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Old 07-09-2019, 10:22 AM
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I think that, historically, redheads have been over-represented in movies. And it's easy to see why: Hair color provides a quick and easy way to visually distinguish between different characters, at a glance. And this goes back long before movies: See, for instance, A Midsummer Night's Dream, where the two young couples are color-coded (the two light-haired ones end up together, and the two dark-haired ones). So if you have three characters who you want to be instantly distinguishable from each other, you can give them brown, blond, and red hair, even though redheads are nowhere near a third of the population.

But skin color is also a way that you can make characters visually distinct, and one that's been under-used in the past, due to the baggage of racism. If your three characters are a white person with dark hair, a white person with light hair, and a black person (presumably with dark hair), then they're just as distinguishable as the trio which includes the redhead. And that's a lot closer to the US's real demographic ratios. So in a way, it makes sense that red-haired characters would be replaced by black characters.