Lieutenant Uhura in “Star Trek.” Tia and Tamera from “Sister, Sister.” Susie Carmichael on “The Rugrats.”
Twitter users are chiming in with narratives of the first time they felt represented by a character on-screen, use the hashtag #FirstTimeISawMe.
The trending hashtag is part of a multimedia campaign launched by Netflix to promote its “diverse, layered and intersectional content, ” including Marvel’s “Luke Cage” and “Dear White People.”
“Seeing someone that looks like you and deals with similar things that you have to deal with is powerful because you unavoidably feel like you can subdue your issues once you find someone else on-screen do it first, ” Netflix spokesperson Myles Worthington writes in an email.
Many who posted to the hashtag noted the powerful impact that certain iconic characters from princess to Power Rangers had on them as young children.
Characters like Static Shock, with fully fleshed out personalities, interests, and abilities especially nerdy ones received lots of praise.
Others, like Sulu from “Star Trek, ” even helped some Twitter users figure out what they wanted to do later in life.
Some pointed out that they’re still waiting to see themselves fully represented.
With the ratings success of programming like FOX’s “Empire” and ABC’s Shonda Rhimes universe, both the small and big screen have diversified in recent years, though some would like to see the process speed up.
“I think its still slow going, but its getting better depending on what you watch, ” Constance Gibbs of Black Girl Nerds, who collaborated on a video for the campaign, wrote in a blog post. “If you watch Netflix or ABC or even somewhat the CW, you may see someone who looks just like you( but maybe not as a lead character ). But if you watch a network like CBS, you probably wont no matter who you are.”
CBS lately detected itself mired in twin disputes after announcing a autumn season with no female-helmed demonstrates and after two Asian-American actors left long-running “Hawaii Five-O, ” citing pay discrepancies with their white cast-mates.
Gibbs noted, approvingly, that networks have featured more fully characterized dark-skinned black women on screen in recent years, in proves such as Netflix’s “Chewing Gum” and ABC’s “Still Star-Crossed” and hopes the networks continue to spread the opportunity around.
“There are many who are still waiting for that first explosion of authentic representation, ” she writes over email.
Netflix hopes the campaign will emphasize its commitment to this growing trend.
“We dont have advertisers to think of, or specific time slots to consider, or a cap on the amount of shows we can create, ” Worthington tells. “If we uncover a unique tale that we guess our members will enjoy, we can bring it to life.”
Uncover enough of them, and perhaps today’s kids won’t have to start an appreciative hashtag on the social network of tomorrow.
Though we’re always here for more Power Rangers GIFs.
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