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This trope applies when a sequel, spin-off, or otherwise later installment of a work has a more diverse character makeup than its predecessor, and overall includes more racial, ethnic, sexual, or gender minorities. Ways this can go about include introducing new minority characters, giving previously one-off minorities more screentime, Passing the Torch or Changing of the Guard to an Affirmative Action Legacy to create a Five-Token Band or Multinational Team, or revealing that existing characters are minorities via Suddenly Ethnicity. Whatever mechanisms are used, the resulting cast of characters is a lot less like the existing demographic majorities (usually white, male, cis/straight, and vaguely Christian) than it was before.

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In-universe, this may be justified by moving the setting to somewhere more diverse, or having a "diversity initiative" that leads to the addition of new minority characters. This allows the story to feature stories and viewpoints from underrepresented groups that they could not have done with a homogeneous majority cast.

Out-of-universe, one reason for this is changing cultural values and public opinion, especially in societies where the Minority, Girl, and Queer Show Ghettos are falling out of vogue and minorities are seen as more "acceptable" in mainstream works. A long Sequel Gap may contribute to this. More opportunities for minority creators behind-the-scenes, especially in long-running series or franchises, can also be an avenue for this since they may also create storylines and characters that reflect them. Note, however, that this trope refers to in-universe diversity, meaning that more in-universe minorities (such as more alien races, or more fantasy counterpart cultures) also count.

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If a later installment adjusts mainly the gender ratio, see Affirmative Action Girl. Compare Adaptational Diversity, for when an adaptation, reboot, or other derivative work diversifies the existing cast, and its related tropes Race Lift, Disabled in the Adaptation, Adaptational Curves, Gender Flip and Adaptational Sexuality.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The original iteration of Bloodstrike was all white. The reboot by Tim Seeley changed things up, with the new Tag being a Latina, the new Fourplay being bisexual, the new Deadlock being Jewish, and the new Shogun being black (and possibly Buddhist.)
  • Champions (2016) was the followup to a book that ran in the 1970s and starred a team of Black Widow, Hercules, Ghost Rider, Iceman and Angel—all white and, aside from Black Widow, male. The second series uses Affirmative Action Legacy, and instead starred Kamala Khan (female Pakistani-American Muslim), Miles Morales (half-African American, half-Hispanic) Amadeus Cho (Korean-American), Sam Alexander (half-Hispanic-American), Viv Vision (female robot), Nadia Pym (female), Ironheart (female African-American), Snowguard (First Nations Canadian), Red Locust (female Hispanic-American), Patriot (African-American), Power Man (Hispanic), Falcon (Hispanic), Dust (female Afghan), Bombshell (female) and Pinpoint (East indian). A teenage, time-displaced Cyclops served as the Token White male on the team.
  • The original Runaways series had only two main characters of color, Japanese-American Nico and African-American Alex, and by the end, Nico was the sole person of color left in the cast. The second series added Latino Victor and black, genderfluid Xavin, and confirmed Karolina as a lesbian, creating one of the few mainstream superhero teams that wasn't dominated by white male characters (of which only Chase fit).
  • Teen Titans: The original series created in the sixties starred Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash. All of them are white, with Wonder Girl as the only female. After later being retooled as the "New Teen Titans" to combat Marvel's success with X-Men, this team was similarly relaunched with a more diverse roster. Robin was the only returning member and was joined by Beast Boy (Caucasian-by-birth-genetically-altered-to-green-skinned male), Raven (a half-demon female), Starfire (a female, orange-skinned extraterrestrial) and Cyborg (an African-American male).
  • X-Men was originally launched with five white characters: four men and one woman—all American. After being completely revamped in the 70s as the "All-New, All-Different X-Men'', the team's roster expanded to both different ethnicities and different nationalities, including Nightcrawler (German), Storm (Kenyan), Wolverine (Canadian), Colossus (Russian), and Thunderbird (Native American). They were later joined by Kitty Pryde (Jewish) and have only become more diverse over the years.
  • The original run of Young Avengers had only one character of color, Patriot, although it was also one of the only mainstream series to have a canonically gay couple in the main cast (one of whom is Jewish). The second volume added Latina lesbian America Chavez and black bisexual Prodigy and the nonbinary Loki tagged along for a while. Additionally, it implied Kate Bishop and Speed were bisexualnote .
  • Young Justice was originally formed with Robin, Superboy and Impulse. All white and male, and there was even an issue which parodied the "boys club" nature of the team when they were later joined by three girls: Wonder Girl, Arrowette and Secret. Again, all white. Later member Empress was African-American and the only non-white. In 2019, the book was relaunched with most of the original members and many new faces. The cast was still mostly white, but now also joined by Teen Lantern and Naomi (both African-American), Miguel of Dial H for Hero (Hispanic), as well as the extra-terrestrial Wonder Twins. The male-to-female ratio also remained roughly equal, similar to the original series.

