The long-anticipated Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls has been out for almost a week now, and it’s already engendered a number of varied responses. We’ve already talked about Lorelai and Rory’s privilege problem, and a new Tumblr is taking issue with the show’s depiction—or lack thereof—of people of color.
Reminiscent of the “Every Single Word” video series, which edited mainstream movies down to just the lines spoken by people of color (hint: they don’t last very long), “Gilmore Blacks” is an exhaustive catalogue of every appearance by a person of color from speaking role to the most minor background characters.
For every entry, Tumblr creator Rahawa Haile lists the person’s name, whether they have a speaking role, their spoken line, and their purpose, which is inevitably always “Endure.” The posts are all tagged with #PeopleAreNotProps.
Speaking to The Verge, Haile said, “It’s like they reached into a jar labeled ‘Diversity,’ smeared it over the show, and hoped it would suffice.”
A Year in the Life does feature a black and gay supporting character named Michel, but Haile takes issue with the idea that one character can somehow fix a show’s diversity problem. She says Michel alone doesn’t “excuse this kind of laziness. He isn’t some magical get out of black-and-gay jail free card. That’s not how this works.”
Haile understands that Stars Hollow, Connecticut isn’t going to be the most diverse town in America, but that doesn’t mean the show’s creators get an easy out on the portrayal of people of color. She said, “This isn’t Brooklyn. I don’t expect some spectacularly gigantic melting pot. But I do expect historically excluded people to be treated like people and not nameless objects orbiting the realities of others.”
You can see Haile’s Tumblr “Gilmore Blacks” here.