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Why is the character "Sally" void of any ethnic context?


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Poll: Ethnic Diversity or Blindness? (19 member(s) have cast votes)

Should Sally's ethnic context be included in her story line?

  1. yes certainly! (5 votes [26.32%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 26.32%

  2. could be interesting (4 votes [21.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

  3. perhaps but not too much (4 votes [21.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

  4. no, involving race/ethnicity only creates conflict (6 votes [31.58%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.58%

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#1 NOLAOrixa

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:43 PM

First off, I'm a huge fan of Being Human, (although the last episode went a long way to becoming soap operaish with the ex-fiance showing up).

Anyhow, love the show. That being said, it is hard to miss the fact that Sally, so far is the only character of color on the show, yet she is completely void of any racial/ethnic context
that would make her presence meaningful in that way. Sure I know for far too many white people, the absence of any explicit racial or ethnic references is somehow "non-racist", but
in many more cases the avoidance of it is even more of a nusance and in fact an insult. It creates a situation where certain groups become normalized and the rest of us are perpetually
look at as other.  

Some of the more obvious cases in point; Sally's fiance and best friend; both white.
Of all the babies she could try to merge her soul with to become reincarnated, she chooses a white male baby.Dose she subconsciously desire not only to be reincarnated but to experience life as a WASP?

In some of the preview scenes which include upcoming episodes, we see Sally apparently jumping into the body of a white woman to have sex with a white guy. She is a woman of color living in Boston, MA a town know for its history of racial/ethnic division and one where such divisions are still quite prevalent. I know I lived there.

Being that the show is based in Boston, how can the multiple ethnic contextual pieces of that city not make it into a story line about people "Being Human"?

Second, although its hard to tell from exactly where, she could easily be of South Asian and perhaps even of Hindu or Buddhist faith traditions which has more than 5,000 years of theological and philosophical teaching about reincarnation. Even if she were not, wouldn't someone of her ethnic background and apparent education be familiar with those traditions and seek out people with that knowledge if she's really interested in reincarnation?

Couldn't the producers of Being Human have cast someone of that racial/ethnic background and faith tradition (not that faith or spirituality is necessarily coded by race/ethnicity) in the role of the nurse who helps spirits to reincarnate themselves?

It just seems a show about being human, more specifically; being human in Boston, MA, USA is avoiding a very large part fo the story that could really add "flavor" to the storyline going forward.


#2 pscard

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

Meaghan Rath's ethnicity is irrelevant to the character she portrays and should never be an issue.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#3 NOLAOrixa

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:02 PM

Meaghan Rath's ethnicity is irrelevant to the character she portrays and should never be an issue.


Typical... race/ethnicity is only an "issue" when a person of color has to bring it up. When white people neglect it, making us invisible in the process all's well with the world.

That's not an acceptable answer. If her ethnicity wasn't an issue then why are her lovers, friends and the people she wants to posses always white? If ethnicity is so irrelevant
then perhaps the show's producers would cast people of color in some of these roles to represent a more diverse humanity. But they don't so it must matter to someone.

That's like white christians who say the ethnicity of jesus doesn't matter but they would never accept an image of jesus as a person of color.

#4 pscard

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:07 AM

Typical... race/ethnicity is only an "issue" when a person of color has to bring it up. When white people neglect it, making us invisible in the process all's well with the world.

That's not an acceptable answer. If her ethnicity wasn't an issue then why are her lovers, friends and the people she wants to posses always white? If ethnicity is so irrelevant
then perhaps the show's producers would cast people of color in some of these roles to represent a more diverse humanity. But they don't so it must matter to someone.

That's like white christians who say the ethnicity of jesus doesn't matter but they would never accept an image of jesus as a person of color.

Please consider that not everyone will agree with your opinion. We all have different points-of-view and by creating a topic, it's understood that we will all have different thoughts on the matter. Please be careful of the posts you make here or else a moderator may shut down this topic.
Keep the peace! :)

Edited by pscard, 07 February 2012 - 12:04 PM.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#5 konspikuous

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:30 AM

If you're not color blind...you're doing it wrong.

No one, and I mean no one, has any say into what ethnicity they are born into. We are defined by the sum of our actions, not our ethnic make up. In a character based show, with ongoing developing arcs, anyone's ethnicity has absolutely nada to do with the character's...character.

