Diversity Grinch: PBS Indicts Movies, TV Shows Pushing ‘White Fantasy of Christmas’


How can the PBS NewsHour play Grinch at Christmas time? Naturally, complain about the lack of diversity in Christmas movies. At dinnertime on Christmas eve, they posted an “Arts” article headlined:

How Asian Americans in holiday movies can challenge ‘the white fantasy of Christmas’

The author is college professor and PBS “Communities Correspondent” Frances Kai-Wha Wang. That’s code for “Diversity and Inclusion Scold.” Our classic Christmas specials are way too white:

Older Christmas classics like the black and white It’s a Wonderful Life, the claymation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the animated Frosty the Snowman, are important to conceptions of what Christmas in America looks like, even though many are largely devoid of protagonists and characters of color. Some, such as the classic A Christmas Story, even perpetuate harmful stereotypes about Asian Americans.

The small scene at a Chinese restaurant where the waiters sing “Deck the Halls” with “Fa-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra” is “harmful.” On this track, you could also argue that the film’s bully Scut Farkus “perpetuates harmful stereotypes” about redheads.

Nowhere in this solidarity session is any mention of the 2019 mainstream rom-com (of sorts) Last Christmas, starring Emelia Clarke and half-Asian heartthrob Henry Golding. 

“Christmas movies are white, white, white,” said Tanzila Ahmed, artist, and author of The Day the Moon Split in Two: A Grief Poetry Collection, who loves Christmas movies and rom-coms. Since her Muslim and South Asian American family did not celebrate Christmas when she was a child, part of the allure of those holiday movies for her is that it feels like a window into white American culture, including both traditions and myths.

“These are not just movies about people at Christmas time, these are movies about white culture and the white fantasy of Christmas,” Ahmed said.

Radical leftists were the chosen experts. On her “Tazzystar” site, Tanzila Ahmed touts herself as an “electoral organizer” and adds: “Obsessed with South Asian American radical history and using art as a disruption tactic, she believes in intertwining both for cultural organizing to shift political paradigms.” She believes in racial animus as a leftist tactic. Check out her Etsy site for “Heavy Vetting” Muslim Valentine’s cards.

PBS seems incapable of imagining there’s another side to this. Why don’t you complain there are no Ramadan rom-coms? Why don’t you wonder how Bollywood or the Chinese movie industry portray white characters? Well, there’s no fun in reversing the racial polarities. This article ticks all the usual lecture boxes. 

1. You can’t fix this by adding minority sidekicks. 

2. You fix this by adding minority lead characters.

3. You augment this by adding minority producers, directors, and writers. 

This Diversity and Inclusion (and Guilt) lecture is eerily similar to NPR pushing a Rock Music Is Segregationist narrative.

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