Several years ago, I had one of my first uncomfortable revelations about my own racial bias. One of my good friends at the time had the fancy cable package that included HBO, Starz, Showtime, et cetera. Which for me, meant being introduced to a slew of movies and TV shows I had never seen before, many of which featured POC leads or black ensemble casts. And I loved it. It was like discovering a whole new world I never knew existed. The storylines were great, the acting superb—I ate it up.
In a sense, I almost felt cheated. Why was all this diverse entertainment only on premium cable? Why was basic cable so basically white?
But then the devil on my shoulder reminded me of all the times I skipped over BET when flipping through my favorite TV channels. How I only got into shows like Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder because my black friend started watching them first. How I dismissed FX Network’s film syndications like How Stella Got Her Groove Back or whatever latest Madea movie had come out because…well, because I didn’t think I could relate to the characters, I guess. And that’s bullshit. I may not be able to relate to the black experience, but that doesn’t mean black, indigenous, or people-of-color stories aren’t important, aren’t entertaining, aren’t powerful.
The stories were for there for me to consume, I was just willfully ignoring them.
I started this blog because of my love for weird movies. The kinds of films that are novel in ideas and experimental in execution—the kinds of films the general public may dismiss because they don’t fit the usual Hollywood mold. With the United States in civil unrest over whether or not BIPOC should be treated like basic human beings, I realized I need to expand on my blog’s mission and bring the focus to more marginalized voices. Not just BIPOC, but LGBTQ+ and women too. Just like Weird Movie Wednesday, I want to show why movies written and directed by diverse voices deserve your attention; why we shouldn’t dismiss these stories just because they pertain to an experience that we may not understand.
The film and TV industry is taking steps to be more diverse, but it remains permeated by racism and sexism. Instead of griping over how it can be better, I’d like to celebrate the diversity that exists now by amplifying non-white/non-hetero/non-cis-male voices, directors, and stories. As always, I welcome any feedback or movie recommendations. My hope is that in lifting up these stories, we can all reexamine our own biases and work toward changing for the better.