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Fans waited in anticipation for the sixth midseason premiere of The Walking Dead and so far, it doesn’t disappoint. (Spoiler) Carl getting shot and Jessie and her family’s murders were definitely shocking moments. But the real jaw-dropper didn’t come until the final scene in episode ten: Rick Grimes and Michonne together in bed.

To my surprise, Michonne, a dark-skinned warrior-like woman played by the beautiful Danai Gurira, became a White cop’s love interest. Needless to say, I didn’t see this coming. I would imagine many viewers didn’t, especially if they’ve read the comic book. Michonne was only paired with Black men and Rick, of course, only had White love interests. No matter if you’re feeling this unexpected love connection, “Richonne” is an important on-screen interracial romance.

As a Black woman, I would prefer to see more strong, Black relationships on TV. But if I have to settle for an interracial duo, this is one I don’t mind seeing. TV is increasingly using interracial relationships as a step towards diversity. Shonda Rhimes’ characters on Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are arguably the most diverse casts in a primetime slot and shy away from the picture media loves to paint: White women with attractive, successful Black men.

Now, we also have The Walking Dead, which is currently one of the highest-rated shows, delivering 12.3 million viewers for this year’s midseason premiere, stepping out of the box and placing a powerful Black woman in the arms of a White male lead character.

You might think, what’s the big deal? This certainly isn’t the first Black woman we’ve seen with a White guy on TV. But historically, there have been more images in entertainment of Black men dating outside of their race, than Black women. Not just on TV shows, but in advertising, too. So on the rare occasion I see a Black woman in a lead role get her swirl on, I can appreciate it.

Overall, The Walking Dead is a pretty diverse series with minorities in quite a few lead roles. But Rick and Michonne’s relationship was one of the best writing choices the show has made thus far. And no matter if their relationship continues to blossom into something more or turns into a thing of the past, I’m 100 percent here for it. Why? Because it shows a large audience that an interracial couple doesn’t always have to be the typical Black man, White woman scenario that I’m sure a lot of other Black women are simply tired of seeing. Hopefully, others will continue to follow suit.

Thankfully, with potential couples like Michonne and Rick, we see more writers creating a new normal.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter

Op-Ed: Why Rick & Michonne’s Relationship On “The Walking Dead” Is Appreciated  was originally published on globalgrind.com