In the latest season of American Horror Story, AHS Cult, Beverly Hope’s character portrayal brought up complex issues of representation and racial stereotypes. As a black woman, I was initially excited to see a strong, outspoken black female character in the show, who wasn’t afraid to express her rage and frustration. As portrayed by Adina Porter, Beverly is a fiery journalist who becomes entangled in a dangerous cult led by the charismatic but manipulative Kai Anderson. However, as the season progressed, Beverly’s character arc took a disappointing turn, as she became increasingly docile, naive, and submissive, ultimately leading to her own demise.
Beverly’s journey in « Cult » serves as a powerful commentary on the intersectional experiences of Black women. Through her character, the show addresses issues such as workplace discrimination, racial profiling, and the double standards faced by Black women in leadership roles.
Despite the fact that none of the characters in AHS Cult were particularly likable or good examples of humanity, Beverly’s character seemed to be the only one who was forced to become more obedient and submissive as the season progressed. This perpetuated the damaging stereotype that black women are naturally docile and submissive, which is far from the truth. This depiction of Beverly’s character also overlooked the complex and nuanced experiences of black women in society, who face a multitude of challenges and obstacles in their daily lives.
As the season progressed, Beverly’s character became Ally’s assistant, which seemed to reinforce the notion that black women need white people to justify their existence. This is an outdated and harmful stereotype that has been perpetuated in popular culture for far too long. It’s time for black women to be represented in a more accurate and authentic way, and for their stories to be told without perpetuating damaging stereotypes.
Furthermore, the final episode of AHS Cult left many unanswered questions about Beverly’s motivations for killing Kai. While her actions could be seen as revenge or self-protection, the lack of clarity about her motives further perpetuates the stereotype of the « angry black woman. » It’s important for black women to be portrayed as multi-dimensional and complex characters, rather than just one-dimensional stereotypes.
In conclusion, while American Horror Story has always been known for its dark and provocative storytelling, the portrayal of Beverly Hope in AHS Cult fell short in accurately representing the complexities of black women’s experiences. It’s time for Hollywood to move beyond outdated and harmful stereotypes and start telling authentic stories about black women and their experiences.