Growing up, Dorothy Gale was one of our favorite movie characters. I mean, seriously, what girl didn’t want a Toto by her side? And as we grew older, we obviously hunted for an enviable pair of ruby-red high heels (still on the hunt, tbh). That would explain why we were so excited to hear the following news…
At this years Comic Con, NBC revealed its long-awaited series Emerald City and leading the cast will be the first ever Hispanic Dorothy Gale played by Adria Arjona!
Debuting January 6th, 2017, Emerald City is changing the way we view the Land of Oz and its infamous protagonist Dorothy. Tarsem Singh, the director of all ten episodes, promises that the show will be dark and edgy, and will going by the tagline “Say goodbye to Kansas”. To put it simply: We are excited to see what is in store.
Now, can we take a moment to applaud NBC over this insanely diverse cast?
According to executive producer Shaun Cassidy, “There was no ethnicity prescribed for any role … they were just the best actors.” Not only is the show lead by a minority director, but the cast is composed of several races and nations. Also, The Los Angeles Times reports that the show will feature transgender characters.
Perfect example: Dorothy Gale will be played by the incredibly talented Hispanic actress Adria Arjona.
The most important thing to note is that Arjona was not cast just because she was Hispanic. She fit the role within the story Singh wanted to tell, and he made sure to keep the casting door open. But if Arjona did not feel comfortable trying out for this role, we would not be witnessing such a meaningful casting choice.
As a woman who grew up watching The Wiz religiously, featuring Diana Ross as Dorothy, I applaud NBC for featuring such a diverse cast. Seeing Dorothy being played by a black woman who looked like me, talked like me, and was surrounded by a family like mine taught me that any platform I wanted to stand on was possible, as long as I worked hard and fervently pursued what I wanted.
Ultimately, it’s refreshing to see Hollywood open up the platform for diverse representation on such classic stories. Not only is it important to exist in a society that welcomes diversity, but I’m hoping that when I have children, I won’t have to explain why diversity is so important. Seeing Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, and LGBTQ characters will hopefully be ordinary for them.
According to the Los Angeles Times, how Dorothy ends up in Oz will be completely different from the original story. After crashing her police car in Kansas after a stormy night, Dorothy realizes that she has killed a witch. But this time, instead of the Munchkins being happy the witch is gone, Dorothy is greeted by a group of characters who are upset the witch is dead.
Dorothy is then exiled with her dog, Toto, who is no longer the small dog we are accustomed to seeing. Toto is now a German Shepherd! After being banished, this heroine goes on a hunt to find the Wizard, but little does she know the Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) is tightening his grip on the residents of Emerald City.
We honestly can’t wait to give this show a watch – especially since encouraging diversity is truly how we Make America Great Again!