Nasim Pedrad’s Gigi Caldwell

Robot introduced Night at the

(FOX's Scream Queens), and characters

Museum actor Rami Malek to

featured on Homeland, for example. But

television audiences, and while his

for the most part, there’s little to no

character Elliot doesn’t address his

representation, and, in the case of

ethnicity in any way (and honestly,

Homeland, which was tagged by hired

Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Season 2 --

graffiti artists, some of the representation

Pictured: Necar Zadegan. Premiere date

that is out there has been viewed by

ET/PT). (Photo by: Andrew Eccles/Bravo)

Tuesday, Dec. 1 on Bravo (10:00-11:00 p.m.

it’s not important to the series as a whole), Malek himself is Middle Eastern, and as a Middle Eastern actor

Middle Eastern viewers as being

playing a character who isn’t

problematic and stereotype-fueling.

stereotyped, it’s a refreshing thing to see. Ditto for Zadegan on Girlfriends’

The spring/summer season in particular

Guide to Divorce and Pedrad on

had a little more representation in the

Scream Queens.


ON TELEVISION The Player, "A House Is Not A Home" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Wesley Snipes as Mr. Johnson, Richard Roundtree as Letts. Aired Friday, Nov. 5 on NBC (10:00-11:00 ET/PT). (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

It’s been peppered all throughout this magazine's audit of 2015 television, but from the fall/winter season’s offerings, there’s been a remarkable uptick in roles for black actors and shows featuring the black American experience. Between seasons 2 of Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, BET's Being Mary Jane, and black-ish, season 3 of Sleepy Hollow, the continuation of Scandal, and new shows like Rosewood, Minority Report, and plenty of shows coming this year (like Uncle Buck, for instance), there has been more for black Americans and Americans as a whole to watch and enjoy. What’s also great is that the television boom has provided several actors a career they’ve never enjoyed in film. We all know about the meteoric television rise of Henson on Empire, who, despite getting nominated for an Oscar for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and her loyal, cultivated fanbase, has never had mainstream film success. But there’s also Morris Chestnut, who has had a similar film career in which he’s never broken into the mainstream, but maintained a large and loyal

Top: Gabrielle Union in Being Mary Jane. Aired Tuesday, Feb. 3 on

fanbase. Now with Rosewood, Chestnut is enjoying much more

BET (10:00-11:00 ET/PT). Photo credit: Daniel McFadden/BET.

success as the lead of a television show. Ditto for Wesley

Brute?" episode of Empire, aired Wednesday, Dec. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM

Snipes, whose role on NBC’s The Player as the mysterious Mr.

ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

Johnson provides Snipes with a return to form. His performance is also the best performance of the entire series, illustrating just why Snipes’ talent is something not to sleep on.

Bottom: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in the "Et Tu,

INTERRACIAL LOVE ON TV Madeleine Mantock and Daniel Wu in Into the Badlands, Season 1, Epsiode 2. Aired Monday, Nov. 16 on AMC (10:00-11:00 ET/PT). Photo Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

Despite the focus on diversity in television,

Certain episodes of shows, like The Player episode

representation of biracial or multiracial characters is

“Downtown Odds,” highlight a Romeo and Juliet-esque

spotty. However, it is there. There are several biracial

tragic romance between Imani and Listo (played by Paige

or multiracial/multiethnic actors on television though,

Hurd and David Castaneda Jr.). Personally speaking, I’d

including some I’ve already mentioned--Sossamon,

expect this to get dealt with in television soon, since

Jaffrey, McClarnon, Tunie, Momoa, and Da Costa,

America’s demographics are such that by 2050, most

for instance.

people will be biracial or multiracial, according to National Geographic.

