Jem and the Holograms — Let’s Have a REAL Conversation About Colorism in Hollywood
Priscillia Omon

I recently saw the trailer for the movie Jem and the holograms. I was confused because I have a daughter who watched Jem as a little girl, as well as played with the dolls. In watching the trailer, I remembered that there was at least one brown female character in the cartoon, but I didn’t see her in the trailer! Now, however, that mystery is solved for me. It is sad that it has to play itself out in this manner that there is indeed a woman of color playing that particular character, but is not recognized as such. I agree that it is wrong for this young actress to be singled out as being ‘too light’ or “too ambiguous” looking to portray an African-American, but I understand where those who feel this way are coming from. I remember growing up in an era when the only Black women you saw on television were portraying maids or cooks in White households, and had names like Beulah or Sapphire. Then, finally in the mid sixties came Dianne Carroll as the beautiful brown-skinned nurse, Julia! At last we had an image of a Black woman we felt proud of, who had a profession we wanted to aspire to…not to denigrate those who came before her and played maids. Kudos to the the author of this piece for opening up this dialogue; discussions such as this are necessary to create a forum for all of us, whether in agreement or not with one another.