Interracial Friendships in a Post-Racial World
This chapter analyzes the “new buddy movement” that pairs black female characters in supporting roles with white female leads in two Disney Channel shows, Shake It Up (2010–) and Good Luck Charlie (2010–). It suggests that Disney presents diversity in such a way that reifies the position and privilege of white culture and white cast members. Drawing on recent Pew Research Center reports that document income inequities along lines of race, the chapter suggests that viewers read these shows through a colorblind lens and see diversity without seeing (or understanding) difference. Keeping in mind the fact that television plays a central role in the articulation and construction of racialized identities in the United States, the chapter explores the impact of Disney's representational strategy on its children and tween viewing audience through Stuart Hall's theories of encoding and decoding.
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