The first season of the show Fate: The Winx Saga (Winx) premiered on Netflix last week, and if you are a person who loves some predictability and cliches, this is a show for you.
The Winx Saga centers on the character Bloom, who starts studying in Alfea, a boarding school for fairies and specialists ( male fairies) and befriends a group of five fairies. The character Bloom encapsulates the tired trope of the chosen one, as she learns and understands she’s no ordinary girl.
The show is everything you would expect from a young adult series on Netflix, there’s drama, flirting and of course lack of diversity in representation.
The Winx Saga is based on the Italian animated show, Winx Club, created by Iginio Straffi, a series celebrated for its burst of color, feminine theme, and inclusion of different races. The Netflix version, however, trades the colorful aesthetic of the Winx Club for a edgier and darker theme,
There is a clear misunderstanding of who the target audience is for this show. With that, the show lacks anything surprising, the overused teen storylines are only a mere distraction of the clear whitewashing of characters.
In the original, the Winx Club was focused on a group of magical girls, of different ethnic backgrounds, working to improve themselves and those around them.
In The Winx Saga, Musa, a fairy of music who was originally inspired by Lucy Lui, is played by Elisha Applebaum, a white actress, and the original character Flora, who was depicted as Latinax is erased and replaced with you guessed it a white actress.
The only black character within the group of five girls, is Aisha, the fairy of waves and even then there is a question of tokenism.
Tokenism is a practice evident in society whether it be in a tv show,movie or real life, used as a symbolic tool, by specifically hiring or recruiting people from minority groups in order to present a facade of equality within a workplace.
Aisha is seen throughout the show worrying and solely concerning herself with Bloom’s struggles and behavior, Netflix creates and sets up Aisha to be a secondary character.
White washing is a constant issue in today’s modernTv, those of ethnic backgrounds are cast aside for the white protagonist.
My question is: What message does this send to young girls and boys of different ethnic backgrounds? Are their stories and their representation seen as less important in the eyes of Netflix?
People may argue and say this is just a show about fairies and magic, but it’s more than that. As a society we’ve become accustomed to a white washed world, we don’t question the other perspective, it’s time we stop making excuses.
Sean O’Hare, a fan of the show said ‘ people who look for diversity the most are those who are minorities, you’re not going to pick up on it as much because you yourself are being represented’
‘I didn’t give the Winx Saga 10/10 for diversity marks’ continued O’Hare.
Overall, I’m exhausted, I’m exhausted of white saviorism, the repetitive storylines and being disappointed in the lack of diversity in the year 2021. Next time you watch a show, I implore you to step outside your comfort zone and acknowledge the people who are left out of the narrative.