The New Netflix Original Ginny and Georgia

The new hit TV series has landed the writers, actors, and Netflix in some hot waters, here is why.

The Miller family arriving at their new home. Austen (left), Georgia (middle, and Ginny (right).

The new Netflix original “Ginny and Georgia” was released on February 24, 2021, and has taken social media by storm since. The shows feature the Miller’s, a household of three, and how Georgia navigates life as a single mother, and how Ginny navigates life as a teenager in predominantly white a New England town.  Georgia, played by actress Brianne Howey, moves from Texas to Massachusetts to get a “fresh start” from the sudden death of her ex-husband with her 9-year-old son Austen Miller and her 16-year-old daughter Virginia Miller (Ginny).

Even though the show has not been out for a month it already has its second brush with controversy. The first scene to spark uproar amongst social media is one with the nickname ” oppression Olympics”. In the scene, Ginny ( who is biracially mixed with black and white) and her then-boyfriend Hunter, who is Taiwanese, ( played by the actor Mason Temple) start an argument stemming from Ginny losing and Hunter winning an essay competition within their class. Ginny invalidates his win by saying that he only won because their teacher was racist and he was the “whiter” one between the two of them. This spirals into the two hurling racially insensitive comments and stereotypes towards each other and practically comparing which one of them is the closest to whiteness in societal eyes. The scene irked many people of color on social media because the scene was very obviously written by a white person and it lacked the depth, knowledge, and complexities of the situation which they had chosen to depict. Many felt like the scene was truly unrealistic and if anything unnecessary.

Taylor Swift a country/pop singer. (Taylor Thomas)

After the Oppression Olympic scene dispute, the show was back in the limelight holding the #1 spot on Netflix’s top ten and a 4.8 rating on google. That is until Taylor Swift, a pop singer, put out a tweet early morning on March 1 condemning the writers of Ginny and Georgia for using a deeply sexist and old joke with Taylor as the punchline. The original tweet reads “Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back. How about we stop degrading hard-working women by defining this horse s*** as FuNnY. Also, after Miss Americana, this outfit doesn’t look cute on you. Happy Women’s History Month I guess.” The joke was extremely disheartening because Miss Americana is the title of the Taylor Swift documentary that Netflix has exclusive streaming rights to and also in which Swift explains her mental health struggles in dealing with years of hate and sexist remarks. The Swifties ( Taylor Swift stans) were quick to act in defending Taylor and bombarded Netflix’s as well as Ginny and Georgia’s official social media accounts with different variations of the statement “RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT” and flooded reviews with one star. Neither Netflix nor the writers have chosen to respond or put out a statement publicly, but Actress Antonia Gentry took to Instagram after receiving death threats and hate post-Taylor Swift’s tweet. She thanks all the fans and supporters of Ginny and Georgia and appreciates the fact Ginny finally gives an on-screen representation of a biracial child, she goes on to acknowledge that Ginny is extremely flawed and will make mistake because she still is growing and learning “Finally, a character who was just as confused and imperfect as I got a chance to exist. Ginny Miller, though fictional, is a character who reflects all of life’s contradictions and imperfections”. Even so, viewers and fans refuse to grasp the concept that characters are separate from the actors that play them. Antonia’s comment section is still littered with hate and disdain for the character Ginny.