Opening a casting call to any ethnicity (which poses its own challenges and doesn’t guarantee a diverse media environment) doesn’t earn you brownie points any more than being sure to develop your Black characters will make you an “issues show.” To show care, fairness, and equality towards your PoC characters does not make you an “issues show”–it makes you, at worst, close to being considerate and, at best, a show that fans of more backgrounds can enjoy without complaint.
The burn of Boyd’s lack of character development increases when you look at the other two black characters on the show. As mentioned, Magical Negro issues run deep within the show and on this week’s episode, Dr. Deaton cemented himself as the Bonnie Bennett of Teen Wolf–a character of color with supernatural abilities who exists to serve white characters–when, after a season and a half of popping up at opportune times with convenient advice, wisdom, and occasional magic, he revealed to Derek, “helping your family used to be a pretty important part of my life.” Ms. Morrell, the last hope for a well-developed Black character, has thus far turned out to be in some way related to Dr. Deaton, squashing most hope that she’s not another Bonnie in the making.
If just one of the show’s Black characters were allowed to progress into being a fully realized person it would be far easier to overlook the faults of the others. Not being able to develop all of your supporting Black characters is understandable, but when you score 0 out of 3, it’s time to step back, take a look, and maybe stop making excuses."
— I love it when TV co-correspondent Kendra James goes hard on a show. Teen Wolf is no exception. ICYMI, check out the rest of her critique here.