I don't want to call the show "oppressive" or "prejudiced" at all, but I do fear something. There is a term on this whole series, "low-hanging fruit." It means the contestants who have been doing poorly and it is obvious that they will be eliminated soon. This program started off with three white women, two Black guys, one Asian guy, and an openly gay, white guy. The show has always had this undercurrent in which women contestants feel under threat or subtly receive messages that they are not as talented as the guys. However, that doesn't come up in this 1st episode. The program kinda suggests from jump that all three men of color and the openly gay guy are the "low-hanging group."
I don't know what the cause is. A.) Did the program try so hard to have racial and sexual diversity that it got diverse contestants that just can't shine as much as the majority men? B.) Are they harder on the diverse contestants and maybe this is a sign of discrimination? or C.) These guys don't necessarily represent their marginalized communities and are they just not as talented as individuals? I saw a documentary about "Saturday Night Live" in which the narrator said that, since its start, SNL has been critiqued for not spotlighting women and people of color as much as the white guys, but then the narrator said, "Those individual white guys who really made may have just been more truly talented." I see this dilemma immediately on this "IM" season.
As a gay man of color, I'm on the edge of my seat watching the men of color and the one out guy take all these punches. Again, I don't know if it's prejudices, chance, or affirmative action gone wrong. I don't know the cause and am hesitant to point fingers. However, I do wonder if I'll stay interested in the show if all these folk from oppressed groups get canned so fast. I wonder if female viewers may have the same fears or uncertainties about the show along gender lines. And I must ask: if within just a few episodes, if all the males of color and gays are gone, will it still be interesting to me? Will it feel painfully un-diverse? Will tattooists who are out or openly gay be reluctant to apply for future seasons? Will this show have diverse candidates as window dressing from now on? Have you ever heard actors or comics say, "In almost every scary movie, why is the Black character the 1st to be killed!?" I have those same hesitations here, but I say so not with gusto, but with uncertainty. Oh yeah, one more thing: Dave Novarro may be a biracial bisexual, if you view him from a certain perspective. I wonder if he'd be especially sensitive about the concerns I have re: his show.