Lament for a Show

shape_shifting_robots_new_scientistThe current black out on network TV has been my lament for awhile now. See here and here. I guess the “black out” could be called a “non-white out” since blacks are not the only minority group absent from network television shows.  I watched the Emmy’s last night and that point was driven home again and again. Last summer, Entertainment Weekly put out a special report, Diversity in Entertainment: Why is TV So White?

There was a Cosby Show marathon on WGN last night that my daughter and I watched. I wondered if another show with a majority black cast would ever run again and for eight thriving years. What about a show with a diverse cast? If martians watched television for any indication of life on earth, they could only assume that minorities were some freak of nature, very rare.

I’ve been Googling to see if there are any current articles on this topic and I haven’t found one yet. Are people just accepting this as a fact of the entertainment industry? For anyone who argues that there is a natural progression of racial achievement or progress, they are sadly mistaken. Gains in racial equality have to be constantly fought for and achieved over and over again. Racism and bigotry is a shape shifting creature that never lets up. I don’t want to get started on President Barack Obama and the racist rants of many of his detractors: “We want our America back!”, they scream with mouth frothing tears. These crowds make me uneasy because they are not just referring to Barack Obama when they lift up those caricatures of him as a monkey. They are referring to all those with black and brown skin. They are not just questioning his legitimacy as the president, but non-white people’s legitimacy as full citizens. There is a big gap between what I am describing in the entertainment industry and politics. However, these different spheres can be drawn like Venn diagrams.

Sorry for the rambling nature of my post.

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One thought on “Lament for a Show

  1. I agree about the overlapping spheres of the entertainment industry and politics in terms of seeing what a society values. And this post did not ramble! It drove the (sad) point home very well.

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