Deggans PunditWatch: NPR asks, has TV gotten too white?
Entertainment Weekly is the latest big media outlet to broach the question in my headline, based on the lack of diversity in this coming fall's collection of new network TV shows.
But the fact is, the networks have constantly oscillated between not-so-good and really bad in terms of cast and behind the scenes diversity. And with this past season traumatized by the writer's strike and falling viewership levels, I'm not surprised at all to find that there are way more British people starring as Americans on the new network TV series than any people of color. (at left is animated character Cleveland Brown, the only person of color starring in a new network TV show -- a black character voiced by a white man)
For a while I've been telling the folks at NPR's diversity-themed program, News and Notes, that they should get together a group of us TV critics of color at the TV Critics Press Tour in Los Angeles -- there's not many of us, less than 10 out of the 250 people who attend conference every summer -- to talk about issues like this. Since the show is based in Los Angeles, it would seem an easy call.
This year, they seem ready to take the plunge, starting with a conversation on the show today about the issue, recorded before we head out to press tour next week. The audio won't be available until 4 p.m., but if you've been reading this blog for any time, you already know a lot of what I said.