The whitewashing is so frustrating and depressingly amusing, like I don’t want to … but the cast already appears overwhelmingly white, and this goes for the first season too (not all, but very significant).
(I’m an autistic person of colour )
this new season represents an even wider range of people and personalities, showing just how diverse the autism spectrum really is.
Yeah totally how diverse it is(!!) Somehow they are happy to leave out cultural and linguistic diversity. The Australian autistic community, in general, suffers from the same, though. There are sites I’ve been linked to, from mental health professionals, with advice on social interactions that is specifically tailored to white culture. But I don’t know if the people who set up those sites thought about this, but ahem, guess what — different cultures might have differing social norms and expectations. So these sites and this show are kind of incredibly useless to me.
Though the bigger problem is that this bleeds in from attitudes in the general Australian population. For example, this country has leaders who are very happy to move heaven and earth to make the tennis happen, and has leaders who clearly will not move heaven and earth to bring their own citizens home, even over the past year.
And this bleeds elsewhere, like into the Olympics
And in Plate of Origin:
A major issue with the way the show is constructed is the presence of a “Team Australia”. This is comprised of two white Australians —Ethan and Stew — who are “just two regular guys who like to cook”. Considering the show is about the teams cooking food from their heritage, then why not have a “Team United Kingdom” instead?
Having a “Team Australia” frames whiteness as normal and invisible, implying the other teams aren’t “real” Australians.
The program also makes assumptions about food from a white, European perspective.
As Team Cameroon noted in the lead up to a dessert challenge, “Africa, we don’t really do desserts”. This is similar to criticisms recently levelled at MasterChef, when it failed to understand Asian cuisine. For example, celebrity chef judge Jock Zonfrillo suggested Asian ingredients did not “automatically lend themselves to a fine dining dish”.
I mainly just wish Australia was not so much in denial about this problem. Like Stan Grant said,
Where the Americans appear consumed by race, we prefer silence.
There is a history in Australia of not wanting to talk about the darker parts of our shared past.
I sometimes wonder if having the SBS in Australia has made the other networks a bit slack in caring about cultural diversity (Australia overall underperforms in this regard compared to similar countries like the UK, US and NZ)
We lag significantly behind comparable Western democracies when it comes to collecting data on cultural diversity, actively promoting culturally diverse and inclusive media workplaces and implementing measures to recruit, mentor and promote people from culturally diverse backgrounds. — Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories?
To me, the SBS’s biggest strength is in its offering of programs in other languages. To me, this shouldn’t be an excuse for other networks to segregate “real Australians” in their stories.
But in the meantime, Australia is just going to get more programs like this one, where it’s not representative of Australian people on the autism spectrum – it’s only a specific subset.