By now you should all know who kicked the bucket (or got tossed around fatally by a big black smoke monster) on Lost last night — the mysterious and memorable Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). With Eko’s demise, that leaves the island bereft of most black characters (Rose, who rarely appears, is the only one who remains).
Michael (Harold Perrineau) departed the island last season when he successfully delivered Jack, Kate and Sawyer to the Others and got his son, Walt, back. But USA Today reports that Eko’s death was due to Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s desire to go home after losing his parents, so it’s not like Lost is trying to kill off the people of color.
In fact, two new people of color have been introduced this season: Paulo (played by Brazilian superstar Rodrigo Santoro) and Nikki (played by Kiele Sanchez, who was previously on the short-lived WB drama, Related). I have to say I thought they were kinda cute last night, especially when Nikki said that Paulo was always complaining that they were getting left out of important missions, and this was their chance now that Locke wasn’t following Jack’s “only invite Kate, Sawyer or Sayid” rule.
Another show has followed Lost‘s global casting initiative this season, and I’m not talking about Survivor: Cook Islands (though I do love Yul) — I’m talking about Heroes. If anybody has noticed, all of the characters involved in romantic relationships, so far, are in interracial couples. There’s Niki Sanders (the split personality) and D.L. Hawkins (who can apparently walk through walls),
Nathan Peter Petrelli (can absorb other people’s powers) and Simone Deveaux (OK, no super skills yet), Simone Deveaux and Isaac Mendez (possessed painter), and last but not least, Hiro (time traveler extraordinaire) is reportedly about to fall for a character played by Jayma Mays in the Nov. 13 episode.
There was a time when interracial romances on TV — not to mention in real life — were nonexistent and largely frowned upon. Can I just say, I am really happy that this is no longer the case. Woohoo!
And just thinking about it, there’s a ton of people of color on prime time right now: Jin and Sun on Lost (of course — what the hell happened after Sun shot that Other woman, anyway?!), Sandra Oh on Grey’s Anatomy, Gaius Charles on Friday Night Lights, Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock, D.L. Hughley on Studio 60 (at least for now), Grace Park on Battlestar Galactica, Chi McBride and Camille Guaty on The Nine, Lennie James (and his character’s whole family) on Jericho, Eva Longoria and Ricardo Chavira on Desperate Housewives, even the whole race wars marketing ploy of Survivor: Cook Islands makes a difference. (And there are plenty more I can’t even remember right now!)
I am really floored by this development. This may not be the year for lesbians on television, but hell if it ain’t the year that Hollywood realized the world isn’t all white. Just for that, I will raise a glass of aged Scotch to the Powers That Be in Tinseltown. Oh, wait, it’s too early. I’ll raise a glass to you at a more appropriate hour.