#6 JazzyEli

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:27 AM

God I feel so off of this topic... but I love to participate!! and this is the only chance I found to do it in this forum that is so SLOW!!, well, she's not actually black, she has even made a video explaining that she's half brown!! hehe sorry... now seriously... well I'm not from US and I don't really know the problematic about racism, all I know comes from movies like "the help", and since my perception what the production of this show is trying to do is showing that nobody is different, that there is no need to even mention oh Sally my african-american ghost friend, she's just a person who got killed and needed justice, now the new police officer that Suren wanted Aidan to turn was black, Suren herself is not white, there's diversity, now seriously people what is it with this topic??, how is that some people pay so much attention to that, and it's not just about black people even if some other are too white, it becomes in something to mention too, if I've watched 10 interviews to the cast of this show, at least 7 of them have a mention of how white Sam Witwer is, and how incredible is that he's not the one that spends 8 hours on the make-up chair to make him look as pale as he is, the guy takes it with humor, but hell!!, how comes that, that is not racist??, how is that tell some one ooh you're so freaking white!!, is not as offensive as say you're so freaking black!!??, being black is offensive??, and so being white is a flattery??, to me there's no difference, and because of that, I see no reason to pay attention to those "details" Meaghan is a terrific actress and if the guest actors are white it must be because they have been the ones that made a better audition and that's about it.

#7 NOLAOrixa

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:25 AM

Color Blind is a contradiction, the same as Gender Blind.

The better option is to be what people call Color or Gender aware/conscious. I don't want to have to tone down by ethnicity or culture because it makes white people uncomfortable


Also, race/ethnicity is not only an issue related to Black (African descended) people. White people have a race/ethnicity also, which is so often presented in ways that normalize or generalize it in a way that makes the rest of us look, special or particular. Trapped in our ethnicity or race, and only white people have transcended to be post-racial. It just isn't so.

I was assuming she was either from West Asian (Middle Eastern) descent or South Asian. The character Sally, is lamenting the loss of her life, but on a deeper level the loss of her body. How you look in this world has everything to do with how you experience it, how you respond to it and how it responds to you. That a woman of color would seem to be so oblivious to her own ethnicity in the afterlife is unbelievable. Especially in this society and in Boston of all places. It would provide a great deal of texture to her story. A simple reading of any of bell hooks' books would at least get you that far.

And an earlier post is correct, the ethnicy/race of Sally has nothing to do with the character as being introduced so far. That's my point. If she is a woman of color, it should.

#8 konspikuous

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

NOLA...there's no reason to be aware of a person's ethnicity. imo, you're hung up on something that does not define who an individual is.

What influences people, both real and fictional alike...is their culture and nationality. As an example...imagine black twins separated at birth. One is raised in Mexico City, the other in Paris, France. What would naturally occur are two people who adopt to the environment and or culture in which they come of age. One would emulate Mexico's culture, the other, would be a reflection of French culture.

Or say...you separate two white twins at birth. One raised in uneducated poverty in Detroit USA, the other in Havana, Cuba. Again...you would see the individual adopt the world around them. You could close your eyes while they speak, and you'd not detect their ethnicity. You would though, hear loud and clear, the culture they were raised in.

Again, imo....you're hung on something that simply does not define who a person is. I suggest, leave your stereotypes behind and learn how to accept people for who they are, not what their color is.

#9 konspikuous

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:18 AM

God I feel so off of this topic... but I love to participate!! and this is the only chance I found to do it in this forum that is so SLOW!!,


zomg...painfully slow! Posted Image

#10 easygordon

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:54 PM

I don't necessarily agree that NOLAOrixia is hung up on Sally's ethnicity, since I think it would add texture and complexity to the character if there were more references to her life before death. However, if you do a search on Meaghan Rath to find out that information you will be out of luck. It seems apparent the actress doesn't think it is important enough to reveal that information, since it shouldn't effect whatever character she may play, either on Being Human or any other show she may be on in the future.


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#11 Vendikarr

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:11 PM

The way writers tend to show ethnic is very stereotypical. Be glad they don't go down that road.

I would prefer Sally not be the sassy black girl that shows up on far too many American series.

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#12 pscard

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:23 PM

The way writers tend to show ethnic is very stereotypical. Be glad they don't go down that road.

I would prefer Sally not be the sassy black girl that shows up on far too many American series.

