Internet dating fiasco
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In a short piece filed Tuesday, Newsweek staff reporter Janice Williams used the start of the ABC program's 13th season to remark on how the long-running show's casting of a black woman in the title role was a milestone for African-American women.
Williams also argued that the casting of Rachel Lindsay was noteworthy because the "Bachelorette" star is among a relatively small group of black women who are dating outside their own race.
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There was even a 2006 romantic comedy called "Something New" that featured an interracial relationship between characters played by African-American actress Sanaa Lathan and Australian actor Simon Baker, who is white.
General-interest media rarely depicts normative, two-parent black families unless their last name is Obama.
Lindsay spoke out about the pressure in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. I'm the one who has to love and spend the rest of my life with this person, if I'm lucky to find that one."The reality star's reaction might seem off-putting to some people but it needs to be seen in the proper context, argued Jamia Wilson, a black feminist writer who heads up Women, Action, and the Media, a nonprofit organization that fights for gender justice in media."Would we expect the same type of commitment from a black man who had reached a similar height of notoriety? "Some people would, but honestly, I think as a black woman that there's more of a responsibility and burden placed upon [Lindsay] to make choices on others' behalf instead of for herself."Instead of expecting a single black woman to somehow embody all black women, Wilson argued that pressure should be put on the entertainment industry to feature more black-centered stories and black characters."What we should be pushing for is lots more portrayals of us in our full humanity," Wilson said.
Virginia, the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage nationwide, it would seem that the subject of people of different races dating, marrying or having sex would not provoke controversy.
But the furious reaction to a story that Newsweek published this week about the popular dating show "The Bachelorette" has certainly proved otherwise.