The Flash is not just doing an amazing job with the plot but with promoting diversity too. Shows and movies like these that portray interracial relationships are important for they normalize the idea of having a partner who doesn’t necessarily have the same skin-tone as yours.
In The Flash we don’t just get to see Iris West (played by Candice Patton) and Barry Allen aka Flash (played by Grant Gustin) doing a stellar job taking down metahumans, solving mysteries, and working as a team, but they also have a remarkable romance. One that relies on the bonds of understanding and care.
The best part about the show is that its cast is diverse; just how it should be. Because in real life you don’t make friends based on the color complexions of people. While discussing the relationship of the main couple on the show in a recent interview with Nerdist, Candice Patton said, “I love that we have an interracial relationship on the show, and that it’s not questioned, and that it’s healthy and normal, and functional.”
When talking about the cast, she said to the host, “The great thing about our show is how diverse we are with our casting [and] storylines, and it’s a show I wish I had when I was younger to be quite honest.” She said that this is one of the things that makes the show relatable and makes one say, “‘Oh, this looks like my grocery store.’ You know, it’s diverse. I see different types of people and all different types of love.”
This is not the only point that the 29-year-old thinks that her show is great for. Patton expressed her pride for being able to portray diversity and playing the role of a strong female character that girls like her could relate to and feel confident. “So, I know that young girls that look like me feel empowered seeing Iris West be a hero. That’s a cool thing,” said the actress.
In a previous interview, back in February as well, Patton had stressed on these very facts. She had said that a couple like Iris and Barry’s makes it “normal and less fearful for people who haven’t seen interracial couples in their own neighborhoods and communities.”
She had said that for her the significance of acting is that it has also become “a voice for so many young women of color.” Patton had told the host that this was her first role as a lead heroine not just a sidekick and how this representation was something she wanted to see growing up.
Apart from Candice Patton another black actress who is recently being seen taking up roles of lead characters that have interracial relationships is Amandla Stenberg. Stenberg starred in 2017’s movie Everything, Everything as the main character with a white lover. She’ll be in the position in her upcoming movies The Hate You Give and The Darkest Minds.
When discussing representation in Hollywood, Amandla had said, “I think it’s important we have that representation as well as just have a story featuring a black girl as the lead.” It’s good to see that both media and brands have started to take this seriously. Inclusivity, body positivity, and diversity are not just terms anymore but are being implemented as well.