I submit for your consideration, something I observed recently.
Not having a more glamorous second part-time job for the summer, I have been babysitting a lot later to help out with the bills. One of the great things about babysitting is that most of my clients have cable. No, I’m not the type of babysitters who sits her (appropriate gender stereotype of babysitters) kids in front of the television for as long as I can hold them there. I do let them watch a show or two, depending on the duration of my sit.
Hence, my viewing of the Disney channel. Disney is known for being rather liberal. They embrace modern ideals such as the “you can be anything you want to be” mentality,
Based on my ideas of who Disney is, it wouldn’t surprise me that they would try to do things such as have casts with ethnic diversity. However, the other day, when I suddenly noticed something funny when watching one of their shows, Hannah Montana. I am wondering if anyone else has seen the show and noticed the same things.
If Disney is so up-to-date, why then does Hannah Montana have a housekeeper/body guard who is a black woman? In one episode, frankly, she was reminiscent of the Mammy character in Gone with the Wind? And while many Disney characters tend to be stereotypical and certainly over-the-top, why does this woman seem to sometimes be, in my opinion, too stereotypical (in some less positive aspects) African-American woman?
Further, I noticed a bit about another secondary character. From the few shows I have seen, I surmise that the character is a small boy who works at the nearby beach shack. Some background on this boy: He looks of Mexican descent, and indeed, is named Rico, only looks to be 10 or 12, working in the southern part of California. Why would you cast a little Mexican boy who appears to be evading labor laws as a character in your show?
As far as this instance goes, I am not trying to critique Disney in a serious way. If you work for Disney, are reading this on break, and your manager looks over your shoulder, please tell them that. I was simply thoroughly bemused when I noticed some subtle, rather unfortunate, character and casting aspects of the show, Hannah Montana. However, if there are no more blog posts from the flat after this post is posted, then I would suggest any of you who care about me start by posing questions to the Mouse.