Today, television shows pride themselves on showcasing diversity and equal opportunity. However, the entertainment industry was not always this way.
In fact, it often took major milestones for Hollywood to catch up to a world in which color and race do not define what makes an individual.
If you enjoy learning about the history of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, you might be curious about the first interracial couple on TV.
One of the very first interracial couples shown on TV included Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the 1951 debut of I Love Lucy.
The couple was also married in real life, and the show lasted for a total of 6 seasons.
Due to a variety of reasons, including a lack of civil rights for minorities, there was much less representation in movies, music, and all forms of entertainment prior to the Civil Rights Act.
In some areas and regions, it was considered controversial to showcase an interracial couple on television or in any capacity in the public eye.
However, this was ultimately not the same as the public’s opinion.
The public is overwhelmingly accepting and receptive when it comes to the display of interracial couples, friendships, and romantic relationships.
Lucy was a redheaded woman of Caucasian descent, whereas Desi was a Cuban American.
The reaction to the first interracial couple as well as the first interracial kiss on television was overwhelmingly positive.
Most viewers enjoyed the diversity and prefer to have a melting pot of characters when it comes to television shows and movies.
While one of the first interracial couples on television still may be Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one of the most memorable first interracial kisses that happened on television occurred on Star Trek.
The interracial kiss occurred between both William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols.
What are some other iconic interracial TV couples?
Yes, there are many other actors and actresses who were willing to assume the role of an individual who was in an interracial relationship.
Some of the most notable roles and characters through the years that offered groundbreaking entertainment included:
- Lucy and Desi (I Love Lucy)
- Tom and Helen Willis (The Jeffersons)
- Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant (Scandal)
- Angela Moore and Shawn Hunter (Boy Meets World)
- Jay and Gloria Pritchett (Modern Family)
- Kevin and Veronica Fisher (Shameless)
No. Today, casting a diverse group of actors and actresses is often sought after, rather than avoided.
Interracial couples, kisses, and intimate relationships have become more accepted and commonplace in today’s modern society than they were in the past.
If you’re interested in the history of interracial relationships, couples, and the entertainment industry, brushing up on popular films that feature interracial couples is a must.
Some of the most notable and popular films of the years that feature interracial couples include:
- The Batman (2022)
- Death on the Nile (2022)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- The Greatest Showman (2017)
- Something New (2006)
- A Bronx Tale (1993)
- Mr. and Mrs. Loving (1996)
- Belle (2013)
- Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal (2000)
- Ruby’s Bucket of Blood (2001)
- Besieged (1998)
- The Bodyguard (1992)
If you are looking for movies, shows, or other forms of media that feature interracial couples, you can begin your search online.
If you are using a streaming service, research specific categories such as interracial couples or interracial dramas that appeal to you.
Some streaming services provide more in-depth categories than others.
Research the streaming company you intend to use to find a list of available interracial movies or shows that are interesting and appealing to you.
You can also use official websites for movie rankings and reviews, such as IMDB, to find shows and entertainment that feature interracial couples.
Using online websites such as IMDB as well as movie forums and groups can help you to find a film or show that is genuinely a great fit for you.
Showcasing interracial relationships as well as romantic couples has helped significantly in normalizing both racial and gender equality.
The more interracial relationships are shown, the less likely others are to view those who look different than them as anything other than the same.
By promoting positive interracial relationships and couples with the use of the media and entertainment, entire populations have shifted to become more accepting and open-minded, especially when it comes to race, friendships, and love.
Officially, interracial relationships and marriages were not legalized until 1967, by the United States Supreme Court.
However, there were numerous interracial marriages on record prior to 1967.
In 1925, for example, the notorious black boxer Jack Johnson married three women of Caucasian descent before 1925.
Yes, it is legal for all races to marry today without an issue in all 50 states.
Is it considered discrimination to deny service to an interracial couple or someone of a different race or color?
Yes. In the United States of America, the Civil Rights Act protects all individuals from discrimination on the basis of their race and/or skin color.
Additionally, discrimination laws are also in effect today to protect those who struggle with any type of disability from being discriminated against, especially in the workforce and in any publicly funded location or building.
If you are living in the US as an interracial couple with your partner, being discriminated against can leave you feeling gutted.
If you have been wrongfully discriminated against when out in public, while shopping, or even while dining at a private establishment, it is possible to report the harassment you receive both publicly as well as privately.
Speaking to the manager of a public location or institution is the best course of action whenever you feel slighted or discriminated against in front of others.
You also have the option to leave a review or testimonial using an online page, forum, or social media account.
If you are in public and you are being harassed, bullied, or threatened due to being involved in an interracial relationship, you can also call the police to report the threats and harassment directly.
Reporting others for harassment and threats in public is one way to seek out the justice you deserve for solely being discriminated against for your race and/or skin color.
No. It is never okay or permissible to be discriminated against just for being involved in an interracial relationship.
Even if you do not feel offended or if you find it funny that someone does not like that you are in an interracial relationship, it is not okay or acceptable in today’s society to discriminate against others.
It is not always easy to tell if someone is being discriminatory, especially if they do so covertly and subtly.
Not all racism is obvious to those who are unfamiliar with it, especially when it comes to their everyday lives as well as the personal relationships they have with others.
Some ways to tell if someone might be discriminating against someone on the sole basis of their race and skin color include:
- Cracking jokes at the interracial couple’s expense, especially when doing so behind their backs or when they are not paying attention
- Using racial stereotypes to exaggerate the relationship two interracial individuals are in together
- Making snide comments about different races, skin colors, or stereotypes that come with various races and/or cultures
- Dismissing any concerns or complaints about racism that come from friends, coworkers, and other individuals they may be close with on a daily basis.
If you are in an interracial relationship, the chances are that you are likely to just want to be accepted like anyone else.
If you want to know if someone in your life is truly accepting of your partner and your life choices, look for the following signs:
- They seem genuinely happy and elated that you are happy and that you have found someone in your life, regardless of their race and skin color.
- They do not mention your race as well as the race of your partner, as they believe it to be irrelevant to the character of an individual.
- They are excited about meeting your partner and do not show reservations or hesitancy to do so.
- They ask questions about your partner to ensure that he or she is the right match for you, especially if they are your close or best friend. A friend who is happy for another will want to protect their friend and their friend’s needs, especially when it comes to being in a relationship.
- They vocalize their happiness and seem eager to meet and get to know your new partner.
- They are kind, respectful, and attentive when first meeting your partner and getting to know them.
- They enjoy chatting with your partner and are excited that you have found someone who is right for you, regardless of their race.
No. Today, it is no longer considered taboo or controversial for those who are interested in someone of another race to get involved in a romantic relationship.
Being against interracial relationships has since become taboo and against today’s societal norms.
Being involved in an interracial relationship today is more common than ever, especially with the increased access to dating apps and the ability to find partners who are genuinely compatible with your own personality and relationship wants.
Today, there are more interracial couples on television and in movies than ever.
The increased representation can help with providing more diversity throughout all sects of the entertainment industry.
In the future, there will likely be even more diversity when it comes to casting as well as behind the scenes.