Anyone who has been watching television lately may have noticed quite a few deaths occurring onscreen. Recently, television writers have been trying to see what kind of stunts they can pull to shock their audiences and keep people watching.
However, it seems they’ve gone overboard, with no intention of reeling back. Writer Maureen Ryan said characters that consist of people of color in the LGBTQ community and white woman characters have been getting killed off in an article from variety.com, a magazine’s website.
“None of that’s new for TV, but the sheer volume of these deaths — a number of which were shocking for the wrong reasons — has been notable,” Ryan said in the article.
Just from the shows I watch, such as “The 100,” an African-American man and a lesbian character were killed in the span of three episodes. Then, actor in the MTV show “Teen Wolf” Arden Cho, an Asian woman, was reportedly taken off the show after three seasons, and didn’t seem to want to leave, according to entertainmentweekly.com, news website.
CW’s “Arrow,” just killed off another female character. It was a death that has fans angrily saying she was used in order to further the white male character’s “manpain,” a general term for a male that has the angsty emotions of a teenager.
An article from thehollywoodreporter.com states, while “that means that there wasn’t a memo that went out among the entertainment Illuminati that mandated that last week would be a great week for television to kill off major female characters,” but, however, the facts could arouse questions to the contrary.
It seems as if television writers are incorporating diversity in order to display them as stereotypical trinkets they have no intention of using to their full potential. Often, characters in the LGBTQ community are either shown as sexual objects with little substance, or pawns to further the straight character’s plotline. Characters of color are either killed off as a shock factor, stereotypically displayed as a gangster with no morals or a person who is poor and must be a damsel that is looked down upon for that fact.
While there have been numerous protests online trying to start trending topics on Twitter in order to get the various writers’ attention, unfortunately, things like this still happen all the time. Finding out the reason why they are being killed off is where things get complicated.
Is it because the writers can’t come up with anything creatively for women, members of the LGBTQ community or people of color? Or is it a complete lack of care and laziness because for too long writers and directors have wrote the white, good-looking male take the lead for the entire show, and the whole program revolves around him and his needs.
Maybe it’s diversity. TV writers love to boast about diversity in their shows and how far they’ve come, but how can they hold that trophy without even earning it in the first place?
“‘Diversity’ is just a buzzword unless an array of voices are truly included and heard — and put on the screen,” Ryan said in the same article.
If you’re looking for something to watch that includes diverse characters, complete with different sexual identities and ethnicities, watch “Sense8.” It’s incredibly well-written, and the representation is fantastic. It’s a Netflix original, so it makes sense to watch “Sense8.”
As for television writers: they should get their minds out of the past. We are a nation of diverse people, and all people deserve to be represented appropriately and not to be killed off because you’re incapable of seeing them without the stereotype that you’re too ignorant to look past.
Email Shania Savastio at firstname.lastname@example.org