True Blood's Portrayal of African-American Women

For a moment, I was considering checking out the "True Blood" series, but gave up the idea after hearing about the African-American female character, Tara. I hated that she was simply an epitome of the trite AA woman stereotype: loud and rude, with no depth. Furthermore, I disliked how she was so readily and easily available for sex with the Caucasian male's character without any level of commitment, as if she wasn't worth having a real relationship with him. To compound matters even further the colorism in the casting of this woman was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Every American knows that a light skinned, mixed, or Latina woman will be the first to be cast for an African-American woman role. However, this rule reverses if the character is stereotypical or otherwise obnoxious. True Blood stayed true to that rule. Apparently, the first woman wasn't Black enough to be "ghetto."

Here's the first woman cast:

Here's the second and final:


Adolph Current said...

That's a shame really, because you're missing out on a pretty decent show because of your own prejudices and preconceptions about what's proper and improper behaviour.

Anonymous said...

i dont think they switched her out for her skin color, the first tara was not convincing at all. just bad acting

Anonymous said...

i think they switched the actress because she was dull and lacked charisma on the screen. I have loved the show but im going into season 3 and I am really noticing how the have laid it thick with the women bashing ? All the women are portrayed as either strippers, sluts, crazies, obsessive, pregnant, moody, impulsive, and cold blooded lesbians. The one exception is the female african american police woman which has gotten very little air time. I wonder to what extent it has to do with the gay creator and father of the show Alan Ball's attitude towards women and the attitude of the people he has hired to develop the show. Most gay men do not view women as worthy of respect (except for dead and aging movie stars).

Anonymous said...

That is a really important point, season three seems to be saying that the women want to be physically abused and get sexual pleasure from it (Sookie, Tara and Sam's Mom.) This is a worrying president that seems to imply that a woman is responsible as she is 'asking for it', 'it's not his fault it's his nature'is often an excuse given by women for abusive men. On the flipside you could argue it is empowering for them to make that choice and if that is what they want then one up for feminism. However I don't think Sookie should have been seen to have sex again with Bill after what happened to her, (in the books he rapes her as well) even though she seems to initiate it I think it weakens her character.

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