Bridgerton season two is FINALLY confirmed and have cast Simone Ashley to play Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest. Not only is this massive news because she’s a great actress, it’s also a HUGE win for South Asian representation.

Ashley will play Kate Sharma (Kate Sheffield in the novels), who Anthony reluctantly harbours feelings for. Ashley is a British actress with an Indian/Tamil background. I’m also part Tamil, so seeing someone like Ashley gain a leading role on Bridgerton literally makes me want to squeal like a 13 year old girl at a One Direction concert.

You might recognise the actress from Sex Education where Ashley plays Olivia Hanan, one of the popular, mean girls in the series.

For many South Asians scoring a role that isn’t a stereotype is extremely rare, particularly for those that are dark-skinned. So for Ashley to have two back-to-back roles, where she transcends racial stereotypes is a huge win for diversity.

“I really believe in myself and in other dark skinned women, especially South Asian women! We are smart, we are talented and we all have something special to offer as artists!” Simone Ashley told Veylex.

The Sex Education actress has also been vocal about colourism on social media. Colourism occurs when lighter-skinned POC are favoured over darker-skinned POC.

While we are slowly seeing more diversity on our screens, the love interest roles rarely go to South Asians. It sucks, because over time you start to think you are undesirable because you aren’t being represented.

The industry will tell you that the lack of diversity is a reflection of the real world. But if that’s true how do any of plot lines from Adam Sandler movies make sense? I’m sorry but in what world does a man-child score a hot supermodel wife who doesn’t care her husband is a literal oaf?

If anything, the media influences the world around us. Including more diversity on our screens just normalises it everywhere else.

Maybe if there was more diversity on our screens, I would finally stop getting Aziz Ansari in those celebrity look-a-like quizzes. Is there really no one else I look like??? Really?

Image: Instagram / Simone Ashley