DiversityLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 5/16/18 at 12:18PM EDT
CBS says "we're feeling good about our diversity" next season
CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl noted that new series God Friended Me, The Neighborhood, FBI, Happy Together and Magnum P.I. all have people of color in leading roles. “We sat in front of a lot of you at (Television Critics Association press tour) and said that we were going to do it,” Kahl said. “I think quite frankly there were a lot of eye rolls, and I think if you look at the schedule, we did what we said we were going to do.”
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Jessica Jones addressing its diversity problem after showrunner admitted “there aren’t enough women of color in meaningful roles”
The Netflix series is reportedly adding four new roles, two of which are for minority women. "Jessica Jones does an excellent job of depicting its white female characters as three-dimensional people with rich, complicated interior lives," says Charles Pulliam-Moore. "But more often than not, that richness comes at the expense of the characters of color who end up being hurt or killed as a result of their connections to Jessica, Trish Walker, and Jeri Hogarth."
Posted Sunday 5/13/18 at 2:39PM EDT
Sarah Jessica Parker: Sex and the City would be a lot different today -- it would likely be less white
Parker said recently that the HBO show -- which turns 20 next month -- is very much a product of its time. "There were no women of color . . . and there was no substantial conversation about the LGBTQ community," she says, adding: "You know, this city has changed – that was 20 years ago this June – this city has changed an enormous amount politically and economically and socially and I think it would be a different show, honestly."
Posted Saturday 5/12/18 at 12:41AM EDT
Netflix's The Witcher creator responds to small backlash over her diverse writing staff
Lauren S. Hissrich is adapting the beloved Polish book series by author Andrzej Sapkowski for television. But when she posted a photo of her writing staff featuring men and women of differences races, some Witcher fans feared that the Netflix series wouldn't hew to the book's European roots. So Hissrich has taken the time to respond to them, telling them she hired based on "blind hiring."
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Is ABC ditching its reputation for diversity in wake of Roseanne's success?
Roseanne's emergence and ABC's "heartland strategy" come as Shonda Rhimes is leaving for Netflix, with Fresh Off the Boat on the bubble, and after a controversial Black-ish episode was pulled, prompting creator Kenya Barris to reportedly seek an early exit from his ABC Studios deal. "Recent signs suggest that ABC is entering a new and more complicated era" when it comes to diverse shows, says Alyssa Rosenberg, "and the network isn’t alone — the number of women and people of color creating new shows declined across the industry as a whole in the 2017-2018 television season. And it’s striking, if a little tricky to discuss, that ABC’s reputation for bold discussions of race has hit a rough patch under the leadership of Channing Dungey, who became the first African American woman to serve as president of a major broadcast television network in 2016." As Rosenberg notes, Dungey has used "the language of diversity" in trying to broaden the network's audience to appeal to so-called Heartland viewers. "So far, Dungey’s attempts to secure a broader audience have shown some success," says Rosenberg, pointing to The Good Doctor and Roseanne. ALSO: By trying to appeal to "heartland" viewers, is ABC becoming "Trump TV"?
Posted Wednesday 3/28/18 at 9:54PM EDT
Is the nostalgia TV trend a kind of backlash to TV's increasing diversity?
"Let's first get this out of the way: There are definite exceptions to the Make (White) TV Great Again trend," says Inkoo Kang, pointing to Netflix's One Day at a Time and the planned reboots of Party of Five, Roswell and Charmed. But from Will & Grace to Roseanne to Twin Peaks to Fuller House, "it's hard not to interpret the current iteration of nostalgic programming as a backlash to TV's increasing diversity — a throwback to the days of Friends and Frasier when people joked that 'NBC' stood for 'No Black Characters,'" says Kang. "Yes, these reboots and revivals comprise only a handful of the hundreds of scripted shows on the air, but many of them tend to be TV's highest-profile projects. The fact that, in their totality, they inadvertently re-entrench the normalcy of all-white casts while erasing women of color and queer people is notable and worrisome."
Posted Thursday 3/08/18 at 12:17PM EST
Jon Favreau to write and produce the live-action Star Wars TV series
Favreau has been tapped to helm the live-action Star Wars TV series for Disney's upcoming streaming service. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement this morning, saying the Iron Man and Elf director "brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.” For his part, Favreau said: "If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”
- Some fans are unhappy that "another straight white dude" was hired for Star Wars, especially on International Women's Day
- "Bad PR timing," tweeted IndieWire editor Ann Thompson. "But women have a tough time getting the experience they need to compete for plum jobs like this."
