Friday, February 13, 2009

Implications of interracial couples on TV

I noticed an interesting trend the other day on two of the shows I watch on the CW 90210 and Privileged. Both shows feature an interracial couple, one is straight the other is gay. One of the partners is African-American while the other is white. What disturbed me until last Tuesday (Feb. 10, 2009) was that neither couple was ever shown kissing on the lips. The camera would capture the kiss from a angle where you would see the back of someone's head. I found this annoying, because I've never seen this done. You always see at least the lips touching especially with straight couples.

This had several implications for me. Was the censorship of these couples part of because we had a Republican administration in office at that time? Or could it be part of an even more disturbing implication that interracial relationship are on par with gay relationships. That they are things that shouldn't be promoted and have to be watered down to the point where it seems more like a friendship than a relationship? Prior to that night the couples spent most of their time hugging rather than kissing. Is the election of Obama into office responsible for lifting this censorship? Will we get to see and enjoy scenes where interracial couples straight or gay enjoy public displays of affection?

One of the things that keeps me watching 90210 despite some shoddy writing as of late is the fact that they do have two interracial couples: Dixon and Silver who are the couple I mentioned earlier and Adriana and Navid. Adriana is white and Navid is Persian. The thing is everytime I read message boards for these shows it's these couples that people mention that they really like. It makes me feel optimistic that maybe our country is moving forward. I hope that this will open up doors for all kinds of actors. That we will cast based on who is the best actor for the job, not what race has been specified in the script. Grey's Anatomy does this, I think all shows could benefit from their example.