This 2015 short film made by Buzzfeed, a pop culture website, showcases people of color recreating the posters of popular movies. Minority groups such as South and East Asians, African Americans, and members of the LBGTQ community are featured in the re-creations, including movie posters for “Mean Girls” (2004), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “Titanic” (1997), “Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013), and “The Breakfast Club” (1985). In between posters, statistics about the underrepresentation of minorities in Hollywood and in the media play across the screen and over the images of the new “actors,” who are dressed in the original costumes that their white counterparts wore for their roles. While some of the statistical facts deal with the idea that minorities are underrepresented numbers-wise, the video also states that the “few roles that cast Asians rarely diverge from existing stereotypes,” which not only calls into question underrepresentation but misrepresentation and the larger issue of the lack of diversity of roles in Hollywood. At the end of the video, we see a collection of the new actors together with the words “Aren’t these movies beautiful in color?,” prompting viewers to think about the “color” (or lack thereof) they see in current films and what they would look like re-envisioned on a more diverse landscape.
In this video clip from World Trust’s film, Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity, educator, author, and researcher Joy Angela DeGruy tells the story of how she and her daughter were discriminated against at a grocery store and how her sister-in-law used her White privilege to intervene, take a stand against the discriminatory and unjust interaction, and point out that moment as an example of unexamined privileges and internal biases manifesting in an institutionalized, systemic inequity. She also describes how this interaction affected not just the people directly involved, but also the people who witnessed the event.
This 2015 video from Aisha Harris at online news, politics, and culture magazine Slate.com uses scenes from popular U.S. television shows to illustrate how people of color continue to be represented stereotypically and as peripheral minor characters in television shows because the roles and characters written for them are created by predominantly White writers. The video points out a range of stereotypical tropes such as the token minor or first to get killed off Black characters (such as T-Dog in The Walking Dead), or one-dimensional token Black, Latino, or Asian sidekicks (such as Winston in New Girl, or George from Law & Order: SVU), or servants (such as Rosario in Will & Grace, or Sum in Sex and the City) in contrast with complexly portrayed White characters in the same shows. There are also the exotic, sexy Latinas with a foreign accent (such as Gloria in Modern Family), or emasculated Asian male foreigners (such as Raj in The Big Bang Theory or Han in Two Broke Girls) who serve as the comedic relief because of their foreignness, which in turn makes the White characters look better and reinforces that they are what is “normal.” The video also connects these limited and damaging representations with how they affect viewers’ perceptions and behaviors in everyday life. At the end, the video creators argue that while some shows are now getting better at depicting people of color in leading roles (such as Grey’s Anatomy), it is because the writers and producers behind the show reflect diversity and include people who actually know what it’s like to live as a multi-dimensional person of color.
This 2014 video addresses the everyday experiences of “What It’s Like to be Ambiguously Ethnic.” The video shows a diverse range of people talking about issues such as the misunderstandings and confused comments and interactions they experience, people trying to place identity categories onto them that they do not identify with, people assuming you can speak different languages, and having to decide what to do when they experience racial or ethnic microaggressions, or the everyday, often unintentional, marginalizing interactions racial and ethnic minorities frequently experience in the U.S. For example, one man of Japanese, Mexican, and Filipino background described a substitute teacher who was taking roll at the beginning of class and did not believe that he matched his name because of his physical appearance. Another man of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, and Korean background describes a situation when he was walking down the street in Chicago and a woman who was having problems communicating with her Uber driver saw him and asked, “Excuse me sir, can you take this call? This Uber driver, I think he’s Middle Eastern, Arabic. Can you handle this?”
This 2015 video addresses the everyday experiences of adopted and/or mixed raced individuals who look different from their parents or families. The video shows a diverse range of adopted or mixed race people talking about experiences such as the misunderstandings and confused comments they experience, people trying to place identity categories onto them that they do not fully identify with, issues of belonging, what it is like growing up in families where your parents or other family members either do not look like you or have a different heritage than you, and the ongoing development and negotiation of their identities. For example, one of the women describes what it’s like to grow up as a Black woman with White parents and a White brother, a man describes raising mixed race kids and teaching them about race, ethnicity, and their Central American and Indonesian backgrounds, one woman describes her upbringing with Danish and Indian parents, another describes Mexican and Scottish parents, a man describes being adopted from Peru by White parents, and another man describes his Filipino, half Black, and White siblings, all of whom were adopted by their White parents.