There are also some shows that showcase interracial couples, such as Rosewood, with Gabrielle Dennis' Pippy and Anna Konkle's TMI, Into the Badlands, which features the relationship between Wu’s Sunny

The Player, "Downtown Odds"

and Veil, played by Madeleine Mantock, Crazy Ex-

David Castaneda Jr. and Paige

Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r)

Girlfriend, featuring Vincent Rodriguez’s Josh Chan

Hurd. Aired Thursday, Nov. 12 on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET) (Photo

and Gabrielle Ruiz’ Valencia Perez, and CW's Jane

by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

the Virgin, which featured Gina Rodriguez’s Jane and Brett Dier’s Michael. Other shows featuring

However, there haven’t been shows this year that

interracial shows include, but aren’t limited to,

showcased a family unit that is multiracial. Embracing

Chicago Fire (Raymund’s Dawson and Jesse

family comedies that showcase interracial families will

Spencer’s Casey), ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of

become the next foray for TV writers, and that focus on

S.H.I.E.L.D. (Ming-Na Wen’s Agent May and Blair

interracial families is currently becoming reflected in

Underwood’s Dr. Garner), Sleepy Hollow

today’s commercials. If commercials have picked up on

(Greenwood’s Jenny Mills and Zach Appelman’s Joe

the fact that a large part of their consumer base is from a

Corbin), and AMC’s The Walking Dead (Steven

multiracial family, then soon writers and networks will

Yeun’s Glenn and Lauren Cohan's Maggie).

pick up on it, too.



L-R: Gabrielle Dennis and Anna Konkle in the "Policies and Ponies" episode of Rosewood. Aired Wednesday, Nov. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: John P. Fleenor/FOX.

Primetime shows have had an increased

Amazon's Transparent starring Jeffrey

interest in showing lesbian, gay, and

Tambour, and Master of None,

transgender characters in a complex

featuring Lena Waithe, one of the

light. It used to be that we could only

producers of Dear White People. Ryan

expect a gay characters to be sassy

Murphy’s shows, like Scream Queens

friends, snippy secretaries, or women

and American Horror Story, also

who were painted as being

“confused” or

“needing the right man” instead of

showcase gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters in a diverse way.

actually gay. Nowadays, we have a range of characters to choose from,

Reality television has also opened up to

whether it’s How to Get Away with

the transgender experience, with shows

Murder’s Connor, Oliver, Annalise, Eve,

like I Am Cait, documenting Caitlyn

and Jill (played by the (played by the

Jenner’s journey in the new phase of

Jussie Smollett in the "Et Tu, Brute?" fall

first openly transgender actress to play a

her life, TLC's I Am Jazz, documenting

finale episode of Empire. Aired

trans character on TV, Alexandra

the life of teenager Jazz Jennings,

Billings), or Empire’s Jamal, Michael,

and Fuse's Transcendent, starring the

Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck

Tiana, and Mimi Whiteman, or

dancers of San Francisco’s popular


Quantico’s Simon, or Rosewood’s Pippy

cabaret club, AsiaSF.

and TMI, or others, including characters from subscription platforms like

USA's Sirens not only featured a gay

Netflix's Orange is the New Black,

character, Hank, but also an asexual

including breakout star and transgender

character, Valentina (aka Voodoo),

activist Laverne Cox,

maybe TV's first out asexual character.

Wednesday, Dec. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox

There also hasn’t been a successful

for the L, G, and T in television, the B-

standalone TV show about a family

-the bisexual experience--has been

with two gay parents since Murphy’s

routinely left out, except for certain

The New Normal, which aired on FOX

characters like Annalise and Eve from

in 2012. Of course, there is ABC’s

How to Get Away with Murder and

Modern Family, which features such a

Desiree and The Countess from

couple (played by Jesse Tyler

American Horror Story: Hotel. Often

Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet). But

times, when bisexual characters are

there has yet to be a show that is

shown, its generally shown in two

centrally about a family with same-sex

women kissing each other in a club,

parents at the head to replace The New

which speaks to the stereotype

Normal. America was ready for The

bisexual and lesbian women, in

New Normal when it premiered thanks

particular, have to deal with; that their

to Modern Family, but Murphy’s

sexuality is only valued for how it can

handling of story and characters left

titillate the male gaze. Meanwhile,

much to be desired, which turned

bisexual men are hardly ever shown

viewers off. All it takes is for someone

(with the exception of American

to properly develop characters instead

Horror Story: Hotel). It would seem

of creating basic character beats, and a

that the idea of the bisexual man

show featuring two same-sex parents

threatens entertainment’s (and

would be a hit.

