Entertainment

Here’s How Fans Feel About The CW’s ‘Charmed’ Reboot, Which Was Billed As Latina

If you grew up in the 90’s, you were stoked that “Charmed” would be getting a reboot. At first, we thought we’d be seeing the original cast make a comeback, but when word got out that the modern-day brujas would be Latina, we got hechizado. 

Turns out that while all three actresses are women of color, only one of them is Latina irl. Here’s what fans on social media had to say about the casting.

Afro-Latinas are too rare and hard to come by on the screen, which is why people were pumped for the “Charmed” reboot.

CREDIT: @TeleUP_USA / Twitter

Why? Because Afro-Latinas are often cast as African Americans or not at all. When we see Latinas on screen, rarely are they dark-skinned. They truly are the minority within a minority, so when we heard we were about to witness modern day Afro-Latina brujeria, it seemed like a huge step in the right direction.

Many viewers were totally duped into thinking that we’re witnessing Latina representation.

CREDIT: @VApuril / Twitter

I both don’t want to break it to her and also am screaming that anyone even has to. The CW is the primary source of all the Latinx hype and has also remained excruciatingly quiet, essentially continuing to corroborate their claim that this is a Latina centered show.

Also, their mother is white.

CREDIT: @OhMyMithrandir / Twitter

I mean, look, we are totally here for bi-racial diversity in Hollywood. Yet, every Latinx’s mami is the ultimate bruja in our lives. It’s a major missed opportunity to cast a Latina to play the role of the wise, protective mother witch.

Meet Melonie Diaz, la única Latina.

CREDIT: @meloniediaz / Instagram

Diaz was born and raised in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. You might remember her as Blanca from “Lords of Dogtown.” She is an award winning actress and we are shipping la Boricua’s place on the show.

Sarah Jeffrey identifies as African-American.

CREDIT: @TelepathyWiccan / Twitter

Again, we are not faulting the actresses. Sarah Jeffery has been straightforward to the press, clearing up any claims that she is Latina. She’s actually half African-American and half indigenous Canadian.

Madeleine Mantock is the one who broke the spell The CW cast on the Latinx community.

CREDIT: @RebornCharmed / Twitter

At a New York Comic Con, Mantock came forward to say, “Playing the Afro-Latina character I think for me I’m just trying to be open. I’m open with the writers and trying to be respectful because I’m Afro-Caribbean. I’m not actually Afro-Latina and I want to make that inquiry because Melonie [Diaz] is actually the only person in her real life who is Latina.”

Some folks are mad that people are even mad.

CREDIT: @FeliceLaZae / Twitter

The real loss is that The CW exploited the Latinx community for publicity gains, only to reveal their idea of representation is colorist and not cultural.

Even the old cast of “Charmed” is not happy about this reboot.

CREDIT: @poppoIIs / Twitter

Back then Alyssa Milano being Italian was “ethnic.” We’re seeing the cast liking tweets about how the original premiered in 1998 with 7.7 million views vs 2018’s mere 1.54 million views.

Holly Marie Combs, who played Piper, is bitter as hell to not be on the show.

CREDIT: @Mancerelle / Twitter

She tweeted, “I will never understand what is fierce, funny, or feminist in creating a show that basically says the original actresses are too old to do a job they did 12 years ago.” All the fury from a cast we loved so much couldn’t even taint our deep-seeded craving for representation.

Life is just full of disappointments.

That said, having Mantock on the show is still schooling the general public about Afro-Latinidad.

CREDIT: @captialized / Twitter

It would be way less confusing if The CW had cast real life Afro-Latinas as further proof of their important existence in our culture.

Here are some Latinas who would have slayed the role:

CREDIT: @MakeupWhoreder / Twitter

The CW does get credit for integrating consent education and LGBTQ inclusive feminism in each episode.

Tessa Thompson

CREDIT: @tessamaethompson / Instagram

If you know Thompson and her work, you know she would have been the perfect magical addition to the reboot. She’s captured fans hearts on HBO’s “Westworld,” dazzled in Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” and stunned on “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Tatyana Ali

CREDIT: @tatyanaali / Instagram

We know her best as Will Smith’s cousin, Ashley Banks, from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” but Tatyana Ali has rarely been cast for her Afro-Latinidad. She would have brought some serious star power and representation. #AliVeraPorFavor

Naya Rivera

CREDIT: @nayarivera / Instagram

She already has a teen following from “Glee.” She’s an established Afro-Latina actress! Forget everything I said. The CW should have cast new Afro-Latina actresses. Let’s not pretend that they had no options, folks.

The only response we’ve seen The CW take is to put up a Puerto Rican flag in Mel’s room.

CREDIT: @Fr0zenInFear @lizziethat / Twitter

The CW should own up already instead of continuing the charade. Yes, Melonie Diaz is Puerto Rican. No, nobody else on the show is and that still hasn’t changed.

The bottom line is that we need Latinxs to tell our stories.

CREDIT: @TheAltsource / Twitter

From the writers room to the stage. If we’re being told that brujería is about to go down, then we had better feel like it is. Where are all the velas with Saint Anthony on them? Where are the bowls of water at their bedside? Do they even know what a ghost is?

OK, the upside is in the gay:

CREDIT: @capuletsheart @BUILDseriesNYC / Twitter

Diaz plays Mel, a hella feminist lesbian Latina bruja. So, yes, I 100 percent saw myself on screen and I am so here for that.

Mel’s girlfriend is Asian-American and her character just keeps developing.

