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How has film and television progressed society in regards to race and sexuality?

It seems that in the last ten years films and tv shows have started talking about race and sexuality in a more progressive way. Gay and lesbian couples are appearing in tv shows, colored women are lead characters, and these themes are discussed in an open and unbiased manner. Has this depiction in media helped transform society as a place where sexuality can be discussed in an open manner?

  • The importance of media in guiding people's acceptance of things or even dictating what social norms are cannot be highlighted enough. Too often I hear things like "calm down, it's just a movie," (in regards to Fifty Shades of Grey being a terrible masking of an abusive relationship labeled as "BDSM/kink") and people seem to think popular culture isn't influential on its own. This is a really important topic. I look forward to reading the article. – Amanda 8 years ago
  • Can you narrow this down at all? Maybe just either race OR sexuality. Also don't forget the media also likes to exploit "hot button" topics and distorts them - for example many of the gay people portrayed on television are stereotypes, die, or are just there for humor. – Rayna 8 years ago
  • Yes, I'd love to read this article. I've definitely noticed the difference even in myself. I'm a straight male and used to be genuinely awkward around gay male couples and public affection. Yet over the years, there has been more openly gay affection on TV and even gay sex scenes. Now I actually don't mind it at all. And maybe that's the secret haha, when you actually see something with your own eyes you realize how normal it actually is. And maybe it's only a matter of time before the negative stigma around gay couples is finally gone. – EarlGreyTRex 8 years ago
  • This would rather be an interesting topic to write about. the first thing that comes to mind is the newest edition to the Star Wars series. Episode VII has made a huge transition at instating racial groups into the character line up. The protagonist is a woman and the leading role in tandem with her is an African American. I believe that this step is crucial in identifying the progressive world that we are living now. The movie played homage to the old characters and its racial preference on the big screen back in the seventies and transitioned the roles nicely. My testament to this statement is based on the plot of episode VII. There was a lot of correlation in the plot line that emulated episode IV. I think now that the new cast has been presented, the proceeding episodes will have more of an original plot. – ChrisBryz 8 years ago