I agree with you on that. The character of Sally has a sweet and calming personality.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#13 JanetH

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:28 PM

I not so curious about what race she is as I am about how... beyond Danny... did she get to this point in her life. You have a pretty clear picture of Aidan and Josh, but other than that Sally wanted to get her masters and foolishly hooked up with an jerk, we really don't know anything about her.

Maybe next season.... Who knows, maybe this season.

#14 pscard

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

Seeing how her character's abilities are progressing, I wonder if Sally may try to posses a vampire, perhaps even Mother or Suren.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9)



Let's declare 2014 as the Year of Love.


#15 JanetH

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

Seeing how her character's abilities are progressing, I wonder if Sally may try to posses a vampire, perhaps even Mother or Suren.

I'm gonna guess that's not possible, they are already dead after all, but we shall see...

#16 helen93

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

I agree with the OP. I too have noticed that, as of now, there has been no mentioning of Sally's ethnicity on the show. I also find it interesting that, while we have seen and learned quite a bit about Josh's family, and Aidan's to a lesser extent (we do know he had a wife and son), we still have not met Sally's family. I get that season one was focused very heavily on the plot with Danny, but I find it difficult to believe that a ghost trying to find closure would not be very concerned to know how her family was coping without her, and instead be more fascinated with what her old high school classmates have to say about her death. Of course, we're not even halfway into season two, so I am hoping this will be rectified. But as it stands, it seems like Sally is becoming more shallow as a character, which is upsetting because there is a lot of potential there.

#17 SciFiJackAlom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

Malik, Sally's last name, is an Arabic word meaning king or boss. It would be pretty cool if she were of Arabic ancestry and even if she is not. It would be extremely interesting to see scenes of Sally's family. It would be nice to have a little more background.

I liked the time Josh spent with his family and to see what he has lost because of his "curse/condition". But how about Sally? And how about some more flashbacks of Aidan with his wife and son?
"Let us not dwell upon our differences, but marvel at our similarities."

#18 Megsie

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:38 AM

Typical... race/ethnicity is only an "issue" when a person of color has to bring it up. When white people neglect it, making us invisible in the process all's well with the world.

That's not an acceptable answer. If her ethnicity wasn't an issue then why are her lovers, friends and the people she wants to posses always white? If ethnicity is so irrelevant
then perhaps the show's producers would cast people of color in some of these roles to represent a more diverse humanity. But they don't so it must matter to someone.

That's like white christians who say the ethnicity of jesus doesn't matter but they would never accept an image of jesus as a person of color.


I think it's quite an acceptable answer and that you're reading way too far into things. As someone who comes from a Caucasian mother and a father mixed with Black and Blackfoot Indian, I find the show refreshing due to it's lack of stereotyping and racial ongoings. Why should Sally care? She's dead! She's obviously more concerned about "living" or missing it - who cares what body she jumps into. At this rate, I think she'd jump into a chihuahua or hamster if she could. I frankly find the lack of stereotypes and all the rest refreshing - though seeing Sally's family would be interesting, whether her parents turn out to be purple, yellow or blue.

Lastly, as much as I know you would love to make this an ethnicity issue, you also have to think about the basis of the actual show, which focuses on the paranormal. Do you not think that the writers aren't reflecting the ongoing (and ridiculous) racial issues going on in today's society in their show? They most certainly are. They have flipped it to issues of species - vamps against the idea of vamps mingling with ghosts and werewolves, ghosts with humans, were's with vamps, etc. Sound familiar? If ethnicity were an issue, don't you think they'd be opposed to the idea of interracial relationships?

#19 JazzyEli

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:13 PM

I don't necessarily agree that NOLAOrixia is hung up on Sally's ethnicity, since I think it would add texture and complexity to the character if there were more references to her life before death.



Yeah well twisting this topic a little, you're right it would be nice to know about Sally's family, which probably is multiracial considering that she's like mulata, she said in the end of season 1 that she was going to look for her family, I would love to know her parents and how they deal with their daughter's murder, besides, it's unbelievable that has never think on her old bedroom o her parent's house, in episode 1.4 she was going involuntarily to the place she was thinking of, how is that she never went there??!!.





#20 madameprez

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

^^^^ I agree with PP. I think it could be worked in very easily. Josh is Jewish and I mean, it isn't a huge part of his character, but those details are important in making a character relatable and believable. I'd like to see her family. Its not like they would need to be wearing burkahs or saris to have an ethnic background.




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