Kia Stevens publishes letter sent to Netflix to address diversity issues during GLOW
In a social media post, Kia Stevens, better known to fans as Awesome Kong and Welfare Queen on GLOW, published a letter that she and some of her fellow stars sent to the powers that be at Netflix before the show got canned.
The letter was to voice their concern about how the show fell short of being diverse, outlining the problems that actresses of color were facing, and their suggestions on how to fix it.
“As the principal women of color on a show tackling racist and offensive stereotypes, we have felt disempowered throughout our time on GLOW. We’ve individually come to you to express our concerns over the course of 3 seasons – whether it be in our character meetings or during specific conflicts within our storyline – and our characters continually remain less fleshed out and less dimensional,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on saying how while GLOW was marketed with a diverse ensemble, for them it has never lived up to those ideals and the show actually planted racial stereotyping into their character’s existence.
It’s noted that there were zero persons of color in the writing room and they collectively felt devalued in their skillset and only valued for the diversity they bring to the show.
The letter suggested three points which would take accountability by enacting change including hiring an executive producer or consulting producer of color, fully address how portraying stereotypical and racially offense wrestling personas has impacted their character’s professional lives and personal dignity, and amplify their voices and their importance within the season narrative.
“There is incredible support, love and camaraderie amidst the GLOW cast, and it should go without saying that we are not here to take down our white cast mates,” the letter says.
The letter was signed by Sydelle Noel (Cherry Bang), Britney Young (Carmen Wade), Kia Stevens (Tamme Dawson), Sunita Mani (Arthie Premkumar), Ellen Wong (Jenny Chey), and Shakira Barrera (Yolanda Rivas).