Ginny and Georgia are one of the newest and hottest Netflix TV series that is receiving a second season. The story revolves around a young mom of two children navigating life, learning and growing from their mistakes while discovering new things about themselves and the loved ones around them.
The eldest daughter, Ginny, is a biracial character and with a lot of shows on Netflix that have biracial characters, there is a misrepresentation happening that you notice right away. Ginny and Georgia is a prime example of all-white writers, casting a mostly-white cast where the writing focuses on black issues, but fails miserably to properly represent those issues in every aspect.
You see many examples of microaggressions when a white-male cop gives Ginny the side-eye when pumping gas into what one would call “an expensive car” because of the color of her skin. Her so-called friends mention to her in passing “what are you?” or “your look is so exotic” and the comments do not stop there. In one scene, there is a teacher attempting to brush out Ginny’s hair to control her look. Her “friends” laugh it off, but Ginny is not amused by the situation. These situations are terrible, but true and they happen every day. In one episode, the characters Hunter and Ginny argue about who faces the most oppression; the young black female or the young Taiwanese man. Ginny wasn’t trying to dismiss the hardships Hunter faced, but was trying to get Hunter to understand that her experiences are her alone and are not the same as his hardships.
In a Teen Vogue interview, Professor Kevin Nadal, a researcher and expert on the effects of microaggressions on racial/ ethnic minorities and LGBTQ people, describes microaggressions as “the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups.”
This new TV series talks about serious issues that young, black Americans face every day. Although, Netflix is trying to make people aware of this issue, unfortunately, with the lack of P.O.C. in the writing room, they are adding to the problem. They don’t know what a young black American has to deal with on a daily basis and they don’t understand the complexity and emotion that comes with being a P.O.C.
In the media today, there is a stark difference between strides towards true representation and the facade of inclusion. It is easy for media companies to include diversity and inclusion statements on their websites, but it is another thing to actually shift the percentages of who is in the company and who is in leadership positions. According to the article “Why Hollywood’s C-Suites have so few black Executives” by Ryan Faughnder and Meg James in the Los Angeles Times, there is an increasing issue coming forward that even though we are talking more than ever about diversity in entertainment and media, there has been little to no improvements. As reported in UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report: “researchers found that 91% of studio heads are white,” after a review of 11 major and midsize film studios.
Although it is crucial to increase the number of people of color in media companies as a whole, it is also extremely important that people of color have a voice in the C-Suites where the decisions are being made and to ensure that authentic and relevant stories are being told.