Goldilocks and the Three Networks

3 Aug 2003 /
Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Diversity on television

White and black characters are overrepresented, while Latino and Asian characters are underrepresented on prime-time TV, according to a recent UCLA study tracking diversity on television.

(I would say first of all that if you want to know anything about diversity, you should definitely ask someone at UCLA. They are all about diversity over there, and here’s what it leads to — “researchers” watching sitcoms with a stopwatch.)

I suspect the person leading the study — Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA — hoped to correlate economic and educational achievement, or lack thereof, with face time on TV, but his numbers don’t support that.

The overrepresentation of blacks was probably a major disappointment, and the official news release downplays that in favor of the overrepresented whites/underrepresented Latinos angle.

“Prime-time television is about much more than just the business of entertainment,” Hunt says. “It is one of the primary cultural vehicles through which we imagine the type of society we would like to have, that we believe may be possible.”

Well, bullshit, my friend. Personally, I stopped watching prime-time TV 10 years ago, when I realized I’d seen nothing but crap for 10 years before that . . . and I have to agree with George Carlin, who said that if your kid needs a role model and it’s not you, you’re both fucked.

I wonder if there’s any group getting exactly the right amount of TV representation.

These groups are overrepresented, these groups are underrepresented, but this group is juuust right . . .

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