- Even movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse criticized the decision not to pick a woman
Posted Tuesday 3/06/18 at 9:38PM EST
Netflix boss rejects Frances McDormand's "inclusion riders" proposal for increased diversity
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn't a fan of the proposal McDormand championed in her Oscar speech to have stars put "inclusion riders" in contracts to ensure diversity in cast and crew. "We’re not so big on doing everything through agreements," he said. "We’re trying to do things creatively." Hastings said he'd rather see his staff speak with producers directly when it comes to diversity.
Posted Wednesday 2/28/18 at 12:25AM EST
UCLA's diversity report finds that minorities are still underrepresented on TV
The Los Angeles Times, reporting on the annual study, notes that "overall, people of color remained underrepresented, considering they were 40% of the U.S. population in 2016... On TV, 18.7% of scripted broadcast leads, 20.2% of scripted cable leads and 12.9% of scripted digital leads were people of color."
Posted Friday 2/23/18 at 1:50AM EST
What do This Is Us, Here and Now and The Fosters have in common?
They all revolve around cross-racial adoption, says Emily Nussbaum. "On Here and Now and This Is Us, cross-racial adoption feels suspiciously like a structural shortcut to a diverse cast," she says. "Not so on The Fosters, where the relationships are less stylized, more lived in, with funk and warmth and looseness that feel like real life, capturing the bickering bonds among parents and teens."
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 6:18PM EST
CBS’ rebooted Magnum P.I. is expected to star a minority actor
In addition to pursuing a non-white actor to take on the role of Thomas Magnum, the proposed reboot will replace at least one member of the original all-male team with a woman. Similarly, CBS’ reboot of Cagney and Lacey is planning to cast a non-white actress in the role of Lacey. The CW’s Charmed reboot will also have a diverse cast. “This is part of an across-the-board effort by the broadcast networks this year to have casts that represent the diverse makeup of America,” says Nellie Andreeva. “What’s more, while non-white actors had often been relegated to supporting roles in the past, judging by early buzz, some predict that we may have one of the most, if not the most diverse group of broadcast pilot leads ever.” As Andreeva notes, ABC announced last year that its Greatest American Hero is being reimagined with an Indian-American female lead.
Posted Thursday 12/21/17 at 10:23PM EST
Zendaya returned to Disney Channel because she says it lacked diversity
“The only reason I wanted to come back to the Disney Channel is because there was a lack of diversity at that time,” the K.C. Undercover star tells The New York Times. “There weren’t any leads or families of color, and I felt like that was something that needed to happen.”
Posted Thursday 12/14/17 at 9:52AM EST
ABC and CBS earned good grades for Asian-American representation, NBC got a C+
In a new report card from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, ABC scored the highest mark, a B, thanks to shows starring Asian-American actors like Fresh Off the Boat, the canceled Dr. Ken and Quantico. CBS was graded with a B- and Fox was given an “incomplete due to lack of data.
Posted Friday 11/17/17 at 7:14AM EST
Late-night’s predominantly white male hosts proved to be “woefully ill-equipped to deal” with Louis CK
“When you benefit from the same system that allows Louis CK to thrive, or when you laughed off the allegations like Jon Stewart—something he had to apologize for this week—who will take you seriously when you lash out at Louis CK?” wrote Ira Madison III, in an article published shortly before Al Franken’s sexual harassment scandal broke. “It was relatively easy for late-night to make jokes about Cosby, perhaps because they were from a different generation than him, his star had already fallen quite a bit, and because, well, they’re not black. It’s easy to make jokes when you’re an outsider, when the target isn’t someone ingrained in your life, when your success doesn’t mirror the success they’ve also enjoyed. There are plenty of R. Kelly jokes that late-night hosts have in their repertoire. Louis CK jokes, not so much.” He adds: “It’s why a diverse array of voices in late-night is so vital these days. Everyone who’s not a straight white male are the ones who’ve found themselves under attack this year, yet there are precious few people who can speak to that experience on late-night TV.”
Posted Friday 11/10/17 at 1:46PM EST
CBS Diversity Showcase is accused of being a “racist mess”
The program aimed at giving more opportunities to minorities and members of the LGBTQ community “often leaves participants feeling dejected and bullied at the hands of leaders they say view them stereotypically and insist that their work revolve around outdated racist, gender-based, or homophobic tropes,” reports Maria Elena Fernandez. The program has had success with people like Kate McKinnon, Tiffany Haddish and Randall Park, yet Fernandez reports that the program that the showcase “repeatedly defied the program’s primary purpose.”