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Love isn’t just black and white at the movies anymore

Sometimes the most remarkable changes in the movies happen without anyone noticing. Mixed race couples, which were once banned in Hollywood, seem to have become the new norm . When two characters fall in love these days , they’re often of two different races.

Just look at the interracial romances featured in mainstream releases this year: “Spider-Man: Far from Home”; “Yesterday”; “Blinded by the Light”; The Netflix thriller “Secret Obsession”; “The Sun Is Also a Star.” You could even consider the multiracial Keanu Reeves’ pairing with Ali Wong in “Always Be My Maybe” part of the trend.

When did this happen? Changes in Hollywood can never be traced to single dates. Inclusion and diversity have improved slowly in the movies in the past ten years, with major players in the industry calling for giving people of color more opportunity even before the days of #OscarsSoWhite, a movement begun in 2015 as a response to an all-white group of acting nominees at the Academy Awards.

But interracial love historically has always been treated like a controversy, hot topic or serious issue, something with which to be reckoned and wrestled. The best-known example of this is the 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” starring Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, released on the heels of the Supreme Court’s overturning of anti-miscegenation laws. But the phenomenon sees modern incarnations in a period piece like “Loving” (2016), the autobiographical culture clash of “The Big Sick” (2017); and even in Jordan Peele’s lacerating critique of white liberalism, “Get Out” (2017). Racial and cultural conflict fueled these films whereas, by contrast, 2019 was the year mixed-race coupling seemed to be just part of the cinematic furniture, not the entire narrative architecture. It’s just blending into the culture, with audiences, critics and the industry seeming not to notice.

And why

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