token chick

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“I’m an Acting major at the University of Minnesota. Already it’s such a competitive field, but then on top of that you’re told that there’s only so many ‘types’ that you can fill. For Caucasian people, it’s like, ‘Oh, well, there’s the blonde, and the brunette, and this, and that,’ and then it’s just like: the token black chick. And that’s it, and there’s one role, and you have to fill it. So I’ve been spending a lot of my life and my acting career basically telling myself what I can’t do. Like, ‘I can’t play that role, because it’s Romeo and Juliet, and that’s historically a white role.’ Not only having society tell me that, but then myself starting to believe that has made it so difficult for me. And then finally one day waking up and being like, ‘Fuck it.’ There’s no point in telling myself what I can and can’t play, because that’s just holding me back. If I’m convinced that I can’t play this role, then of course no one else is gonna be convinced. Not just in theater, but generally in life. Stop telling myself that I can’t do something because I’m black.”

“How did you figure that out?”

“When I was 16, 17 I was in this production of A Wrinkle in Time, and the people playing my mom and dad were both white, and my little sister was white. And I was the black person. Every time I told people about the show, their first question would be ‘OK, but how are you guys related? Are you gonna play it like you were adopted or something like that?’ After the 50th time of having that question, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a bullshit question.’ People are willing to go see Beauty and the Beast and see dancing and singing teacups, and are willing to believe that 100%, but the second that a white couple has to have a black kid, they can’t believe it.”

Imani

TBH the one thing I don’t get is like, Kassting always gives BBCan such a diverse group of contestants and then BBUS gets;

  • token black guy whose personality is never focused on in the DR
  • token black woman who is strongly religious
  • token gay guy who is completely flamboyant
  • token white mother
  • token white law enforcement/military member (OR BOTH)
  • token redneck
  • token nerdy white girl
  • token white collar woman, usually in real-estate
  • token privileged surfer guy
  • token white gymrat douchebag
  • token blonde girl
  • token model POC, they don’t care which demographic because the model is always voted out in the second week anyway
  • token ‘crazy’/’random’ contestant, someone to annoy the other houseguests but mostly just annoys the viewers
  • token ‘old’ houseguest
  • token edgy chick who is branded as a lesbian, even if she isn’t

like.. over half the cast is always stereotypes, and the other half of the cast are recruits who have never seen the show.