It’s nice how all these white guys online line up to tell women that sexism doesn’t really exist. Just after they’ve told black people and other minorities how racism doesn’t really exist either. And lecture gays on how homophobia doesn’t truly happen.
Man, those dudes are in so much of a frigging fantasy world, I’d like to ask them if they could get Gandalf’s autograph for me.
Let Jewish people have “goyim.” Let gays and lesbians have the “heteros/straights.” Let black people complain about “crackers.” Let Latinos have the “gringos.” Let PoC have white people jokes. Let women complain about men.
Let marginalized people express distance from their oppressors. Let the marginalized turn their oppressors into the Other. Let marginalized people exist in a way that inconveniences and irritates their oppressors, because the oppressors have been doing worse for years.
If You’re Mad About Fantastic Beast’s Whitewashing of Harlem, Why Not Watch Timeless?
So, it’s a brand new time travel show on NBC; still finding it’s feet but I swear every episode has been better than the last and I’m so excited to see where it ends up.
1. The incredibly gifted Malcolm Barrett plays Rufus. Rufus is a flawless human being. He’s sweet and smart and awkward and scared shitless but keeps trying even though he’s in way over his head. He gets at least one positively epic moment per episode.
2. Race is brought up in every single episode, because Rufus has his own perspective on historical events and the show bothers to treat that as relevant. His white teammates, Wyatt and Lucy, are made aware of their white privilege while time traveling (for example, in the Lincoln assassination episode, Lucy is constantly reminded that the racial issues she can see in abstract terms are personal to Rufus).
3. Frequent encounters with historical POC, from Colored Regiments to Black Panthers to Shawnee chieftainess Nonhelema (god, I was so sure that episode was going to disappoint me with Scary Indians TM. Then they were like, “Nope, gonna teach you about this amazing Native woman who you never heard of and also portray her grievances with the white invaders as totally legitimate.”) The show constantly reminds us that POC were also doing things throughout history and those things were important.
4. In modern time, all of the main cast back at base are POC. Two are WOC.
5. POC in the background. When the background is mostly white except for a few Black servants, at some point it will be pointed out that this isn’t because white people are “normal” but because segregation/discrimination was a thing. When the setting was actually diverse, they show that. Like in the Alamo episode; it had many white American and white immigrant defenders, but also some Mexicans and Blacks. Your average portrayal would completely ignore them. On Timeless, they explicitly talk about the free Blacks in Mexico. Even when Crockett or Bowie is talking, the background still has Black and Hispanic actors.
6. I kept worrying that they’d start out well, but eventually sideline Rufus and focus on just Wyatt and Lucy, especially since they initially bond more with each other while he is very protective of them. But recent episodes have also had them fighting to save him, the whole group bonding more and Rufus consistently getting the most interesting characterization and storylines.
In conclusion, in addition to being a fun sci-fi adventure it’s sci-fi that remembers to treat POC like a normal part of history. Please support it so it stays on air