Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Leverage in Racial Roles

Leverage is a television show released in December 7, 2008 and ended in 2012. During its period, it was widely watched by many people, thanks to Netflix, which had just started to become popular around the shows release. Through the chosen role of a certain cast member, Leverage helps defies the common stereotype of the black beast (thug) and the white nerd, while openly showing a biracial relationship between two of the main characters.

The racial stereotype that this show seems to be questioning would be the black beast. Leverage is about a group of five individuals who team together to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Think modern day Robinhood. One of the main characters in this team of five is a character called Hardison, who is the nerd of the group, hacking into mainframes and having cool gadgets. Oddly though, the shows producers chose to cast a black guy play this role. This comes as a surprise, as usually this type of role is played by people of lighter skin colors, usually white, indian, or asian. A example of the shows mixed roles can be found when the show is introducing Harrison's backstory, showing him as the as the nerd who got bullied through his academic career. This is stereotypically portrayed as a white guy, taking a stab against both common stereotypes. The show does shows development of a biracial relationship throughout the end of the series, between Hardison, and the thief Parker. By the end of the show, both are happily together and are still together.

In conclusion, this could mean that the TV audience are becoming more accepting of uncommon racial roles, as well as producers becoming more open to casting different ethnicities in different roles on these shows. Finally, this might be showing how times have changed, where a bi-racial couple can be showed openly on TV without producing consequences or inciting controversy.

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