Little Women sparks debate about representation after criticism of all-white cast

Darren Richman
Friday 27 December 2019 11:30
news

It’s that strange nether zone between Christmas and New Year, the perineum of the year, during which nobody is quite sure what to do and the takes are hotter than ever.

After a fun day condemning a lawyer for allegedly battering a fox to death with a baseball bat, people grew tired and turned their attention to Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, the latest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel of the same name.

Gerwig’s follow-up to Lady Bird is a beautiful film: the cinematic equivalent of a warm embrace from an old friend or a revitalising bubble bath. The picture is so inoffensive that it’s got a U certificate and will no doubt appeal to children of all ages. But journalist Natalie Obedos was disappointed at the film's lack of racial diversity writing a piece for Teen Vogue entitled: “What we lose with another all-white Little Women” claiming “It’s time that classics that are constantly remade to better incorporate diversity”.

Kimberly Nicole Foster, the founder and editor-in-chief of For Harriet, a digital community for black women, had a thoughtful riposte on Twitter. She shared the article and wrote:

She went on to add:

I do not need to see myself in Little Women. It is very obviously a white woman’s story of its time.

The wider issue, she says, is that there are still not enough films being made about people of colour. This must be addressed urgently.

Still, Obedos certainly isn't alone in lamenting the lack of diversity in 2019's Little Women, so it's clearly an important and nuanced debate.

More: Riz Ahmed perfectly explains the difference between diversity and representation​

More: Emma Watson writes powerful letter to woman who died in Ireland after being denied abortion​

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