Pod people

Are people of color (POC), really just POD people?

Dr. Warner of The University of Alabama has made a startling discovery about a new industry practice.

What has come to be known as colorblind casting has led to many opportunities for minorities acting in roles not originally written for them.

Yet the casting of minorities in these roles does little more than change the character’s skin color.

Dr. Warner provides a case study of Bonnie Bennett, an early participant in the colorblind casting experiments.

Originally written as Bonnie McCullough a Scottish girl with red hair in the novels but who through the process of colorblind casting became Bonnie Bennett, a black girl played by Kat Graham in Kevin Williamson’s The Vampire Diaries.

Yet the show changed practically nothing else but the last name and skin color of the character.

For instance Bonnie is a witch who comes from a long line of witches who traces her ancestry back to at least the Salem Witch Trials.

When the show goes to the 1800s to show part of this lineage it does not deal with anything that a black person in Virginia would have to go through in the 1800s.

No mention of slavery or racism or abuse. Instead the Bennett ancestor was shown to be the personal handmaiden of Katherine Pierce a descendant of the show’s main character and Bonnie Bennett’s best friend Elena Gilbert.

Is Bonnie Bennett really a person of color or is she just a Pod person? A perfect replica of Bonnie McCullough in every way except skin color. Whose worldview, experiences and actions are not that of a POC but of the originally written white character she replaced.

How many more POC Pod people are out there?

Kristen Warner discusses the issue at length in her latest book The Cultural Politics of Colorblind Casting.


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