As a kid, I was happy to sit down for forty-four minutes and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel every evening. This was back when I had hope for television and their potential for creating great shows.
My sister and I have recently begun trying to get back in touch with why we loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Watching the show now, I realized something I never wanted to see as a kid:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its producers have never been very kind to characters of color nor has the show ever had any permanent 3-dimensional characters of color. Even the supposedly Black female slayer, Kendra, didn’t survive the third season.
This is a trend that carried over to Angel. As a matter of fact, the first extras we see in the show who plays parts of any significance is a Black guy dressed as a loan shark demon creature whose harrassing Doyle and the other one is a lonely body-snatching demon. Gunn was a Black male stereotype from f*king hell created by white producers!
Not to mention the ever-lurking presence of white British European power, oppression, and authority presented in Giles, Wesley, and the Watcher’s Council itself. Let’s not forget also that the only [Black (British) woman]/woman of color who appears in the show by the fourth season with any amount of screen time is Gile’s little sex friend.
Buffy and Angel are funny and entertaining in some ways, even thoughtful, and I still enjoy it enough to watch some of it, but in other ways…not so funny or entertaining or thoughtful at all.
More to come?