"Game of Thrones" has been criticized for not casting black actors in major roles. Do you think the HBO show has diversity problem?
First, it was David Oyelowo, who criticized the show's lack of diversity, stating that casting a person of colour in a subservient role doesn't mean they can't have prominent storylines.
Recently, John Boyega, the first black lead in the "Star Wars" franchise, said he wasn't paying money to always see one type of person on "Game of Thrones."
"Even if you're a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers,” he said.
In defence, the author and creator of the franchise, George R R Martin, explained that Westeros around 300 AC was nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America.
In my opinion, there's no need to force diversity on a show that doesn't need one. Does casting black actors in an era that was dominated by whites seem realistic?
The race card played by most black actors is one that has indirectly encouraged "forced diversity."
In an interview with Huffington Post, "Blackish" creator, Kenya Baris, explained that he doesn't want to see forced diversity on TV.
“I don’t want you to do a show about a basketball team in Indiana and it’s all black kids, unless it’s in Gary, Indiana,” he said.
“If you’re doing a show like ‘Friends’ – what part of New York was that? Where were the Latinos, where were the black people… if you’re doing something, give me an honest perspective of the world that you’re showing me. That’s the diversity that I want to see.”
It is speculated that "Game of Thrones' is set in the medieval era of Europe. Now, geographical locations play a huge role in casting. What would a black man be doing in the Westeros in 300AC as a queen, king or part of a ruling family?
Simply put, the medieval era in Europe wasn't as diversified as modern Europe and there's no need to diversify a show just to please a particular race.
In recent times, black stories have become a pop-culture phenomenon and have gone mainstream with shows like "Insecure," "Empire," "Black-ish" and "Atlanta," all led by a predominantly black cast.
These shows are also hugely consumed by non-black viewers and have been represented at awards like EMMYS and Golden Globes.
While the people of colour are not where they aspire to be, they are at a point where they own a hit television show on network TV with multiple main black characters - that is diversity on TV.
"Game of Thrones" doesn't need black lead characters. They have no role in the world that has been created by the writers.
In speculative fiction, the writer is at liberty to diversify if he thinks it fits his story. Fictional television created by a white man and set in the middle age doesn't have the responsibility to be racially diverse.
Contrary to Boyega's claims, the show does have black actors, though not in major roles. There's Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati), Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie), Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei), Grey Worm (Anderson) and Missandei (Emmanuel).
Non-Caucasian races are cast in minor and subservient roles on the show to depict the medieval era.
Characters should be included based on what they add to a story and on "Game of Thrones," black actors don't have much to offer as lead characters.