“The humanity in every character should feel universal”: Shonda Rhimes on Promoting Representation Through ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

“The humanity in every character should feel universal”: Shonda Rhimes on Promoting Representation Through ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

Bridgerton season 2 is bringing new characters with new courtships. With season 2 coming to Netflix on March 25th, 2022, executive producer Shonda Rhimes has reassured the viewers that the new season will be like season 1.

According to Shonda, the new season has a couple of extra special, amazing things. “I think fans will be excited about this season, but the reality of it is the glamour of the balls, the beauty of the world, the stunning hair and makeup — all the things that everybody has come to expect from the show — it’s all still there,” said the producer.

While many things adhere to the original source (The Viscount Who Loved Me), the producer has admitted that season 2 will have some changes in it. For one, she changed the surname of the sisters to Sharma. This was a conscious decision from Shonda to promote representation in the industry because she feels everyone should see someone that look like them on television. In an interview with Netflix, Rhimes shares her outlook on representation and how she does it through Bridgerton.

Representation through Bridgerton season 1 and 2

After season 1 of Bridgerton released in 2020, Shonda got a lot of emails and texts congratulating her. That’s when she realized the show has become one of the most popular shows on Netflix. With Season 1, the aim was to introduce the characters and the world they lived in. But now, the focus is on showing what’s going into their mind.

ALSO READ: How Did ‘Bridgerton’ Star Luke Thompson AKA Benedict Bridgerton Prepare For the “bum scenes”?

Shonda wanted to create a world where people are just like us, and not the false societies where everybody looks a certain way or is a certain kind of color. So, with Bridgerton, she is just creating the same story with another background. This is generally how she and her team at Shondaland create stories. “While it’s important for Bridgerton, it’s important for every story being told. When you’re watching television, you should get to see people who look like you,” the producer said on the importance of representation in her shows.

Why multiculturalism is important to Shonda Rhimes?

In ShondaLand, Rhimes make sure all the crew and cast are as multicultural as possible. Thus, her shows usually have people of all ages, race, cultures, etc., to bring that sense of inclusivity in and outside the show. Shonda Rhimes feels this makes storytelling better and richer. “You want directors who reflect the world. You want people who have a view of the world that doesn’t come from simply one point of view,” Rhimes adds.

She goes on to say how she feels it’s important for her to include the voice and point of view of people of color in her stories.

So, introducing new characters with South Asian backgrounds in Bridgerton season 2 was a simple choice for Shonda. Her aim was to shed light on the unique culture and work towards representing the same with authenticity. We can see a hint of this in how there’s a haldi ceremony in season 2 or how Edwina calls Kate didi.

Netflix is a global platform with the world as its audience. Thus, Shonda wants audience from any country should relate to her characters from Bridgerton season 2. “I wanted to make sure that if you are watching Bridgerton from another country, you’re not thinking to yourself, “Well, this has nothing to do with me.” Well, absolutely it has something to do with you. The humanity in every character should feel universal,says the producer.

Do you think Shonda and Bridgerton can get South Asian representation right in the new season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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