Seeing people of color represented in the media is rare, and seeing people of color win famous awards is even more rare.
However, the film industry has recently made some major breakthroughs, as seen in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Coco, Crazy Rich Asians, and Black Panther. Smashing box office records, these movies destroy the stereotypes shown in traditional media by allowing people of color to tell their own stories.
For senior Jessica Razo and her family, Coco made them “happier for once that Mexicans were represented in a positive way instead of a negative view.” The animated film also helped Razo, who doesn’t speak Spanish, understand her culture better.
A groundbreaking superhero movie, Black Panther was praised for its loving depiction of black family life and culture. It made junior Isaiah Pullian “emotional” due to its casting, and he felt the movie had “a really good vibe to it because it was different from all the other Marvel movies.”
Netflix’s hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before featured Vietnamese-American Lana Condor as its 16-year-old protagonist. Executive Producer and author of the novel of the same name, Jenny Han made sure the teen movie had an Asian-American girl in the lead as she envisioned it. The teen romance film created quite the buzz on campus.
“I think it’s so important that people of different, diverse backgrounds, in this case Asians, are finally getting the representation they deserve,” junior Stephanie Calletano said, “because it informs people about their cultures and real lives.”
Accurate portrayals of minorities have meaning and impact far greater than what Hollywood might realize. But now with these recent hits, representation in the media is growing, and so is its positive influence.