“It’s beautiful to see a dark-skinned Black family onscreen.”
Remaking a beloved TV show is a huge undertaking, but remaking it to ensure you are uplifting marginalized voices and showcasing all forms of diversity onscreen is not only necessary, it’s heroic.
Bel-Air, the Peacock remake of the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, dropped its highly anticipated first three episodes Sunday.
And for those who haven’t seen it yet, the show’s creator Morgan Cooper said in a recent interview with Yahoo! News that it was “important” to him to ensure all shades of Black were represented on the show.
“It’s important for us to really interrogate some of the past biases that we’ve seen onscreen,” he said. “Saying like, ‘This shade of black is better than this shade just because this shade is lighter.’ We’re here to throw all of that nonsense out the window and say Black is beautiful, period. We don’t just talk the talk, we walked the walk.”
Representing different skin tones was important to the cast as well. Cassandra Freeman (Aunt Vivian) said these issues are tackled within the show itself as well, because it’s “real.”
“There’s a whole discussion in the show about what it means to be Black and not be Black or to be white and not be white,” she said. “It’s important to have a nice spectrum of different sides of who we are … and it’s truthful. It’s not fantasy — it’s just real.”
Adrian Holmes (Uncle Phil) added that we, as a society, need “more positive Black stories.”
“It’s beautiful to see a dark-skinned Black family onscreen that’s affluent, successful and thriving,” he said. “We want to tell a story that people can watch and say, ‘Oh, that’s like my family.’ We’re showing that it’s a full spectrum of the Black experience. We need to tell more positive Black stories, and they have to be done truthfully. In order for that to happen, we have to make them ourselves and this is an example of that.”
You can stream the first episode of Bel-Air now on Peacock.