By Sarah Whitty
In a world filled with Kardashian’s and ‘reality’ television, it’s understandable why Netflix and other streaming services have become the new norm for watching Television. To put it nicely, you’re able to curate the content and filter out the less desirable programs.
Yet there still seems to be an abundance of controversy in Hollywood, with white-washing and gender wage gaps being at the forefront of discussion. Who can forget Jennifer Lawrence’s poignant open letter “Why do I make less than my male co-stars”, which was written after a series of Sony hacks revealed that she and Amy Adams were paid significantly less than Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale & Jeremy Renner for the 2013 film American Hustle, of which, both women won Golden Globe Awards for their performances. At the 2016 Oscars, #OscarsSoWhite was trending worldwide and many celebrities were vocal about the lack of diversity in the nominees, resulting in a few choosing to boycott the ceremony entirely.
Like a breath of fresh air, it’s great to see the CBC making a statement by kicking off Canada’s first TV sitcom led by Asian actors with Kim’s Convenience this fall. While Hollywood seems to be refusing to embrace diversity (*Cough* Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, *Cough* Emma Stone in Aloha), it’s great to see a Canadian station going against the grain and taking a stand. It’s not the first time either. In 2007, the CBC premiered the first Muslim sitcom with Little Mosque on the Prairie and the show ran for 6 seasons. Let’s hope that the Canadian Television continues to produce ground breaking programs and that Kim’s Convenience opens the doors for more diversity in the entertainment industry.
With projections that one-third of Canada’s population — up to 14.4 million people — will be a visible minority by 2031, ignorance and lack of diversity in programming is not acceptable. If media is supposed to be a reflection of our society, then the media has a lot of catching up to do.
Tune in to Kim’s Convenience, Tuesday, October 11th at 9pm EST on CBC.