Misrepresentation of Marginalized Communities

Ashlesha Mishra, Copy Editor

In modern times, society has come to “accept” several diverse communities from all around the world. Whether this is a cultural community or a group of people associating with certain pronouns, humankind likes to categorize things and in this process, certain groups become minorities. This leads to them being misrepresented in many ways throughout society. What is wrong is when others try to educate people about these communities but only enhance the common, inaccurate, stereotypes that are insulting to the group. In the modern world that we live in today, the majority of this is done through subliminal injustice to these groups in pop culture.

The events in 2020 promoting the safety of Black lives highlighted many of these issues. “Black Lives Matter,” a worldwide movement that gained a lot of attention after the murder of an innocent black man, George Floyd, had many people who spoke passionately about the subject. Several celebrities used media coverage as an opportunity to spread their thoughts and influenced many people into forming their own. While some supported Floyd, others spoke against it. The sharing of these opinions led to a lot of disagreements and violence. Supporters claimed that Americans use and enjoy Black pop culture in the form of music, television, and sports, yet they cannot give the respect to them that they deserve. When so much is taken from a group of people and even enjoyed, it is terrible to shun them and give them the feeling that they do not belong in this place. The constant hatred angered several people, triggering the protests and violence that followed. Misrepresenting Africans and Black Americans in movies and TV shows has become common and indirectly support the way one perceives a Black person. When they are portrayed to be of lower classes or refugees in the United States, it creates a generalization targeted mostly towards the youth, infusing the wrong ideas of the group from a young age. These kinds of mindsets will most likely only grow and spread the misconceptions over time.

These instances are not limited to ethnic minorities, but also groups like the LGBTQ+ community. Cinema and the music industry make homophobic references to the community, which can be taken very offensively and are not justified in any case. These types of remarks attack those associated with any of the sexualities included in the LGBTQ+ community and are wrong to have. When widely followed pop culture promotes these ideas, the audiences begin to think that it is okay to do so and start to behave in the same way.

Pop culture, including movies, songs, and even social media, is highly followed in today’s society and people of all ages are interested in the lives of celebrities and what they do. Movies and music are a method of relief from the stresses of real-life and the reel world seems to be a lot better. Unfortunately, these types of developed stereotypes cause more damage than relief and only bring down marginalized communities in our community. To create an equally welcoming and truly accepting world, these types of misrepresentations must stop and accurate education of these groups must be integrated into today’s pop culture to provide a good influence on its audiences instead of encouraging stereotypical beliefs.