Television Diversity Has Been Hit & Miss

A valiant attempt, but don't stop now.

Generally I think television does a great job of depicting Mixed relationships very well. Showing them fairly often, and most of the time doing so in a way that doesn’t make a big deal about it. I give kudos whenever I see such depictions because I think they do help the general attitudes about such couplings.

But all is not well of course. Especially when it comes to the number of minorities in leading roles on major TV shows, referring primarily to Blacks, Hispanics and Asians. The following article especially singles out NBC which has had problems before.

“Undercovers,” a glossy drama about married caterers moonlighting as spies, was positioned by NBC as more than just a glittery entry in its fall lineup when it premiered last September. The series featured two black leads — a rarity in prime-time network TV — and was the centerpiece of the network’s aggressive campaign touting its commitment to boosting diversity.

NBC trumpeted “Undercovers” as a response to opponents of the network’s merger with cable giant Comcast who contended NBC had a historically poor record when it came to placing African Americans in front of and behind the camera. But despite heavy promotion, “Undercovers” never caught on with viewers and was canceled by early November, leaving some observers to speculate that NBC’s push for more minority presence would wither.

Network honchos were reassuring. Then-diversity chief Paula Madison maintained in a February radio interview with noted sociologist Michael Eric Dyson that Comcast’s NBCUniversalwas committed to increasing diversity “in all facets of our business.…Those commitments are in writing, and they are on file with the FCC. There is no likelihood that we would revert. We’re not going to put shows on the air that are devoid of diversity.”

But little more than six months after the approval of the merger by the Federal Communications Commission, and three months after Madison retired, some of NBCUniversal’s units have come under fire as advocates claim that the company is not honoring promises that helped pave the way for the merger’s approval.

To read the full article click here. Here’s to hoping the peacock network gets it together. And the others as well.

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