Study Finds Network TV Excludes People of Color

A new study by the NAACP has found that people of color are largely excluded from network TV–both on-screen and in off-screen roles such as directing and writing. The report argues that while some progress has been made since 1999, network TV still fails to deliver on promises of “diversity.”

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A new report from the NAACP titled “Out of Focus, Out of Sync–Take 4” shows that network television fails to offer diversity.

According to the study, there is a “critical lack of programming by, for or about people of color.” Television networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC–all of which can be seen in West Michigan–have failed to increase the number of people of color seen onscreen or in behind-the-scenes positions as creators or executives.

In response to the findings, the NAACP is calling on the networks to revisit a 2000 agreement to diversity. The organization is also calling for the establishment of a task force made up of network executives, the NAACP, and other civil rights groups.

If gains aren’t made, the NAACP has suggested that it may pursue some form of legal action such as a class action lawsuit. A boycott against an unspecified network has also been mentioned.

From the report:

“minority communities are still not adequately represented on broadcast television relative to their numbers. Qualitatively, when they are represented, their characters and storylines, by and large, remain subordinate to those of their white counterparts. Despite small gains by minority actors, Caucasian actors continue to dominate television and motion pictures as seen in the yearly data provided by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).”

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org