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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. This driving viewership results in Watched It for the Representation.


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 Champions (1975) and starred a team of Black Widow, Hercules, Ghost Rider, Iceman and Angel—all white and, aside from Black Widow, malenote . 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 lesbian 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. Champions (2020) continued with roughly the same core cast.
  • 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), Sunfire (Japanese), Banshee (Irish), 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 (Bolivian), Naomi (African-American), Miguel of Dial H for Hero (Hispanic), the Jackson Hyde Aqualad (African-American and gay), Jinny Hex (a lesbian) as well as the extra-terrestrial Wonder Twins. The male-to-female ratio also remained roughly equal, similar to the original series.
  • The Justice League of DC Future State is far more explicitly diverse than the original lineup, with every member being an example of Affirmative Action Legacy. Whereas the original lineup featured six white characters (only one of which was a woman and another was a Human Alien) and a martian, the new lineup has Jon Kent as Superman (Bisexual), Jace Fox as Batman (Black), Yara Flor as Wonder Woman (Brazillian), Jess Chambers as the Flash (Nonbinary), Andy Curry as Aquawoman (Female), and Jo Mullein as Green Lantern (Black Female).
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    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.

    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. Return of the Jedi also has noticeably more minority actors portraying fighter pilots, while also introducing Mon Mothma as the leader of the Rebel Alliance, contrasting with older white men seen in command in the prior films.
    • 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 in The Force Awakens are played by a white woman, a black man and a Latino man, with an Asian-American actress also taking a major role in The Last Jedi. Rogue One, meanwhile, has an even more diverse lead cast than the sequels, as well as a heavily international cast with only a few actors based in the US or UK.

    Literature 
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series: The first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, had a nearly all-Caucasian cast. Riordan's follow-up series The Kane Chronicles features a biracial sibling duo as protagonists and key black and Egyptian leads, partially owing to the pantheon it's based on. The more direct Percy Jackson sequel series The Heroes of Olympus cements a more diverse track for Riordan's work, turning the main heroes into a Five-Token Band (with an Asian guy, a black girl, a Cherokee girl, and a Latino boy), and revealing that a previously introduced male character was gay, with later books and series from Riordan including more gender, ethnic, and sexually diverse characters afterward.
  • The Dark Artifices is considerably more diverse than The Mortal Instruments. The increased importance of faeries means there are quite a few non-cis pairings, there is a fully black major character (who also happens to be a transgender woman) rather than a half-white one, and there is a side plot involving a Latino Shadowhunter family, while The Mortal Instruments mostly focused on white Shadowhunter families.

    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.
  • 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.
  • A noticeable directive of Gossip Girl (2021) (according to Word of God) was to diversify the cast and setting, as its predecessor Gossip Girl (2007) was focused on white and straight characters. By contrast, this one features many more people of color in the cast and a greater emphasis on LGBTQ+ relationships.
  • How I Met Your Father: While the main cast of its parent series How I Met Your Father was comprised of white, straight people, this show is led by a woman with a friend group comprised of two white guys, an Asian lesbian, a South Asian man, and a Mexican-American woman.
  • The original iCarly had a cast of primarily white heterosexuals (Despite absurd amounts of Ho Yay). The only prominent characters of color were Principal Franklin and T-Bo, who became an Ascended Extra in the final seasons. Sam and Gibby did not return for the revival for behind-the-scenes reasons. New main characters include Harper, a pansexual black woman and Carly's new roommate; and Millicent, Freddie's mixed-race stepdaughter who, though too young for a romantic subplot, does at one point refer to one day having a "spouse" rather than a "husband". Many side characters are people of color and/or are stated/implied to be queer as well.
  • The L Word: Generation Q: While both series feature a Cast Full of Gay, The L Word had a majority-white cast while Generation Q is more racially diverse; of the main characters, two are Latina, one is an Asian trans man, and one is an Iranian-American woman. Angelica, Bette and Tina's teenage daughter (who's biracial) turns out to be queer too. Supporting characters include a Black trans man and a lesbian woman of color (she's played by a Swedish-American actress with Iranian parents, though her character's ethnicity is not stated on the show).
  • The Roseanne revival (and later, The Conners) added a great deal of diversity to the main cast: Darlene's son Mark is Camp Gay, Becky's baby-daddy Emilio is Hispanic and an undocumented immigrant, DJ is married to a black woman and has a daughter with her, and a trans woman is a recurring character. An uncharitable viewpoint is that the show wants to touch on as many social issues as possible and without nearly as much subtlety as the original series, but the minority characters became well-integrated into the show as time went on.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race UK's first series had 2 POC contestants and one (white) queen from Northern Ireland, while the rest of the cast were white Englanders. The second season upped the diversity considerably: two black queens with one being Welsh, one Asian, one Traveller, and two Scots with one being a Big Beautiful Woman (and the season winner). The third season has a few minority contestants, but most notable is the inclusion of the first cisgender woman in the entire franchise, Victoria Scone.
  • Sex and the City:
    • Prequel series The Carrie Diaries is an interesting example. 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.
    • Sequel Series And Just Like That... adds several minorities to the main characters' inner circles, such as the desi Seema Patel, the Latine Che Diaz (who is also nonbinary), and the black Lisa Todd Wexley. In-story, the characters are stepping out of their comfort zones; for example, Miranda starts wrestling with her own sexuality and feels guilt that she doesn't have any black friends.
  • 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 
  • The cast of the cancelled Command & Conquer (2013) would have been much more diverse compared to the original Command & Conquer: Generals. The United States would have been replaced by the European Union, which has generals hailing from many of its member states (including a Token Minority member from Africa), the GLA would have been turned from generic Middle Eastern Terrorists to a more international organization with generals hailing from Eastern Europe to South America (in order to avoid Unfortunate Implications), and China would have expanded into the Asia-Pacific Alliance, with generals hailing from Korea and Vietnam.
  • 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.
  • Rune Factory 5 is the first Rune Factory game to allow the player to date and eventually marry any love interest they want, regardless of gender.

    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 mixed-race characters (including Mako, Bolin, Asami, Aang's kids, and Tenzin's kids).
  • While there was certainly racial and ethnic diversity in The Proud Family that made it way ahead of its timenote , the same couldn't be said for LGBT+ representation, with queer-coded Michael being the closest thing they had to such representation. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder rectifies that by making Michael explicitly queer (more specifically, gender non-conforming), as well as introducing new characters who happen to be members of the LGBT+ communitynote .

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