Initially Promising CBS Casting Announcement Leaves The Internet Disappointed Yet Again

Initially Promising CBS Casting Announcement Leaves The Internet Disappointed Yet Again
Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images; @Drwright1/Twitter

We are absolutely desperate for some new stories with new perspectives, aren't we?

That's the take away one would get from the responses to a recent casting announcement.


Earlier this week, Deadline announced that Ronny Chieng and Susan Wokoma were cast in a CBS comedy pilot called Super Simple Love Story.

Chieng is a Chinese-Malaysian-Australian comedian on The Daily Show and Wokoma is a British actor of Nigerian descent.


This sounds like a great, multiracial comedy, right?

Except they aren't the leads.

They're the best friends of the two leads, who are both white.





On Twitter, people were frustrated with the announcement, and with Deadline's tweet.

The headline chosen didn't specify in what capacity Wokoma and Chieng were cast, and the wording made it easy to mistake them for leads.

By no means does this diminish the work the two have done. And I'm sure Super Simple Love Story will be great with them involved.

However, it's growing tiring seeing people of color cast as the "best friend" or "wise mentor" or whatever supporting role the story has for the white lead.

Balancing being excited for Chieng and Wokoma and other POC having more roles and being frustrated at recurring problems in media is a tightrope to walk.







The talk about this show has spilled over into other discussions about color-conscious casting.

The recent movie Mary Queen of Scots had a very diverse cast, with Gemma Chan, Adrian Derrick-Palmer and Ismael Cruz-Cordova (all people of color) playing roles that might normally have gone to white actors.

The Hulu series Shrill has also come up, with criticisms and defenses abounding. While some point out the show is still ostensibly about a white woman, Lolly Adefope's POC character Fran is very fleshed out and not there solely as a support for the white character.

Overall, the ideas and effects race has on casting is a discussion we need to have, with a focus on empathy.




Maybe we were holding our breaths a little too long, but is it so wrong to hope that new voices will be telling our stories?

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