here has been a lot of love and some hate regarding the show ‘Bridgerton.’ It was beyond refreshing to see black people in a period drama where their race was not the focus, where they aren’t delegated to the role of servant, instead playing heroes and queens integral to the storyline. The show’s popularity could also mean positive change in castings when it comes to diversity. Something, as a black actress and writer, I absolutely celebrate. On the other side, there have been accusations of colourism levelled at the show. In the main Bridgerton features black people with lighter skin tones in main roles – Men of a darker complexion are relegated to the stereotypical roles of strong man and in the case of the Duke’s Father, the black absentee dad. That is not to mention the sheer lack of black women with darker skin. I literally could not think of a single one. But there is one criticism levelled at the series that struck me and had me asking: Did I just watch a rape scene? And did I just see female stealthing and is that even a thing?
Talking about consent is weird. I can say that confidently; I’ve been doing it for more or less the past eight years, working with a handful of organisations who deliver conversations about consent in universities, schools and workplaces. And talking about consent with teenagers? Awkward and weird…