society’s) perceptions of both gay and

“manhood.” For bisexual men and women, their sexuality hasn’t been properly understood in an “either-or” straight

society, and because many in America still don’t have a grasp on what it means to be bisexual, it would appear that society is more comfortable with showing characters are who are either straight or gay. There’s no room for being bisexual, which is a huge disservice to the bisexual community who, like everyone else, wants to see themselves represented on television.

American Horror Story: Hotel, "Room 33" Episode 506 (Aired Wednesday, November 11, 10:00 ET/PT) Pictured: Angela Bassett. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX


However, while the field is broadening


CHARACTERS WITH DISABILITIES When it comes to handicaps being portrayed in television, there’s not a lot of representation out there, and that’s not a good thing. Ryan Murphy’s shows usually have characters featuring handicaps, but outside of his stable of shows, not many other shows feature handicaps in a sizable and impactful way. Out of the new fall/winter shows in 2015, Superstore is the only one of note that features a main character with a disability Garrett, who is in a wheelchair. Fox Family has also showcased characters with disabilities, specifically characters affected by deafness or hard-of-hearing issues, with Switched at Birth. However, despite these examples, it would be helpful if shows incorporated characters who have different experiences when it comes to ability, because as it stands, American television is highly ableist.

Colton Dunn in the pilot episode of Superstore. Cropped: Ben Feldman, America Ferrera, Nichole Bloom. Sneak preview Monday Nov. 30 on NBC (10:00-11:00 ET/PT), Series premiere Monday, Jan. 4 on NBC (8:00-8:30 ET/PT) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)(Photo credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

2015 FILMS:

A YEAR OF REGRESSION 2015, like most years, had its fair share of films that were great as well as films that were less than stellar, but one of the things 2015 could be called is The Year of Whitewashing. Both mainstream and historical films alike were whitewashed into something offensive to people of all races and backgrounds.

Whitewashing The Martian

Jurassic World



Whitewashin The Ridiculous The 33 Six WHITEWASHING





The Whitewashed Eight: HOLLYWOOD'S DIVERSITY ISSUES AS SHOWN THROUGH EIGHT FILMS OF 2015 Suffragette (Focus Features) Director Sarah Gavron claimed that her film Suffragette focused on the white lower class women involved in England’s suffrage movement, and that the few women of color who were involved, women of high rank, like Indian princess Sophia Duleep Singh, Merabai Tata and her daughter Mithan Lam, were excluded from the film because of their status. However, despite acknowledging that there were real women of color she left out of the film, Suffragette focuses on a made-up character as its center, played by Carey Mulligan.

Pan (Warner Bros.)

Aloha (Sony Pictures)

Joe Wright’s Pan was

Emma Stone played

another box office failure

Allison Ng, a hapa native

due in part to its offensive

Hawaiian. While there

casting. Rooney Mara was

could be an argument

cast as the film’s Tiger

made that Stone could

Lily, which set many

qualify for playing such a

movie-goers, specifically

role since the character

Native Americans, against

was part white anyway,

the film. Wright’s gives a

the stronger rebuttal is that

defense for his version of

there are many other

Tiger Lily, citing how

actresses better suited for

"badass" she would be,

the role, such as actresses

while acknowledging why

who are, in fact,

people were upset. None of

white/Asian or

his defense explains why a

white/Pacific Islander.

Native actress couldn’t

The outrage was such that

play the role. In any event,

director Cameron Crowe

Pan bombed at the box

released an apology on his

office, once again a bad

website, but by then, the

story and bad press being

damage had been done

the culprits. Mara herself

and Aloha tanked at the

later expressed grief over

box office due to the

playing the role and the

perfect storm of offensive

public's reaction to it.

casting and a bad story.

