Race, Intersectionality, and the End of the World: The Problem with The Handmaid’s Tale

by Shannon Gibney and Lori Askeland

Hulu’s reboot of The Handmaid’s Tale opens with a car chase: the protagonist (Elisabeth Moss), who will later be called “Offred,” is racing with her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and daughter Hannah (Jordana Blake) in their faded, old model Volvo through a frozen landscape, sirens of their invisible pursuers wailing.

The decision to introduce us to Offred as a member of an interracial family revealed an obvious break from the overwhelmingly white world of the novel and 1990 movie. Many reviewers construed that fact — and the powerful presence of Samira Wiley in the role of Offred’s badass lesbian friend, Moira — as undeniable evidence that the series would be more intersectional in its approach to feminist themes than the novel had been.  (“There’s intersectionality, too, with Moira, a lesbian, played by a black actress, Ms. Wiley,” was the breezy quip of the New York Times’ Katrina Onstad.) But sadly, bodies of color alone do not a liberatory racial narrative make. Indeed, a deeper look at the series shows the uncomplicated, and therefore, problematic effects of this “colorblind” casting.

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Dwayne Perkins and Lynn Chen are Dying to Kill

The new horror film Dying to Kill, starring stand-up comedian Dwayne Perkins, will make its debut this Tuesday, December 13 on Hulu. On this week’s Hard NOC Life, Dwayne — who also co-wrote the film — is joined by his co-star Lynn Chen, as well as the film’s writer/producer Koji Steven Sakai, and writer/director Raymond C. Lai to talk about the process that went into making the film.

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Throwback Thursday: Why I’m Down with The LXD

So I thought I’d switch gears here for a second and discuss one of my all time favorite series: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

Hip hop culture is a long lost love of mine.

This usually shocks people when they learn that I used to be huge fan of vintage hip hop. It’s understandable given my cerebral and uptight demeanor.

As a kid, hip hop culture was starting to gain traction and even then I knew it was something special. It was from the streets, it was humble, it was pure. It was by the people for the people. It was inclusive. Hip hop/rap was for everyone: male, female, black, Asian, Latino, and white.

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