Netflix’s Stranger Things debuted on July 15 and since then many have been raving about the TV show. It’s a perfect mix of eighties nostalgia with sci-fi horror and it provides outstanding performances not only from the adult actors, but in particular the younger cast. The show focuses on what happens after a boy named Will mysteriously disappears in a small town in 1980s Indiana based off of a supernatural event. While looking for him, his three friends come across this girl named Eleven, who has strange powers.
While the show can definitely be proclaimed as one of, if not the best Netflix show, it had one major problem that most TV shows and films deal with. Lack of racial diversity. Yes, there is Lucas, played by Caleb McLaughlin, the one Black child in the group of boys, and that one Black cop that has a couple of lines, but that’s about it. While Lucas is treated fairly well, why are there no other people of color?
People try and say that well the show takes place in a small town in Indiana, so there couldn’t possibly be a lot of people of color living there. However, there are tons of Black people who grew up in the Midwest and have watched the show. They felt erased from the narrative and the show made it seem like their reality was farfetched. How would it have hurt the show if they added more actors and actresses of color to the cast? As if having too many people of color makes the town seem unrealistic, when the show itself is sci-fi horror, therefore it’s not based on any true life events.
For people who grew up in the eighties or just loved the decade, they would’ve liked to see themselves in the show. There were zero women of color on the show and there’s no excuse for that. None of the characters race had anything to do with plot, so they could’ve been something other than white. As if Hopper couldn’t have been a Latino cop, Jonathan a Chinese boy who loved photography, or Barb a Black girl concerned about her friend. Netflix is supposed to be making groundbreaking entertainment, but failing to have diversity on a show isn’t anything new to TV or film. Stranger Things will definitely be getting a second season, so let’s hope that the new characters that will be added to show will be from different races and ethnicities.