The tall dark handsome hero has been slapped on a Western role: the consensus? Light and lovely. For decades, Bollywood has shunned beautiful dark skin, using it to portray lower caste, ethnicity, and status. The discrimination and racism in Bollywood is still predominately used today, despite several darker skinned actors being given minor roles and famous actors speaking out about the injustice.
“It’s actually racism,” said award-winning film director Neeraj Ghaywan. “Let’s not mince our words.”
Bollywood has shown in many instances that dark brown skin is not welcome. Although recently dark skin has been represented on the big screen, and these movies doing incredibly well as evidence by their box office earnings, the messages of representation and inclusivity are cancelled out by the negative portrayal of dark skin actors. When will Bollywood get over their colonial hangover?