Coloring History

A Critical Analysis of Racial Representation in Bridgerton


  • Hannah Adriano University of Calgary



representation, politics of signification, race, post-racism, Orientalism, Bridgerton


Since its release, the Netflix show, Bridgerton, has been a hit series among its mass audiences as it harnesses an average of 103,550,000 views per season and currently holds fourth place in Netflix’s most popular English-language series (Tudum, 2024). The show has gained immense popularity not only because of its captivating plotlines but also because of the diverse cast of characters placed within the Regency Era. From this, it is critical to dissect and understand how race is represented within the show to discern the discourses being perpetuated to its viewers. Throughout this essay, I will employ Stuart Hall’s theory of representation and the politics of signification to unpack the racial representation within the Netflix show, Bridgerton, and how it reproduces colour-blind casting, interracial relationships, and dark versus light symbolism to perpetuate post-racial and Orientalist discourses. This analysis explores how colour-blind casting sustains post-racial discourses in the disguise of escapist media, which strips the Other of their lived experience. Moreover, it highlights how the depiction of interracial relationships within the show contributes to both post-racial and Orientalist discourses by placing the Occident over the Orient, and disregarding the prejudice often faced by interracial couples during that period. It further reveals how dark versus light symbolism is embedded throughout the interactions between multiple characters, which elicits the disruption of the white imaginary by Black individuals. As the show progresses and continues to release seasons that reach such large audiences, it is crucial to analyze what discourses surrounding race are being perpetuated and its potential impact on reinforcing stereotypes and misrepresenting marginalized communities.


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How to Cite

Adriano, H. (2024). Coloring History: A Critical Analysis of Racial Representation in Bridgerton . The Motley Undergraduate Journal, 2(1).



Research and Analytical Articles