From the jump I had a feeling there wasn’t going to be much diversity in this movie at all, and I wasn’t wrong. The minute I saw the movie poster, I knew. Yes, Maya Rudolph is a woman of color, but as usual with her, that is something that is left to the viewer to hopefully assume. Nobody outright comes out ever and says, Maya is a woman of color. They just don’t. Is that my problem? Nope. That’s something for Rudolph to figure out on her own.
For some reason, I guess I held out hope that maybe the trailer would have more people of color. The trailer I saw did not have people of color in any role except for in the background, as if they were shadows or something. That bothers me.
Another thing I noticed was the circle of friends, minus Rudolph, is explicitly white. Statistically, this is not far off from being accurate. Studies show that after high school, most Caucasians and Blacks will have very few friends of a different race in their circle, if at all in some cases. It’s absolutely tragic (and a bit pathetic) but it’s true and accurate. However, for a woman of color to not have any POCs as friends is odd. She has no cousins, no relatives, no friends who are of color? None?
That’s what makes this movie so difficult to watch. My own group of friends is like a rainbow coalition. My friends cover the spectrum. I have friends who are gay, straight, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic… I couldn’t imagine only kicking it with a uniform group of people all the time. That’s boring.
That’s why I can’t watch the film. The interesting part about life on this Earth for me, is the diversity. I learn much from my Indian/Fijian friend about India, Fiji and Hindu culture. I chat with my Puerto Rican friend about our experiences as Latinas. Even in that relationship there is a difference, as I am Afro-Latina and she is of more recent Spanish descent. If anything the movie missed out on a variety of jokes for the lack of diversity. There were endless possibilities with having friends of all different races and walks of life involved. That would’ve been a story I would have happily paid to watch.
What was equally disheartening was how feminists went to great lengths to get the word out for the film. I’m disheartened, but not surprised, considering how feminists could usually give a damn less about issues that affect communities of color and other marginalized, disenfranchised and underrepresented groups. This felt like an inside joke to me. This just underlined why I am a womanist, and am not fond of feminism at all. It felt almost obscene the glee with which these women went to great lengths to promote this film, while ignoring the lack of substantial diversity (if there was any… I haven’t seen the film after all).
I try not to be in the business of giving my money to movies that think of people like me as shadows, props or even non-existent. If an accurate representation of POCs is missing from a movie, then my money is missing from the movie. I’ll go ahead an pass on ‘Bridesmaids‘ and its ghastly baby brother ‘White Boys Acting a Hot Mess at The Expense of POCs’… Err, I mean ‘The Hangover 2.’