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by Mac Pogue
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AfterEllen notes Bitch's take on "Independent Women!"

Just noticed that AfterEllen made note of your critique of the PBS special Primetime In America on "Independent Women" this week http://www.afterellen.com/column/feminism-friday/11-4-11


There was one comment to the item that I thought I would share and I hope the author of the comment does not mind that I am sharing it. It brings up an overlooked point I want to make here about white heterosexual women of privelege writing about people of color and others considered different from them ...

"I hate statements about TV, claiming all strom female characters are young, pretty and white.

Claire Huxtable was black, Cybill wasn't young, Roseanne wasn't pretty, Grace wasn't wealthy, and Ellen came out and the list could go on. These are just 5 of the women I came up with at the top of my head (and don't forget subtext like in Bewitched, which was pretty anarchistic). Yes, these are the most famous examples but not the only. And yes, TV focusses more on beautiful people, but it's because we like to see them. Especially when they're beautiful and talented. And guess what: there are a lot of beautiful and talented people out there. And if someone is as talented as another, wouldn't you choose the one you fancy more?

Also, if you are white, how likely is it for you to write about a person of colour? I am Caucasian and I know some Turkish people but I don't know them well enough to write a show about them. I couldn't even write a letter about them. And let's face it, most European and North American people are white. That's why they have shows about white people cause that's what they know. Jews know Jews, Italians know Italians and so on. People have been complaining about the lack of diversity and guess what: They were successful, times are changing. But don't ever expect someone who is creative to stop their personal process of telling a story and go: "oh wait, I can't continue my story, I first have to develop a character of Mexican descent so I won't just write about white people. It doesn't matter that I'm writing about a family in Utah. I have to consider not hurting anyone's feelings."

Of course there are shows that are problematic, have always been, will always be. But: You can't tell other people what to watch and what to create. I mean, obviously you can, there was a group in Germany once that did just that quite successfully until someone thought they didn't have the right to do that (or it was because of oil and water ways, I don't know)...

In the end, you can voice your opinion, but it has to be proven with examples and include every piece of information you can get on the topic. On the other hand, it's just easier not to watch the shows you don't want to support and at some point they will get cancelled and go away. That's the real power of the people."

Point well taken, I must say ...

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