Representation Matters – Just Ask Jai Wolf

Moving Castle affiliate and producer Jai Wolf has never shied away from using his rapidly growing platform to discuss social issues. Whether it’s slamming alt-right white supremacist Baked Alaska in the DMs or providing insightful commentary on how to be a better ally to minorities, Jai Wolf’s consistently shown himself to be a thoughtful activist in the music community.

Last night, he shared a few words on the star of the video for his breakout hit single, “Indian Summer”. The NYC producer wrote,”If you’ve seen Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, you probably know about the much talked about episode “Indians on TV” which dives into the topic of how brown people are portrayed in the media. The way the media has treated brown characters has been historically abysmal: we’ve been reduced into caricatures for decades. Recently, however, there’s definitely been a small shift as actors like Aziz, Mindy Kaling, Riz Ahmed, and Hasan Minhaj make their way into the spotlight to have their voices heard.

Representation and visibility are key to fighting negative portrayals of minorities. That’s why I felt it was incredibly important to have a brown lead for the Indian Summer music video. Thankfully, @andrewdonoho, the director, was 100% on board with my vision. We sent out a casting call and got nearly 100 responses. After a few days of deliberating, we finally decided @assadkeval would be perfect for the video.

I wish I had more brown heroes growing up. I’m glad I have so many right now though. This video is my small way of saying “We exist. And we’re just like you.”

Jai Wolf’s post, and his song, is indicative of how crucial representation is in the media. “Indian Summer” is entirely in Hindi, and has over 38 million plays on Spotify as well as numerous placements in film and television. The video for the track has already garnered over 200,000 streams in less than a month.

No matter the medium, reflecting culture and its many facets helps us to create a more tolerant and diverse world. As Riz Ahmed stated to British Parliament earlier this year, “What people are looking for is the message that they belong. That they’re part of something. That they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, the uniqueness of their experience, they are valued. They want to feel represented.”

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