This post was had to do with three things: BW/WM in media, the so-called war between BW & WW, and colorist attacks on light-skinned Black/biracial women who are believed to have an "easier" time in Hollywhite, when their characterizations clearly show us something different.
This post has to do with "the compromise". Many commenters - myself included - often ask, "Why did they even bother?" If you don't want Black women in your project and you're just going to go out of your way to treat them like dirt...why bother?
So what's the compromise? You get a light-skinned, often biracial woman to play "the Black girl/woman" of the project to kindly remind the audience that white, or close-to-white is the way to go. The lighter her skin, the straighter her nose, the thinner her lips, the skinnier her body - you get the picture - the better.
Notice how absolutely none of this is about us. We are not consulted. We do not have say. None of these women, contrary to the hype, are cast for our benefit.
Make no mistake: our light-skinned/biracial sisters also have a rough time in Hollywhite, and they are most assuredly members of the Black Girls Club. They are our sisters - end of story. We love them, support them, and we are aware of their struggle.
That was The Whole
So I deleted a comment on one of my Merlin posts in which an Anonymous commenter was saying that Angel Coulby's casting was "to appease a certain race of people" and that it was "rubbish."
Issa [Rae] and I sat down with a television executive from a prominent network. In short, his response confirmed our worst fears. He felt that in order for "ABG" to become more mainstream, the entire cast would need to be replaced. His suggestion for the lead character, J, was a long haired, fair-skinned actress....
Awwwww...come on now. Talk about pissing on someone's leg and then saying it's raining.
First off, it's not about us
Let's be clear: these Black women we constantly see cropping up opposite white men are not being written for Black people's benefit. It's not even really written to draw in the Black audience; if it was, we'd have more say in casting, writing, and ignoring bitchy white female fans who try to get shows canceled.
They are the white female interpretation of Black women, with no care for reality at all. I say female because when you refer to any of these women as "Black", both their white female fans and haters rush to "correct" you.
No, this isn't new
White men desire Black women, and it's nothing new. To say that it's been going on for centuries would actually be an understatement. It is what is, and the Black women who are on these shows and in these films are there...because white guys want them there.
White guys own Western media. If they don't like it, it's not broadcast. White women may be writing some of these storylines, but it's white guys who are making damn sure the stories come to life, are put on the big networks, have the big screen budgets, and oh yeah...they're making sure Black women are put opposite other white guys.
Dilution don't mean dick
This is precisely why we need to lose the colorist rants in communities of color.
Dark-skinned sistahs; I feel you. I feel your pain. I understand what you mean about your beautiful complexions being devalued and dismissed. I get your frustration when the Black women being cast in popular, mainstream material all seem to conveniently fit the same mold.
It's just easier for white female fans to get mad at them rather than at the white guys who blatantly want these women.
Over on the Black Girls Club post, we discussed how a lot of these characters are treated like dirt on their shows. They're the poorly written punching bag, misfit, "best friend" (*shudder*), and overall handmaiden - having light skin doesn't save them from this fate. Yes, the white guys may find them attractive (alas, an unfortunate side effect), but their sole purpose is still to serve the white chick, make her feel better, and even been willing to lay down their own lives if necessary to protect the fragile pale princess of the show.
So they're not there for us. Our "appeasement" was the last thing on the minds of their characters' creators.
All these bitter, simmering haters who watch these films and shows need realize that you can hate the player all you want...but it won't change the game.
*I think of Merlin as an exception to the will-get-canceled rule.
The creators of Merlin are an all-white male crew. Angel Coulby (above) was cast as Guinevere, and they didn't do a goddamn thing to stop it. They have shown her preferential treatment over all other women on the show, and King Arthur is shown rejecting one WW after the other in favor of her. The inevitable backlash came, and the creators decided to change audiences instead of actresses. The show got darker, the male cast expanded, more WW were killed off or banished or simply written out, and they increased the action and violence. Message: this show was primarily for the guys. This is their fantasy, and they're not letting go.
Merlin has been renewed for a fifth season.