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The Post-Racial MystiqueMedia and Race in the Twenty-First Century$
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Catherine R. Squires

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762899

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762899.001.0001

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Post-Racial Audiences

Post-Racial Audiences

Discussions of Parenthood’s Interracial Couple

(p.133) 4 Post-Racial Audiences
The Post-Racial Mystique

Catherine R. Squires

NYU Press

This chapter probes fan responses to Parenthood on its official Facebook page. Fans have constructed specific discussions and threads about the romantic pairings of black and white characters, and often remark upon what they see as fair or unfair characterizations of the couple, their behaviors, and their problems. These conversations demonstrate not only that the show is problematic in its portrayals of the interracial family, but also that viewers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are invested in talking through their different interpretations. They see the show as an important potential site for learning—or unlearning—old-style representations of interracial couples and children. Specifically, audiences feel free to take note of racial difference without seeing any link between difference, on the one hand, and racial stereotyping and racism, on the other.

Keywords:   fan responses, Parenthood, Facebook, romantic pairings, interracial family, representations of interracial couples, racial difference, racial stereotyping, racism

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