I quickly want to preface this with saying I am not trying to diminish the amazing diversity brought on by Grey's Anatomy Season 15. I am merely trying to state an observation.
I too am a die-hard fan of the show!
With the very sad exit of many strong and diverse characters including Christina Yang, Callie Torres, Arizona Robins, April Kepner, etc. Grey's Anatomy was at the potential of losing its relevance to the current times.
To combat this, it seems they tried to pack a new diversity into these last two seasons in an unrealistic manner.
Beginning with Grey's Anatomy Season 14, the new class of interns brought on at Grey Sloan Memorial featured one of the most diverse groups since the beginning of the show.
Many of them offering "firsts" for Shondaland's portrayal of gay, trans, Muslim, and Southeast Asian characters.
In the harshest way possible, they almost act as background props to meet a new quota.
I understand the focus of the show will move up the ranks following Meredith and her colleagues, so of course, the new interns will not become the main storylines, and I accept this.
However, I don't understand how bringing in a new diversity of characters that are not going to be part of the main story arc properly replaces the original characters who were a part of that.
It's great these differences are brought to the forefront of conversation, especially on such a highly acclaimed show, but maybe it would have been more impactful had they been brought on more organically.
Rather than having one singular all-inclusive intern group, they could have brought in some variation within the resident replacements of Arizona, Christina, and Callie as needed, instead of waiting to bring in the diversity in one large chunk.
Christina was the only intern among the original five that offered any racial diversity.
Now every single one of the new interns offers a completely new perspective.
Levi Schmitt represents the first gay male, Dahlia Qadri the first Muslim, Taryn Helm another lesbian character, Casey Parker the first transgendered portrayal, and Vikram Roy the first Indian representation.
Grey's Anatomy has had trans characters, gay male characters, and such, but only as single-episode patients, nothing equating to a series regular.
Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that Grey's Anatomy first aired in 2005 when the push to offering a diversified on-screen cast was zilch.
And now as social justice movements have gained traction among younger generations, in order to stay with the current times the need for a fully diverse cast has become so.
Levi Schmitt has received more screen time than the other interns, and his romance with Nico Kim has developed beyond small flirtations, which is highly appreciated, but other than that the rest of the interns are hidden in the wings.
As one of the most devoted Calzona fans, I am a bit upset they chose to continue the LGBT storyline through a gay male relationship.
Not to say I don't think gay male representation is just as important because it certainly is!
It is just the fact that this relationship was brought on after the emotional farewell of Callie and Arizona.
Nico and Schmitt seem to be here to fulfill LGBT representation when a gay and lesbian relationship is nowhere near the same.
Statistically speaking, a majority of the show's viewers are women, so if they were attempting to favor their audience, it would have seemed more likely they would have continued with another lesbian romance.
But I digress.
I see the attempt to try and develop these variations, especially with Casey coming out as a transgender male, Qadri removing her hijab in order to save the life of a patient, and Helm's crush on Meredith.
But again they're secondary, if that, to the main characters who continue to offer a limited diversity.
It comes down to the necessity of a greater focus on these characters.
It's wonderful that Grey's Anatomy is paying close attention to the importance of offering this kind of diversity, but they could've done it in a much more effective way.
Now that I have offended millions of Grey's Anatomy fans, I will say that I have enjoyed the subtleties in slowly revealing the stories of these deep characters.
The writers have done a stellar job in not making the characters diversities the sole part of their identities.
As Sophia Taylor, the actress who plays Dahlia, suggested in an interview, at the end of the day it's not about sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or gender but about, "being a person and a doctor."
Are you satisfied with the diversity on Grey's Anatomy lately?
Hit the comments below and share your thoughts!
Inga Parkel was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in June 2020.