The end of 2018 sees the return of the 80s cult classic "Heathers." The prominent cast for the show includes a genderqueer character, and a black lesbian who act as the leaders of the coolest group in the school, and occasionally bring hell to the not so cool students.
This perfectly exemplifies color-conscious Casting. In acting and Hollywood lingo, Color-conscious casting depicts the holding of auditions for roles with an emphasis on talents and experiences of actors and actresses rather than their skin or race. In simpler terms, it means casting minority races such as Blacks, Asians, Latinas, Transgender and so on, into roles previously played by cisgender or white actors/actresses.
Looking at it from the outside, the color-conscious casting seems a great way to establish a level playing field for all race and genders, but on detailed view of it, it does present a couple of problems, as exemplified by the Heathers TV show.
The Heathers TV show highlights some of these problems tied to this method of casting. Firstly, by the fact that the new "Heather" characters are minorities and the plot demand that they are bullies, defeats the essence of color-conscious casting, which essentially is to create racial awareness on screen instead of diversifying the production.
It has to be said that there are strong merits and demerits of productions involving color-conscious casting. In the past few years, several TV shows have demonstrated color-conscious casting, none more successfully than "Hamilton."
In "Hamilton," the differences between immigrants’ rights today and what it was during the founding years of the United States is what makes the show's choice for color-conscious casting prominent.
The audience already knows that Alexander Hamilton is originally black, but casting him as another race makes the casting really stand out.
Another show that incorporates color-conscious casting is Hulu's "The Handmaid's tale," which utilizes two black characters as the leads of the show, different from the source material it was adapted from. The story which focuses on a dystopian society touches on critical aspects such a society will encounter, has failed to explore the complications of a person of color living in such a society.
There is the hope that although "The Handmaid's Tale" has failed to address the glaring issue of minorities living in a future dystopian society, I will be able to give a chance to her lead characters to explore the impact of a colored person residing in such society.
With that said, color-conscious casting can play a prominent role in "The Handmaid's Tale," if the plot would allow the lead casts to tackle their character development as it ought to be.
Netflix's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," is another adaptation from a book that utilizes color-conscious casting. Blacks play the two lead characters.
Even though the show fails to address the issue of race, it isn't seen as a significant issue at all as the fictional setting doesn't allow for that, rather an absurdity is the order of the day, and logic is tossed out the window.
Including people of color in the show, makes the fictional world a bit real, without the need for a minority inclusion to be justified.
For more visit us blendtw.