Fresh off of the CW’s announcement and pilot presentations of Charmed and Roswell, New Mexico at San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer will also be getting a reboot with a WOC lead. Joss Whedon will be involved in a producing capacity (heavy eye-roll), and Monica Owusu-Breen (Midnight Texas), will be a showrunner – a win for black women in television.
Reactions to the news have ranged from tepid to outright angry, and with good reason. Overlooking Whedon’s indiscretions – Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a large mythology. A mythology so large – there’s absolutely no need to make “Black Buffy”, and fans have duly noted that. While not being against inclusive casting, it’s been noted that black women deserve their own stories, and Buffy Summers doesn’t deserve to have her legacy erased with a new series.
Buffy Summers is just one woman who assumed the mantle of Slayer (a woman chosen by fate to repel and eliminate vampires, demons, and the like from wiping out humanity) – the Slayer mythos spans thousands of years. This show could be a period piece set in the past, it could be a piece set during the current time after all Slayers have been activated (the comics have a really rich story that can’t even begin to be described here).
Inclusivity for the sake of inclusivity isn’t really a step forward. Taking a black woman and placing her in the shoes of a white woman isn’t equality. Minorities and marginalized people deserve their own stories. It only takes looking at the proposed Heathers remake to see where this can go wrong – the three Heathers were now biracial, gender-queer, and heavyset, and the social commentary and understanding of the Heathers felt so wrong that it was dropped before the series began.
We deserve better than “Black Buffy”. Give me Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why) as a brand new Slayer to root for, give Sarah Michelle Gellar a cameo, give me new monsters, give me Avian Jogia (Twisted) as a vampire, give me a fresh new story that belongs to a black woman.