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Revamped Hollywood Reporter cover shows off Hollywood's diversity problem



hollywoodrpeorter-cover.jpgCool as it is to see new editor Janice Min shake up the old Tinseltown bible, The new Hollywood Reporter already has stepped in a big issue with its first cover -- presenting a roundtable on Oscar-contending actresses which feature no women of color.

No Janet Jackson or Thandie Newton (For Colored Girls). No room for The Help's Viola Davis or previous Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, now also in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls.

The cover reminds me why ham-handed, often-stereotypical trope like Perry's movies still find such wide acceptance among black consumers.

Beyond being the only place where you might find more than one or two black faces in a major motion picture, his films are also the only place where you might see something approximating modern black urban culture in a major film.

So perhaps the Reporter is just highlighting something we already know well if we're paying attention: Not many Oscar-level movies these days even feature a person of color in the cast.

The issue itself sounds interesting, with stories ranging from a look at how ruthless executives at Marvel Comics have been about getting their way in films to a behind-the-scenes look at Dancing with the Stars.

- The Great Late-Night Poll: An exclusive look at America's late-night viewing appetites, conducted through a widespread poll by the global research company Penn Schoen Berland in time for Conan O'Brien's debut on TBS on Nov. 8.

No surprise, Jay Leno fans are more likely to be conservative, Republican-friendly Fox News viewers, Conan O'Brien fans are more likely independent and single while David Letterman fans are more likely Democrats and divorced (of course, because the poll results so closely mirror what we might expect, I'm immediately suspicious) 

-- Twitter-to-TV Phenomenon: A look into how Hollywood is searching for the next hit from Twitter feeds. 

vanity-fair-august-2008-cover.0.0.0x0.500x680.jpeg-220x300.jpg-- Dancing With the Stars: An oral history of the show's less-than-glitzy beginnings as it celebrates its 200th episode Tuesday night. A show no one in the business wanted at first, the execs and agent involved in the decision to take a chance on the diamond in the rough describe the drama, and how it went on to become the No. 1 show on TV this fall.

Looks like The Reporter is trying to transcend status as a lapdog for the town's movie and TV studios (and they hired once of my favorite TV writers, The San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman, to serve as their TV critic).

But it would be nice to see a more inclusive view that might avoid creating another glitzy mirage aimed mostly at moving subscriptions and newsstand sales. I have high hopes for the second issue.

Of course, the Hollywood Reporter isn't the first magazine to make that mistake, either (see left).


[Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:56pm]


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