today it was revealed that a white woman in brownface was amita suman’s stunt double in shadow and bone.
at a time when hollywood is preaching to stop aapi hate the show has shown us, twice so far, that they don't care about our community. by having a south asian coded character make racist remarks towards an east asian coded character they added nothing to the plot or character development- all they did was try to create a divide between our communities. this hurt more especially because zoya was never racist in the books.
they condoned putting a stuntwoman in brownface because they couldn't be bothered to find a desi stuntwoman for amita. there are truly so many talented desi dancers and acrobats out there but shadow and bone refused to cast accurately solely because stuntwomen are supposed to show up in blurry or fast moving shots, making it "easier" to rely on brownface. this speaks volumes about how much they care about diversity.
for a show that has been praised for representation and diversity and was going to mean so much for asian viewers, shadow and bone failed to deliver time and time again, showing us that all we can count on when it comes to south asian representation in hollywood is constant disrespect and racism.
netflix and leigh bardugo along with the rest of the showrunners and writers marketed the show as being a diverse fantasy but were surrounded by a team that approved brownface should tell you all you need to know about how much they respected desi people in the first place. so many south asians were excited to finally see themselves onscreen in inej and zoya, especially as the show was praised by reviewers and writers as being diverse and accurate representation and this is what we got.
amita was so excited to play inej, a strong brown woman whose identity was not solely defined by her race and i can’t imagine how she felt watching a white woman paint herself brown so that she could perform stunts that amita had trained for as well. if anything, this proves that hollywood’s pushing of diversity on screen does nothing to help poc and representation unless that same diversity exists behind the camera.
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