CREDIT: @mari_shepard / Twitter

She plays a cop, and after she accidentally drank some Truth Serum, she confessed that she only wears fake glasses to make people take her seriously and that she knows she’s hot and is going to start owning it.

Here for acknowledging the double standard on women to be either sexy or smart and smashing that stereotype. Not here for yet one more fan who thinks that the Power of Three is Latina.

The CW had so many options to give us the Latinx reboot they alluded to.

CREDIT: @poppoIIs @courtney_flynn / Twitter

Either let Afro-Latinas in on this huge opportunity or allow the women you’ve casted to represent their actual culture. You can’t say that you’re going to represent Latinas, fail to follow through, and stick a Puerto Rican flag on a wall and call it even.

Some fans are already asking for different Latinx shows to start being made.

CREDIT: @The_MovieOracle / Twitter

The fans have spoken. All the magic happening so far is heavily European influenced. Give us a show that actually represents our culture and honors our abuelas’ brujeria. J-Lo’s Nuyorican Productions, I’m looking at you.


READ: 5 Bewitching Facts About Melonie Diaz Who Plays Mel In The ‘Charmed’ Reboot

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“Charmed” Just Announced Its First Transgender Character and Fans Are Excited

Entertainment

“Charmed” Just Announced Its First Transgender Character and Fans Are Excited

Credit: jjmohawk/Instagram;Benjo Arwas/Getty Images

The reboot of “Charmed” continues to make strides with representation on screen. The hit CW show which centers on three Latina witch sisters has consistently gone out of its way to showcase actors and characters of diverse backgrounds. And now, on the eve of Transgender Awareness week, the fantasy series is introducing its first transgender character.

According to Deadline, transgender actor J.J. Hawkins will be joining the series’ third season.

Hawkins will be playing a character named Kevin, a trans college student who “inspires one of the Charmed Ones to take on a very formidable opponent.” This casting announcement is significant because it shows that the “Charmed” team is taking calls for informed casting to heart. Not only is “Charmed” writing in a trans character, but the show took pains to hire a transgender actor as well–a casting choice that is, sadly, still rare in Hollywood.

In interviews, “Charmed” executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman (who also created “Jane the Virgin”), has talked about how important bringing diversity to the “Charmed” reboot is.

“We’ve had the chance to see three white witches [in the original],” Urman told a group of TV critics in 2018. “And obviously coming off ‘Jane,’ I know so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself being the hero of the story.”

Urman also explained why the writers decided to make one of three sisters (Mel) queer as opposed to all three sisters being straight, like in the original series. “This should be a normal thing,” she said during the same discussion. “Just a relationship with two people loving each other.” It appears that the “Charmed” team is also taking the same approach with trans representation. Hopefully the writers will take steps to portray Hawkins’ character as a normal, well-rounded person with an interior life.

In the past, other Hollywood projects have come under scrutiny for casting cisgender actors to play trans characters.

The most famous example of this was when Scarlett Johansson announced that she would be playing a famous trans man named Dante “Tex” Gill in an upcoming biopic on Gill’s life. While Johansson experienced massive blowback for this, she initially doubled down on her decision before stepping back from the film. But still, Hollywood continues to make the same mistake.

Very recently, Halle Berry also made headlines when she told her Instagram followers she was researching an upcoming role where she would be playing a trans man. To make matters worse, Berry kept mis-gendering her character. Thankfully, Berry listened to both her fans and trans activists and withdrew from the role, saying “the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”

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CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Entertainment

CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

CBS just announced that it is committing to making at least 50% of the casts of their unscripted shows Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). CBS also announced that they are devoting 25% of their unscripted budget to BIPOC creators. The changes are expected to take effect in the 2021-2022 season.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said CBS CEO George Cheeks. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

CBS’s unscripted TV shows include fan-favorite staples like “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race”, “Big Brother”, and “Love Island”. The network has regularly come under fire for failing to cast diverse talent in both their scripted and unscripted programs. Unlike other broadcast networks like ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, literally any other Shondaland show) or NBC (This Is Us, Superstore), CBS has a reputation for white-washing its programming.

Last year, a former CBS Diversity & Inclusion executive wrote an op-ed in Variety accusing the company of having a “white problem”.

“While CBS proudly touts its diversity programs, a close look beneath the surface reveals that the company is unconcerned about creating space for minorities,” wrote Whitney Davis, who is a Black woman. “CBS continues to promote its diversity initiatives in public, while internally minorities are practically invisible.” 

In June of this year, a group of Black “Survivor” alumni created a petition demanding that the stalwart show make 30% of its cast BIPOC. They also asked that BIPOC are given “equitable screen time and opportunities to participate in marketing and promotional events.” The show’s Black alumni alleged that they were ostracized, gaslighted, and short-shrifted while they were contestants on the show. The petition received almost 8,000 signatures to-date.

As is expected, fan reactions have been mixed. Some people are happy that CBS is making the effort to fix the structural problems of their company. But others feel that the commitment is forced and will result in BIPOC cast members being treated as tokens.

This person is confident that CBS’s unscripted shows will simply improve by including more people of color on their cast lists.

If anything, this decision will add some much-needed change to their tired formulas.

This person was ready to submit their application.

Now that people know the playing field is more even, we’re sure that CBS will receive a more diverse pool of applications.

This person has doubts as to how CBS will approach choosing and casting POC.

It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another thing to actually choose people who represent a range of diverse cultures.

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