This morning, stars of Slumdog Millionaire Anil Kapoor (who played the Millionaire host) and Dev Patel (who played Jamal) were on Today and The View respectively and both men were, for some reason, asked to dance.
Can we take a moment to think on this? Granted, Slumdog Millionaire does include a dance number in its credits. Granted, this is probably the first time most American audiences have been exposed in any way to Bollywood traditions of explosive musical numbers (of which Slumdog’s version is the most pared down tribute to). Granted, Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford and the ladies of The View are all kinds of ridiculous. But it seems inexplicable and messed up that both Anil Kapoor (who does no dancing in the movie) and Dev Patel were asked to dance on their respective daytime spots. I know crazier ish happens on daytime television. But I’ve been thinking an awful lot about the wide gulf between visibility and power since getting back from Creating Change
this weekend, the largest queer activist conference in the country, where a workshop presenter said, “There are some people in our community who are fit to lobby, and some who are fit to sing and dance.” Kenyon Farrow, who’s on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force payroll as a Policy Institute Fellow, stunned the crowded ballroom of thousands when he called out white-led organizations in the mainstream LGBT
movement for all too often, allowing queer people of color in those spaces to only do as much. It was a welcome moment in the conference where issues of race bubbled just under the surface all weekend long, but finally demanded to be dealt with. Watch the video clip of Kapoor and Patel here