In only a few short hours we will be watching the highly anticipated premiere of Channel Ten’s, The Wrong Girl. But before you settle in on your couch for the night, there is something very right that needs to be discussed!
Based on the best-selling novel by Zoe Foster Blake, The Wrong Girl follows the chaotic life of Lily Woodward (Jessica Marais). An ambitious and driven breakfast TV producer who suddenly finds herself stuck in the middle of a love triangle; amidst other work and home related dramas.
One of the men vying for her affection is Jack Winters, a charismatic chef who has recently started a cooking segment for her breakfast show. Played by the talented Rob Collins (Mufasa, The Lion King Musical), the show has done something that is not common practice, it has placed an Indigenous male as a leading love interest.
Now, it might seem a bit counter-productive to celebrate a person of colour being cast in a leading role. But, the truth of the matter is that the Australian film industry is still facing a hard time when it comes to its casting choices. Currently, only 18% of onscreen main characters have non-Anglo-Celtic backgrounds, which is a seemingly small percentage when you consider the actual population is almost double this figure!
On top of the statistics, non-Caucasian actors are more often than not limited to typecast roles that rely heavily on racial stereotypes. Their opportunities in casting are often boiled down to a one-dimensional role that relies on their stereotype as a defining trait of the characters personality. It’s a sad reality, but when it comes to screen-time a person of colour is rarely seen as ‘love interest material.’
For this reason, when an Indigenous man is cast as a leading love interest we need to celebrate! This is progress, and it is with steps like this that we can remove restraints and allow all characters to be seen beyond the colour of their skin.
Tune in tonight at 8:30pm for the premiere of ‘The Wrong Girl.’