Jem & the Holograms Would Not Be Proud

Original Jem and the Holograms
Cast of Jem & the Holograms movie

I don't get upset over much that happens in Hollywood when it comes to casting. I accept the fact that they cast people that look like them. Their whole goal is to make money so if Sandra Bullock sells more tickets them Angela Bassett then she will get more roles. Simple as that. But when a Facebook friend posted a picture of the cast of the new Jem & the Holograms movie I was done!

First, let me give my politically correct statement. It is nice that these young ladies are working actresses and I'm not saying that they don't deserve the roles but I do fault the casting directors for their poor casting choices. They obviously were not trying to be true to the cartoon because they couldn't have made the cast any more racially ambiguous. I assume they confused their casting of Jem and the Holograms with casting for a Disney movie.

If you squint with your good eye you can tell which actresses are supposed to represent the Asian and Black Holograms, and since there has been no mention of an actress playing Carmen, the Mexican drummer, I'm assuming she was written out. Instead of casting actresses that represent one ethnic group it appears they wanted actresses that represent everyone so that they can sell more tickets.

The original Jem and the Holograms cartoon ran from 1985 - 1988 and those were some of the best years in t.v. cartoon history! It was nice to have a cartoon directed at teenage girls with an ethnically diverse cast. Jem and the Holograms were cool, they wore great clothes in all their 80s glory, and they made great music.

Shana of Jem and the Holograms
The band consisted of Jem, the lead singer, Kimber, Jem's sister, Aja (Asian), guitarist, Shana (African American) drummer and guitarist, and Carmen (Mexican) drummer and background vocalist. 

I was excited to come home every day to watch Jem and the Holograms. They were strong, confident, and represented what the 80s was all about. Not to mention that because the Holograms were ethnically diverse you could identify with them.

It is really sad that Hollywood continues to whitewash characters. Halle Berry as Storm, Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone are just a couple of examples in which the characters these women played were noticeably darker than them. Instead of truly celebrating and highlighting the diversity of women of color Hollywood continues to emphasize that the lighter you are, aka the more Caucasian you look, the more appealing you are to the masses.

Vlogger, Lindsay Taylor very eloquently expressed the general consensus of those that are disappointed with the Jem movie casting in the video below.

Did you grow up watching Jem and the Holograms? What are your thoughts on the movie casting?


  1. Its the question everybody is thinking How is that chick gonna pull off a Purple Dimensional Afro with Stick Straight Hair? LOL!!! Def, poor casting. And they better not mess the music up or I'm gonna have to throw tomatoes like the movie is Fozzie Bear.

    1. LaShon @ For the Love of CurlsMay 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Probably with a terrible purple wig! Smh

  2. Great article! You brought up a very good point regarding entertainment casting. I wish the studios would have done a more "blind" casting call & stayed true to the film. Jamie Chung would've made a good addition to the cast, plus she's well known from the Hangover movies. Guess we'll see how it plays out at the box office...

    1. LaShon @ For the Love of CurlsMay 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Thank you for stopping by, Jennifer! Only the box office numbers will tell if the public agrees with their casting choices.

  3. I agree...The one who plays Jem wasn't even born yet. They are so young - they can't appriciate the wave the Jem had over young girls. As a child in the 80's Jem had a huge effect and I loved the music.

  4. The casting does not look authentic or exciting at all! Hopefully we will see some changes.


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