As the world has shifted over the years, there are a few things that have stayed the same. For instance, change and acceptance. I often watch a TV show and see little to no representation of POC (people of colour) and the Muslim community. Creators often try their best to show diversity, however their form of diversity and representation is often a showcase of stereotypes that aren’t true. Due to these stereotypes, people have a different perception based on those caricatures. It’s what makes everything complicated and false.

Not only does entertainment do that, but the media has too. For instance, 9/11 is a key example of creating a stereotype for people who are Muslim. Society often thinks that they’re terrorists. One tragic event that has taken place in the past has created a negative input on a group. This mainly happened because of how the media took the situation and blamed it on that community.

In most TV shows and movies, POC are looked at as “different”. Not different as in unique or valued, but different as in strange or not normal. Just recently that stereotype has slowly started to fade. The Hate U Give, a novel written by Angie Thomas, shows an exquisite example of how Black people are mistreated. The novel came out February 27, 2017. However, the book foreshadowed a lot of what happened earlier in 2020 with the Black Lives Matter protests. Angie Thomas ended most stereotypes that needed to be ended.

Just recently, the Asian community has been getting a lot of attention in the entertainment business, especially Korean dramas and Korean music. This recognition has allowed people to see them in a positive light, to see them as talented and amazing. After years of hiding in the dark and having to listen to people talk about them like they’re insignificant and unworthy, they’ve finally been able to make a name for themselves. Not only that, but Asians have broken stereotypes on masculinity and femininity. They often hear, “They look like girls”, or “How can you see with those eyes?” There has finally been a positive reaction to Asians and POC in general. This is a peaking point.

Including them in a larger society allows others to see how amazing our world is; we have people from different races and ethnicities. When we exclude these people, we aren’t a world. There is no humanity without everyone involved in a positive way. As a Muslim 16 year old girl, I have felt like I didn’t matter in the entertainment industry; that my religion and race affected the world in a bad way.

It makes me think about how I am not the only one who feels this way. If we exclude people all over the world, what’s left of it? The Muslim community can’t be categorized into just one colour because it’s a huge group of many people from different parts of the world. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t fit into the category of “outcasts” and “insignificant”. It’s a massive group of people that fit into many different categories when it comes to skin and culture, but they feel the same things Black and Asian people feel. They’ve been mistreated in the media and looked down upon in movies and in the real world. I wonder how this would make girls younger than me feel, how boys feel about this. There’s rarely any positive showcase of Muslims in the industry… in the world.

There are young Black girls questioning if they’re pretty or if they’re worth it. There are Asian boys questioning every bit of their culture and there are Muslims wondering if they’re ever going to receive the love they see others get. Taking these communities out of our world is like reading a book and skipping chapters.

These communities are pieces of art that make a masterpiece and we shouldn’t disregard them at all. If we start today, from this very moment, we can make a difference. If writers openly write about these communities, it can create a euphoric explosion of discourse, conversation, and communication. If the industry allowed POC directors to take charge, we’ll be able to see a new version of creativity. If POC were allowed to take up space then this black and white world would be changed into colour. We would be able to see the world in its many forms, if only we were allowed to take up that space.