Friday, April 29, 2011
When White People Adopt 'Colored' Children... on TV
Hi Meltingpot Readers,
Back in the day, when I went to journalism school, we were taught that when a particular incident occurs three times or more, then officially it is a trend. So as a freelance writer, I'm always looking for trends to write about. And I think I have a new one. It is the White people adopting the child of color story line, now seen on a TV or movie screen near you.
Last night after watching a riveting episode of Grey's Anatomy, I saw a preview for next week's show. And that's when we caught a glimpse of McDreamy (who happens to be White) holding a cute, chubby Black baby and saying to his wife (also White) with fervor and enthusiasm, "Let's adopt this baby!!" (cue the cliffhanger music). I kind of chuckled to myself because Grey's Anatomy already tackles such hot button issues as interracial marriage, gay marriage, Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, virginity by choice, and now they're going to throw in transracial adoption. That's a lot to handle for a one-hour drama.
But then it hit me that the White couple adopting the child of color story line isn't new or maybe even controversial. In fact, one might just call it trendy right now, at least in Hollywood. Think about it. On the wildly popular new show, Modern Family the gay White couple has an adopted baby girl from China. In the movie, Easy A, the White couple with one biological White child, also has an adopted Black son. (Here's a funny clip from the movie). And then, believe it or not, in the Easter flick Hop, the White family at the center of the story has an adopted Asian daughter. But the thing is in all of these examples, the fact that these children are adopted or of another race is so not the issue. In fact, it's almost a non-issue, which I think is a little silly, but we're talking Hollywood so what can one expect?
So, I'm wondering? Is this a good thing for transracial adoption to be the next cool thing to add spice to your sitcom or movie? Does it normalize or trivialize the experience? What do you think? In a weird twist of Life imitating Art, Law & Order actress, Mariska Hargitay recently adopted a Black baby girl. Will that story line enter the Law & Order franchise? Hmmm.
Have you seen other recent examples from Hollywood where a White family adopts a child of color? Tell us about it. I'm listening. Of course.