From where I’m standing, and in our current political climate, whitewashing a key Black character is far more disturbing than Pennywise itself.
But sadly, that isn’t the only huge misstep IT makes. The one female character, Beverly Marsh, gets the sexist treatment. While her character was bullied in the original narratives because she was poor and lived on the wrong side of town, in this new iteration it’s because she kissed a boy in a school play years before and now is branded as a slut. Original Bev was being physically abused by her father, the new Bev appears to be sexually abused by her father which reads as more piling onto the slut-shame bandwagon. To make matters worse, the new IT screenplay even concocts an entire quarry swimming scene to give Beverly the opportunity to disrobe and for all the boys to gawk at her half-naked body. The Derry township doesn’t even have a quarry. I really hoped we were beyond this level of sexualizing a very young girl to the point where an entire scene is invented to do so. It’s perverse.