One of the TV shows I’m following this year is the dystopian drama The 100. Recently the death of a queer character on the show prompted members of the LGBTQ+ community to launch a campaign to influence TV producers to create better representations of LGBTQ+ folks. Today I discovered a great article about why media portrayals of members of minority communities matter. Among other things, the author argues:
The natural antidote to ignorance is travel; it’s meeting new people and staying open-minded to new experiences. However, not everyone has the luxury of doing that. A lot of people are stuck in their physical environments, surrounded by people who are similar to themselves. This is where the media comes in. It is a form of mental traveling, full of experiences we are unlikely to have in our real lives. However, how likely are we to stay open-minded if the media constantly tells us that the world is violent, evil, and full of people who want to do us harm? What kind of expectation will that create in meeting new people? If the media continues to perpetuate fear, anxiety, and xenophobia it will be minorities who will continue to pay the price.
Many thanks to Tania Hew for telling me about this article!