It seems that only other Black people have noticed (and appreciated) how the Matrix Reloaded sports a cast that is mostly people of color. Jay of hiphopmusic.com points out that “there are an astonishing number of people of color, for a sci-fi movie.” CalendarLive.com noted, “People of color outnumber whites in the world’s population” so it only makes sense that “In the city of Zion, most citizens are people of color and many of the movie’s leading actors are black (Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix, Harold Perrineau Jr. and the late Gloria Foster.)” In that article they interview Cornel West, the famous Black intellectual who counts the Wachowski brothers as fans of his work asked him to make a cameo in the film. West further explains that the great thing about the multiracial casting that “It’s not just the representation in numbers but the humanity displayed.” For myself it was refreshing to see Black actors cast in roles that were not necessarily tailored as a Black character.
The film falls short of reversing the taboo of Black sexuality that is deeply ingrained in Hollywood. This is strange since Cornel West has been the foremost critic of this form of racism, especially in his book “Race Matters.” West himself has condemned the movie industry for setting a sexual double standard- while Whites are able to have sex scenes in movies that are loving, Black sex has an air of pornography. The Wachowski brothers wrote a beautiful love scene for Neo and Trinity yet in contrast to that, when Link (the ship operator) came home he coarsely greeted his wife with “Where’s my (explicitive)!” Of course this wasn’t written like that on purpose, but if the taboos West have written about truly are as persistent as he claims, it will take a deliberate effort to correct it.
So, with the concern of diversity let’s appreciate and praise the Matrix series for what it has done and hope that other movies follow suit and go even further.Powered by Sidelines