Laurel Duggan, DCNF
The new Sex and the City reboot received numerous scathing reviews for failing to properly promote identity politics, even after going out of its way to incorporate messaging about race and gender, according to multiple sources.
The new show, “And Just Like That,” released Dec. 9, features a child questioning her gender identity, a character getting permission from an Indian woman to buy a traditional Indian outfit for a Diwali party, lectures about racial politics and a scene in which Miranda, played by Cynthia Nixon, struggles to fathom that a black woman is a college professor.
Sex and the City has a long history of dehumanizing its non-white characters. The new spinoff takes a 180. I broke down all of that, including ~that~ Diwali episode and Carrie’s ….. “sari” https://t.co/las30Qi7R3
— Sakshi Venkatraman (@sakshi_saroja) January 12, 2022
Critics perceived that “And Just Like That” was attempting to make up for racially and culturally insensitive moments in the original Sex and the City, which aired June 6, 1998.
The show’s attempts to include social justice messaging were insufficient for critics. The effort to incorporate diversity included the addition of four new nonwhite friends into the characters’ circle, but NBC News noted that one character, an Indian woman, served as a support system for a white character, “a trope that women of color have long been relegated to.”
The Diwali scene in particular drew blowback. Mashable called it a “painfully lazy cultural portrayal,” and complained of “blatant tokenism and cliche-ridden narrative.” NBC and numerous other outlets pointed out that Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, mistakenly called her outfit a “sari” when it was in fact a “lehenga.”
Vogue described the scene as a “messy tangle of misnomers and misappropriation,” and bemoaned that the character explaining cultural appropriation was Indian. “Characters of color don’t always have to be the mouthpiece,” the Vogue piece stated, adding that “your non-white friends are not your mystical saviors.”
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