Saturday, July 18, 2020

"Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking condemned for being a ‘cesspool of casteism, colourism, sexism and classism’"

The first episode is amazingly matter of fact. One man looking for a bride is praised for his light skin color:



And one woman looking for a husband will be a challenge because her family moved to Guyana:



(The headline is from The Independent.)

From an interview with the show's creator Smriti Mundhra:

Another thing that I found interesting is that there were some moments where it felt like some of the clients and some of the clients’ parents were reinforcing some old-school views — specifically about skin fairness and gender roles at home. I’m curious what the conversations were behind the camera, when you were editing and thinking about the storylines. How did you and your filmmaking crew feel about those topics as they came up?

One thing that I credit everyone — from our cast to our amazing showrunner, J.C. Begley, the rest of our producing team, and also Netflix — is that they were not trying to shy away from any uncomfortable conversations. They said, what’s real is real. We’re not going to prod and push our cast to sensationalize anything, or bring up anything that’s not authentically part of their process or their experience. If they bring things up, if they talk about certain things…we’re not going to go out of our way to hide anything. I think that’s really important. Even though this is sort of a lighthearted dating show, I think it can reveal a lot. My hope is that it will spark a lot of conversations that all of us need to be having in the South Asian community with our families — that it’ll be a jumping off point for reflections about the things that we prioritize, and the things that we internalize.

...

On the surface it’s a fun, lighthearted dating show. More people are going to watch that show than will watch anything else that I’ve ever made and I think it can get up to talk about colorism and stigma, divorce, the whole men and women debate, [the evolution of] traditions— all those things. I think that’s an amazing thing.
Mundhra retweeted this comment and responded to a review: