Interracial relationships. Some people like them, some people still really hate them, and some people actually believe that they have the potential to solve racism. (Spoiler alert: they do not.)
However, as interracial relationships become increasingly common in real life (in 2015, 17% of all newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity), people are beginning to ask that Hollywood catch up with the times. Although there has been an increase in the number of interracial couples displayed on screen in recent years, the vast majority of those couples in films or on television involve a person of color in a relationship with a white person—despite the fact that there are plenty of interracial relationships between people of color of different ethnicities that don’t involve any white people.
During an interview with Variety, Issa Rae spoke on this representational phenomenon, particularly in relation to her upcoming film with Kumail Nanjiani, The Lovebirds.
“The Lovebirds is more romantic comedy mystery, starring a Black female and Pakistani male as leads, and I don’t know that I’ve seen that pairing in that way... ever.
I think about Denzel in Mississippi Masala, and even that was still a different pairing gender-wise.”
She went on to cut right to the core of the issue.
“Every time there’s an interracial romance, it feels like it centers whiteness, and it doesn’t have to... So if you didn’t know, there are people who don’t procreate with just white people.”
You heard it here folks. Not everyone who dates outside of their own race or ethnicity is dating white people, or even necessarily WANTS to date white people. It may be hard to believe, because of the enduring influence of white beauty standards on the entire world, but it’s true!!