We've probably said it a bajillion times at this point: Representation. Matters.
As fans of genre entertainment, some of us have seen ourselves represented more frequently than others. Shocking, I know. In the last few years, we've seen great strides when it comes to women and people of color starring in genre films (like Oscar winners Get Out and The Shape of Water), although we still have improvements to make when it comes to representation of various gender identities and sexualities.
One important aspect of making changes in media representation in front of the camera is increasing representation behind the camera. It's not surprising that giving a woman of color like Ava DuVernay control of a film means there would be a more accurate representation of our world. And guess what? Disney's A Wrinkle in Time stars a plethora of women who play diverse and layered characters.
At the film's press conference in Los Angeles, star Mindy Kaling (who plays the lyrical Mrs. Who in the film) brought up exactly how this representation has impacted her as someone who didn't see herself in genre growing up.
"I loved science fiction and fantasy growing up but it was a genre that largely did not love me back," said Kaling. "I never saw any representation of like a dark-skinned Indian woman, Indian girl, anybody, in anything that I saw. And it’s a really peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that shows you no love back. It’s such a pure love, because you’re not getting anything from it."
Kaling went on to say being a part of A Wrinkle in Time is a dream and a pivotal moment in redefining her relationship to a genre she's been passionate about for so long.
"To be part of this, and to be on a green screen stage in harnesses because you’re doing a science fiction fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms to something that has ignored me completely."
Huge films like A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther, Coco, and Star Wars give young people the opportunity to see themselves in roles they never did before and perhaps feel the love they have invested in a genre they love finally reciprocated in a massive way.
"I think if that can be something that the miniature version of me could watch and be excited by, I think that’s such a huge thing," said Kaling.
We agree, Mindy.