    Films — Animation 
  • Compared to Frozen, which has an all-white cast, Frozen II has a prominent minority supporting character in the form of Lt. Destin Mattias and prominently features indigenous people. Elsa and Anna are also revealed to have Mixed Ancestry through their mother.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The four witches in The Craft consisted of three white girls and a black girl. The witches in The Craft: Legacy consist of two white girls, a black girl and a Latina girl (in the last case, she's also transgender, like the actress).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: The main films focusing on the founding members of The Avengers had mostly white casts led by men, with a Token Minority or lone woman occasionally present. The franchise has started to shift away from this in Phase Three, with Black Panther (starring a mostly-black cast) and Captain Marvel (the franchise's first female-led superhero film).
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope had an all-white human castnote  and Princess Leia as the most prominent female character in a largely male cast. Later works add more women and minorities to the mix and also become more diverse when it comes to non-humans; in A New Hope the Rebels seem to be almost exclusively humans, whereas the sequels and prequels add more and more aliens to the mix. In the case of the latter, more alien species within the Rebellion is also indicative of increasing galactic support for the movement, which was founded mainly by humans.
    • The Empire Strikes Back added token black character Lando Calrissian to the mix; the prequel trilogy added Mace Windu.
    • The Disney-produced films go for an even more racially-diverse cast, resulting in a lot more visible minorities and women onscreen. Tellingly, instead of an all-white Two Guys and a Girl setup, the main protagonists are played by a white woman, a black man, and a Latino man.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • 9-1-1 is already diverse, but the spin-off series 9-1-1: Lone Star adds even more. While all of the main cast in 9-1-1 were cis, Lone Star has Paul Strickland, a black trans man. The series also has a more racially diverse cast, with black, Muslim and Latino characters in the forefront.
  • The Carrie Diaries is an interesting example. It's a prequel series to Sex and the City and its cast is considerably more diverse than the original. But since it's a prequel and Sex has a predominantly-white cast, some viewers have joked that Carrie must have gotten racist as she got older.
  • Cobra Kai features a significantly more diverse cast than the original The Karate Kid film (of which it is a distant sequel of), where Mr. Miyagi was the only prominent non-white character, reflecting the increased diversity in the San Fernando Valley since 1984. Just within the Cobra Kai dojo itself, you have the Latino Miguel Diaz, African-American Aisha Robinson, and the Jewish Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz.
  • The superheroes of the Watchmen comic are all white and predominantly male. The main character of the Watchmen HBO series is a black woman; the cast is a diverse mix of black, white, and Asian; Laurie Blake (formerly Juspeczyk) is a much more prominent character; and Dr. Manhattan masquerades as (and thus is played by) a black man. The plot also focuses primarily on issues of racial conflict, trauma, and justice.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade's fifth addition has taken strides to be more diverse. For instance, the sourcebook Chicago by Night features several minority characters, including the city's Prince, African-American Kevin Jackson. Another NPC is a black Drag Queen who is active in the ballroomnote  scene and has his own House within that subculture.