Stonewall (Roadside Attractions) The history of the riots at New York’s Stonewall Inn begins with people of

—Marsha P.


Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major Griffin-

—but Roland


Emmerich’s Stonewall sets the film around a made-up white male character, played by Jeremy Irvine, as if he was the one to rally people around the inn and start the first battle against the cops’ raid. Many people, especially the LGBT community, were outraged at the whitewashing of history and, despite Emmerich’s defense of the film, Stonewall did poorly at the box office.

The Martian (20th Century Fox)

The Ridiculous Six (Netflix)

The 33 (Warner Bros.)

Jurassic World (Universal)

The Martian was a

The 33, based on the true

On the surface, Jurassic

Adam Sandler’s Netflix

seemingly surprise hit at the

story of the trapped

World appears to be a film

comedy actually has

box office, but astute

Chilean miners, features

that focuses on leading

Native actors its cast, but

viewers were quick to point

Antonio Banderas as its

Asian men, like B.D.

the film can still be

out that two of the

star. However, it also

Wong, Irrfan Khan and

characters from the book

features a handful of

Chicago Med’s Brian Tee

critiqued for

version were whitewashed

actors who aren’t even

in the trailers. While Wong

grounds of Sandler’s team

in the film. Mackenzie

Latino, much less

does have a substantial

Davis' Mindy Park was

Chilean, such as Juliette

role, Tee’s character dies

running ramshod over

originally East Asian, and

Binoche, Bob Gunton,

after saying one to two

Apache, culture. The

Chiwetel Ejiofor's Vincent

and Gabriel Byrne. The

words. To make matters

actors took so much

Kapoor was Indian. It's not

small film was relying on

worse, the two kids were

verbal abuse in the form

clear why the roles were

the endearing story to

originally supposed to be


changed, and it's especially

pull it through, but critics

Asian characters - the sons

of their culture that they

confusing that the film

still sounded off on the

of a Chinese paleontologist

and the cultural advisor

chose to add diversity with

whitewashing that took

who visited the park in

walked off the set. In an

Ejiofor when there was

place. The film still

search of her stolen dino

interview exclusively with

already diversity with the

warmed some hearts

DNA. Director Colin

COLOR, Loren Anthony,

original characters. It

since the viewers

Trevorrow changed the

remembered watching

characters’ races for no

one of the actors from the

becomes even more confusing since the film

the real story on TV, but

discernible reason,

still hired Asian actors, but

the casting still shows

resulting in the film’s final

for secondary and

Hollywood has a lot to

versions of the characters

background roles, and

work on casting-wise.

—now Bryce Dallas

Donald Glover was also a

Howard’s character

part of the cast.

Claire's two nephews.

whitewashing on the

Native, specifically

“jokes” at the expense

film, spoke about how what the crew perceived as lighthearted jokes were actually statements that degraded Native women and tradition.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor John Boyega attends the World Premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)


INCLUDING A FILM IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY 2015 comes to a close with sci-fi juggernaut Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film, starring John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, and Oscar Isaac, looks to be a celebration of racial and gender diversity.

The film is also possibly the biggest sci-fi film to feature people of color in leading roles, particularly Boyega. POC faces haven't been seen regularly in scifi and fantasy films, and it'd be great to see more.

There is one detraction. Nyong'o plays a motioncapture character; women of color have had a notorious lack of screentime in sci-fi and fantasy. While it would be great to see Nyong'o as herself onscreen, the film will still open doors for other people of color in sci-fi and fantasy.

OTHER 2015 FILM HIGHLIGHTS Dope Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Carol Spotlight Secret in their Eyes The Danish Girl Black and White Beyond the Lights


Profile for COLOR BLOCK Magazine

COLOR BLOCK Magazine Jan 2016  

The inaugural issue of COLOR BLOCK takes a look back at the diverse year of 2015 television as well as call out eight of 2015's most whitew...

COLOR BLOCK Magazine Jan 2016  

The inaugural issue of COLOR BLOCK takes a look back at the diverse year of 2015 television as well as call out eight of 2015's most whitew...