Shadow and Bone on Netflix is being called out for ‘disappointing’ racism scenes

People have called it ‘jarring’ and ‘overwhelmingly uncomfortable’

New Netflix show Shadow and Bone is being called out by viewers for its inclusion of racism scenes. The fantasy series follows Alina Starkov, who stumbles upon her impressive power of being able to summon light, which then flings her into a life she could never have imagined. However, along the way she is singled out for her race, and in the first few minutes is subjected to racial hatred.

Alina discusses “never being liked” by the people who live around her, because she “looks like the enemy” and in other scenes is called a “half-breed” and a “rice eater”. Alina in the series is half Shu, the rival country to where she is now, and she is played by Jessie Mei Li.

Shadow and Bone, Netflix, fantasy series, Twitter, reviews, racism, racist, plot, Alina Starkov

via Netflix

People on Twitter have found the inclusion of “fantasy” racism “unnecessary” and have wondered why Netflix chose to include the plots, when they are not included in the book series the show is based on. People have called the racism in Shadow and Bone “disappointing”, “overwhelmingly uncomfortable”, “unneeded”, “jarring” and the worst part of the series.

Speaking to Digital Spy about the series, Jessie Mei Li said: “I love the way that race is depicted on this show. One of the things, when I was auditioning, was that slight concern of: is this just a diversity tick? Why have you done this?

“But immediately, I understood it wasn’t just that they wanted a person of colour in the lead; they actually wrote Alina’s story to be a reflection of my experiences, and the experiences of Christina [Strain] – she’s Korean-American, she’s one of our writers.”

The Tab has approached Netflix for comment. 

Shadow and Bone is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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