    Video Games 
  • Golden Sun: The game is set on a world map that resembles Earth before the continents as we know them were formed, although the Fantasy Counterpart Cultures are more or less those of Earth.
    • The first game's characters are from the equivalent of Western Europe (and one from Russia).
    • The second one has those characters and adds two more from the same area, revealing one of the first ones was actually from Atteka, South America's equivalent. Two remaining characters have no corresponding origin in reality: one is from Lemuria (essentially Atlantis, but in the Indian Ocean), and the other fell from either a flying city or the moon. Among the plot-important NPCs, several Gondowans (Africans) and Hesperians (North America) appear.
    • The third game adds characters from the local equivalents of Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan, the other four being the children of the first game's heroes.
  • Featured in the Mass Effect main trilogy with Commander Shepard's love interests.
    • The first game shows two heterosexual love interests (a human male and a human female with light or brown-ish skin tones) and one bisexual/pansexual one (a monogendered alien with feminine appearance).
    • The next installment partially inverts this by keeping all six main love interests heterosexual, but plays it straight(?) by making half of them aliens (and making the sole human male love interest black). However, there are a few secret love interests that are available for both male and female Shepard (but they don't grant the love interest achievement, and all of them are either female or feminine-looking).
    • The final game uses this trope again by giving a variety of love interests of different species, genders, and sexual orientations. Also the male love interest from the first game becomes also available to the male Shepard. It also features exclusively gay characters. Notably, this is the first game where a male Shepard is able to have a male/masculine love interest.
    • The sequels also feature many more alien species on their roster. In particular, the second game's Party of Representatives kept all the species represented in the first game's (human, asari, turian, quarian, and krogan), and added a salarian, a drell, and even a geth, as well as expanding the human representation from a single class (military, essentially), to also include career criminals, mercenaries, and genetic experiments, all of whom contributed new and unique perspectives on the story and the world of the games.
  • My Candy Love:
    • The first season (High School Life) features five high-school-aged white male love interests for the female protagonist. The second season (University Life) swaps out three of them and replaces them with a male teacher of Arab descent, a male co-student/co-worker of Asian descent, and a female co-student of Indian descent (latest of which already appeared in the first season as a classmate).
    • Additionally, when the game launched, only fair skin was accessible for the protagonist. Later in Season 1 custom skin tones were added, but they did not show up in illustrations. In Season 2, custom skin tones were added as a default feature, and they also show up in illustrations starting from Season 2.
  • The Pokémon main series games. Initially, the regions were based on various parts of Japan, resulting in a mostly pale and homogeneously Japanese-ish cast with some one-off Ambiguously Brown characters like Phoebe from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
    • Starting from Pokémon Black and White (which is set in the setting's equivalent of the USA, and suitably features a larger range of skintones for its NPCs to match the US's status of a melting pot), there have been more characters who evoke real-world minorities or are just Ambiguously Brown; from those games, Lenora is the setting's equivalent of black, and Iris is the latter.
    • Pokémon X and Y introduced Character Customization, which allows the player to be darker-skinned.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon is set in the setting's equivalent of Hawaii/Polynesia, and many NPCs are suitably some variation of brown.
    • Later games have also made it a point to make characters from the first four regions (Valerie, Kabu) distinctly Asian-inspired, which makes them stand out as minorities in diverse settings.
  • The cast of The Walking Dead has always been pretty diverse race-wise (being one of the few, and definitely one of the best known, games with a black protagonist), but the first season didn't have any openly LGBT characters (except for Clementine, but her sexuality only got revealed in season four and she was likely not planned to be bisexual from the start). Later seasons added more LGBT characters:
    • The Walking Dead Season Two added Walter and Matthew, a gay couple Clem and her group meet in episode two. Sadly, this is a Bury Your Gays case, with Matthew being unceremoniously shot in the neck in the first scene he appears in, while Water gets executed at the end of the episode, which is an incredibly short lifespan, even for this series. Again, Clementine is the Player Character for this season, but her orientation isn't mentioned.
    • The Walking Dead Season Three introduces openly gay Jesus from the comic book series as a Guest-Star Party Member. This season's Player Character, Javier, is confirmed bisexual by Word of Gay, but the only instance this is explored is a brief scene in episode five, where he can flirt with Jesus. Clementine is the season's Deuteragonist, but her sexuality isn't specified and she has Ship Tease with Gabe. All three will survive the season no matter the player's choices.
    • The Walking Dead Season Four has the most openly LGBT characters in the series. Other than finally confirming Clementine as bisexual, she also gets an option to romance Violet, a lesbian, who is a prominent character. There's also James, who's an importand secondary character and is openly gay. Violet's ex girlfriend Minerva is the main antagonist of episode four and a minor one in previous episodes. Depending on playere's choices, Violet and James can survive all four episodes, and Clementine will always survive no matter what. Minerva will always die.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck:
    • In contrast to the original "canon" comic, The Homestuck Epilogues and Homestuck^2 devote a fair amount of space to trans and gender identity issues, and have several characters that are presented as cis in the original come out as trans or genderqueer.
    • Homestuck itself can be seen as this to the other MS Paint Adventures, though it's not exactly a sequel to them. While the other MS Paint Adventures have only male protagonists, Homestuck has equal gender representation, important disabled characters, a world where pretty much Everyone Is Bi, alien species that explore Bizarre Alien Sexes and Fantastic Racism, etc.

    Western Animation 
  • The Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, is more diverse than its predecessor when it comes to LGBT+ characters. Korra and Asami, who are seen holding hands and staring into each other's eyes at the end of the series on their way to the spirit world, are later confirmed in an interview to be bisexual. Other confirmed LGBTQ+ characters in the interview are Kya, Aang and Katara's daughter, and Aiwei. In contrast, none of the main characters in the predecessor are confirmed to be something other than straight. Initially, it didn't have any known LGBTQ+ characters, but Avatar Kyoshi is eventually revealed to be bisexual in the LOK comic Turf Wars and we see one of her girlfriends in her own book, The Rise of Kyoshi. The cast is also more diverse ethnicity-wise, with various characters of Mixed Ancestry (including Mako, Bolin, Asami, Aang's kids, and Tenzin's kids).

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