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Tea Leaves

Asian diversity in Western popular culture is not black and white

Too many portrayals rely on stereotypes or lack important context

The casting of the Netflix hit "Bridgerton" gladdened the Indian diaspora, but there were details in the show that strongly suggested there had been no deeper research into the country or its culture. (Courtesy of Netflix)

"I despise English tea." So said tall, dark and beautiful Kate Sharma in the second season of the recent Netflix hit "Bridgerton." My heart sang on hearing those words, because as a true-blue Indian, I have always thought that weak, watery British tea is no match for strong and spicy Indian chai.

Sadly though, that was one of the few things in the show that resonated with me. Of course, as a brown-skinned Indian, I was happy to see women of my color playing the romantic leads in this Regency drama, competing for the love of a British aristocrat. Both Kate Sharma and her younger sister Edwina Sharma were shown in all their glorious natural beauty.

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