Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'The Good Fight' Has A Race Problem & Its Creators Want You To Notice It - BUSTLE

Originally published:  April 17, 2017
Publisher: Bustle.com

Throughout its seven-year run, CBS' The Good Wife won praise for its performances and handling of hot-button issues — but also its fair share of criticism for a lack of diversity among its ensemble cast. With the exception of Archie Panjabi, who's South Asian, and, later, Cush Jumbo, who's biracial, Wife was largely white, and so it's not surprising that when casting that series' spinoff, The Good Fight, creators Robert and Michelle King would try to rectify the problem. In the show, the white Diane joins a predominantly black law firm as a "diversity hire" — a self-aware nod to the criticism the Kings have rightfully experienced since The Good Wife's 2009 premiere.

"It might be a show having a 'kick me' sign on its back," says Robert with a laugh, speaking via phone a few days before Fight's Season 1 finale. "If you want to rip us apart, here’s the place to do it."

And it's true, that despite its setting and topics tackled — the law firm in Fight frequently takes on cases regarding police brutality and racial bias — the spinoff still features a primarily white leading cast, just like its predecessor. There's certainly more representation than in Wife, with Jumbo's Lucca and Erica Tazel's lawyer Barbara in major roles, but the problem that plagued the original show is still a significant issue with the spinoff. Yet the Kings say they "welcome" any criticism they might receive, both for the show's casting and its take on on race-related matters.