Whitewashing: The Irony of FOX’s ‘The Gifted’

Pop Culture Uncovered

FOX’s latest attempt at the X-Men universe has brought some positive reviews. I was drawn in when a friend told me how relevant it was given the modern social climate.

They’re not wrong: X-Men has always been an allegory of racism, bigotry, hate crimes, etc. From social discrimination to government oppression, The Gifted’s parallels with today are all too eerie.

As I looked more into the characters and actors, however, I realized there was a significant faux pas. Here was a show about racism that itself was committing a racist act: whitewashing.

John Proudstar, the Apache mutant known as Thunderbird, is played by Blair Redford; while an impressive actor, Mr. Redford has only tenuous claims to Native American heritage. In fact, you can’t find a confirmation about his ancestry, other than casual mentions about “roots” and “descent.”

In other words, he’s what the Internet calls…

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