And Just Like That, ‘Sex And The City’ Reboot’s Inaccurate Indian Representation Draws Backlash From Fans



Sex and the City, a show about four white women in New York has a separate space in TV and pop culture history. And it wasn’t a good time in history for diversity, to say the least. When the show was rebooted in the form of And Just Like That with three members of the original cast returning, apprehension among modern audiences was high. And now, it looks like fans were right to worry. In a recent episode titled ‘Diwali’, the show manages to offend Indians in many ways, proving that SATC‘s representation problem remains after all these years.

Sex and the City‘s reboot was going to be more inclusive and aware. Attempts were made to get the show out of an era where racism and sexism prevailed on TV. Only for those attempts to backfire. In episode 6 of the show, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) emerged wearing a lehenga for a Diwali party as ‘Humma Humma’ played in the background. Watching a longtime fashion icon don a desi outfit was exciting for fans except she insisted on calling the dupatta-less lehenga a “saree”. Did I mention Carrie had to be told what Diwali is by her friend Seema (played by Sarita Choudhary)? Turns out she was unaware of the most popular Indian festival in spite of living in New York, a big diverse city. She’s 55 BTW.

And just like that, the reboot drew backlash from fans from India and around the world.

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It doesn’t end with the lehenga mislabeling. The problem of representation runs deeper as Indian characters in the show are only placed as learning points for the white characters. In fact, the episode also suggests that Seema’s parents and Indian parents, in general, are obsessed with arranged marriages for their children. It also ends up buying into the stereotype of an Indian woman rebelling against her parents with a white boyfriend as Carrie is grilled about Seema’s partner. Quite a few stereotypes of Indian cultures like restrictive social norms were reinstated to seemingly remind Carrie of how good she has it. And in the end, nothing really resembles a typical Diwali in it.

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Cover image: HBO Max, Twitter


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