Yes, we should “shout it louder for the people at the back” — representing minorities the media will always be important and The Claudia Kishi Club is a heartfelt twenty minutes that proves so.
Netflix short documentary The Claudia Kishi Club was released on the platform on July 10.
Representation in Film & TV has come a long way but there’s still plenty of legroom to make sure that generations coming up understand that they are important. Admittedly, there was a time where I did not quite understand why it mattered so much in Film & TV form, which is shameful considering I represent the BME community. But with growth in the last few years, I’ve felt it. It does matter. I remember watching Black Panther and I imagined what it would have felt like for a young black child watching it — the cultural tones and representation will have made them feel absolutely pumped.
With the release of The Baby-Sitters Club, the subject of representation is unearthed by Netflix again with a short, sweet documentary about the coolest character in the series — Claudia Kishi. It’s strange to think that Netflix is always deemed as a platform that splurts out too much content and has a “human cost” to it, yet from my armchair, it appears to be the most inclusive platform in the world at present. Netflix’s The Claudia Kishi Club is a documentary that truly shows how representation, rather than othering, provides value that carries from childhood into an adult.
The Claudia Kishi Club shows American-Asian creatives pay tribute to the iconic, stereotype-busting character in The Baby-Sitters Club and how it shaped their lives and careers. In such a short space of time, there’s plenty to learn about how Asian characters have been treated in the past — shoved aside to be a fad, “a trend’ and routinely pushed in the back of the posters so their white co-characters can take the space.
And it’s also quite sad that American-Asians in this industry always had this niggling assumption that if they were to make it as a creative, then it would be in the form of JK Rowling’s Cho Chang — such a baseless, stereotypical and sidetracked character. The Baby-Sitters Club influenced their path in life due to this important character. One of the interviewees in this short documentary helped write the Netflix series.
Yes, we should “shout it louder for the people at the back” — representing minorities properly in the media will always be important and The Claudia Kishi Club is a heartfelt twenty minutes that proves so. This short deserves to be archived and repeated in the future to remind ourselves of how we got here.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.