There’s an interesting article over at PopMatters postulating that my favorite show, Glee, is racist. Which frankly is ridiculous, but I gave it a read anyway.
After reading it, here are a few key quotes that I want you to think about:
By my count, there are seven white kids, two African-Americans, two Asian-Americans and a Hispanic girl. Throw in the fact that one of the white kids is gay and another is in a wheelchair and that’s the kind of line-up that wins tolerance awards, right? (And this doesn’t even take into account a couple more ethnicities represented in the school’s teaching ranks.)
So what’s the problem? Quite simply, the show is about the white people. Exclusively. The writing staff has barely been able to come up with any dialogue, let alone a storyline, for any of the non-white kids. This leaves most of them with nothing to do but sing and dance in the group numbers.
Well, that’s a good point, but white characters are also just singing and dancing. Everyone gets a turn in the spotllight, eventually. In the beginning episodes we saw Mercedes dealing with a broken heart after realizing that Kurt was batting for the other side. Okay, on to the next quote:
Is there something sinister going on here? Is Glee trying to subvert Obama’s post-racial America by relegating minorities to the background? I don’t think so. It is, after all, just a piffle of a show, enjoyable as it may be. I think they just don’t completely realize what they’re doing. But the show has a rabid fan base and it looks like it’ll be around for a while. The writers will need many more plots to sustain it through a second season. And they’ve got a long hiatus coming up since Glee will not be back until April, when it gets a prime post-American Idol slot. Hopefully, the creators will use that extra time to look around and realize just what a rich set of characters they could potentially have and what a poor job they’ve done utilizing the full cast.
Eh. I think this is a tempest in a teakettle. I don’t think this show is racist. I think they were just too busy fumbling around on how to get this show to actually “work” that they tried to keep everything to a minimum. I think they just tried to have two major storylines (Rachel/Finn and Quinn/baby), because they thought they were going to get cancelled. They haven’t gotten to the background characters yet. Now that they’ve got a back nine (and likely a second season) they can settle down and not throw everything and the kitchen sink in at once. At least, that’s the hope. What do you think?
- Glee On A LONG Hiatus! (perezhilton.com)
- Best new TV: “Glee” (salon.com)
- Fox Releases 2009-2010 MidSeason Schedule (screenrant.com)
- Joss Whedon To Direct ‘Glee’ Episode (splashpage.mtv.com)
- Glee Preview: Quinn Sings Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach (shoppingblog.com)