Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2022-05-20 19:48Z by Steven

Interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think


Rebecca Theodore-Vachon

Chuck Anderson

The optics, while a sign of change, don’t point to any change in the status quo

In June 2013, Cheerios aired its usual family-friendly commercial where a cherub-faced little girl approaches her mother in the kitchen and asks, “Dad says Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?” What should have been a heartwarming ad about an everyday American family quickly attracted a firestorm of controversy. Why? This commercial depicted an interracial family consisting of a Black father, white mother and a mixed-race child.

Over the last five years, these portrayals of interracial relationships are so common that they often go unmarked. Yet, even though there is more diversity of different kinds of pairings – multiethnic, non-monogamous, queer – the optics are just one part of the story. Are depictions of interracial unions and by extension, mixed-race and biracial children, a sign of racial progress?

The answer isn’t as clear-cut as one might think. Hollywood has been wrestling with how to best reflect the representation and nuances of Black-white interracial unions with varying results. The critiques and conversations surrounding Black-white interracial relationships have evolved beyond just the visual representation to how filmmakers and TV showrunners choose to depict these unions. Are interracial couples rather than strictly monoracial, Black ones being presented because they’re more palatable to mainstream audiences? Do biracial, particularly light-skinned children, reinforce colorism? These are some of the concerns as the proliferation of interracial couplings continues to spread across media…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,