From Bridgerton to other examples of inclusivity

From Bridgerton to other examples of inclusivity
Golda Roshevel as Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton (Netflix 2020)

Who saw you Bridgerton, chain of Shonda Rhimes Released by Netflix last December 2020, it may have seen that actors do not properly respect the principles of a fictional England characters of the 19th century. Many have found these types of artists strange and not very reliable compared to the clearly well-defined historical context; Others have also seen this as an unethical consequence of the history of the minorities in question. but yet Bridgerton Appeals to the trend already defined and used by other representations, namely Color-blind casting.

For example, it is Golda RoshevuelOf Guyana origin, to play the role of Queen Charlotte and King George’s wife. or else, Reggae-gene page, Anglo-Zimbabwe, Duke of Hastings, is a descendant of London society and is at the center of the main love affair in history. Phoebe dynevor. Apart from them, many of the other characters in the described high society are of African or Asian descent.

Color-blind casting (CBC) is the practice of selecting actors and actresses for a particular role, regardless of their ethnicity, skin color, fitness, or gender. If we take the latter, there are already many instances in which television roles have been played by transgender people, without emphasizing this aspect.

In Bridgerton we notice this more because it is the color of the skin, and because one immediately thinks that it is an operation politically correct One who wants to “mystify” history, which was seen by people of color in minority and very different contexts in nineteenth-century England.

Reggae-Jean Page and Phoebe Dienever in Bridgerton (Netflix 2020)

Il Color-Blind Casting A Titro

But the series is one of the most recent manifestations of color-blind casting, which actually goes back to historical films. One of the first seems even Dr. Zivago (1965), where the Egyptian where Omar Sharif Played the role of a hero of Russian origin.

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Most importantly, CBC is a Definitely accepted option in the theater world, As is often the harbinger of more inclusive and free policies than the rest of the entertainment world. Over the years, for example, many of the roles in Shakespeare’s plays have been indiscriminately assigned to white and non-white actors who have had similar success.

More recently, the performance of Irish Ruth Negga of Ethiopian origin, who not only plays a character historically conceived as white, but even a man (Hamlet himself) has been very successful , Receiving critical acclaim.

Ruth nega
Ruth Negga plays Hamlet at the Gate Theater in Dublin (February 2020)

Another famous example is the world of music. For example, Judah’s part in the film Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) is played by Carl Anderson, an African-American actor and singer. And more recently, the famous Broadway musical Hamilton (2015) He publicly claimed Color conscious cast Assigning the role of (notoriously white) American founding fathers to actors of various races, especially Hispanic and African-American.

In Hamilton, In particular, there is a clear desire to “place” various ethnic minorities: white actors in the original cast represent the exception rather than the rule. Certainly a bold and culturally interesting political stance in today’s American society.

Hamilton;  Color-blind casting

matter Bridgerton

However, if this option is transferred to cinema or television, and therefore to a wider audience, color-blind casting creates more controversy.

However, before condemning this option and leaving it with suspicion, some thoughts are in order. This cannot be denied, for example, given the plot centered almost exclusively on romantic events, that Bridgeton’s historical setting, As well as other similar content, Mainly a picturesque setting for the vicissitudes of the young protagonist More than an element of real narrative significance.

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Originally it is not often said that Bridgerton Just saw so much gossip GirlBut in costume? And perhaps the costumes themselves are more relevant than in the historical setting, from which only the classic references to the social label are taken, but almost as expedient to the “social” scandal element. Instead the issue of race has been made completely irrelevant and voluntarily excluded from the scandal.

Probably to ask if faced with a product that exploits Color-blind casting is How much it really interferes with the story we are watching. And since they are practically always fictional stories and characters, intervention is often nothing, limiting ourselves to a somewhat inconsistent “visual” effect because we are not used to it.

Dev Patel ad eel color-blind casting in David Copperfield’s extraordinary life

Color-blind casting;  Dev Patel;  David Copperfield's extraordinary life

Reopening for cinema and in recent times, the last of these performances was given by the film David Copperfield’s extraordinary life (2019). The hero is actually played by the very best Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, Lion), British actor of Indian origin. Patel had previously played almost exclusively the role of an Indian boy. His latest film is based on the novel by Charles Dickens and is set in England of the Industrial Revolution.

Although Dickens and the well-defined historical references may seem untouchable (almost like Shakespeare), It is still a fictitious product. Inspired by the historical circumstances of that period, the characters were invented from the pen of the writer and in this case transferred to the big screen in the CBC Key by the Italian-Scottish director Armando Iannucci.

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Not only Patel, but also a large portion of the film’s cast were chosen regardless of ethnicity. It can be said that selection also takes place More merit-based criteria Or, in any case, definitely reducing the elements of discrimination in favor of equal opportunities.

She is one of the co-stars of Dev Patel, actress Rosalind Elezarri, To give the simplest and most straightforward answer to those who are more skeptical on the subject, considering color-blind casting to be a zeal for the politically correct:

“Ultimately, most movies, TV shows or plays include aspects such as human condition More pain“, The actress explained to The Guardian. “If that’s the intention, then why are we so reluctant to include people with different skin? There are stories that require ethnic-based casting, as in the case of a biopic Martin Luther King… others, such as David Copperfield, where it is irrelevant. Because in the end it is a story about the privileged and the poor. And, above all, it is a made-up story ยป.

Finally, we more readily accept alternatives to color-blind casting in other well-known sagas. For example, taken from comics (several Marvel examples). Yet the original humor often presents a very specific ethnic representation of the characters directly from the author’s imagination, which the director on duty reinterpreted at his discretion.


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