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CathyA
9-30-11, 9:34am
I noticed there is an additional channel on our antenna-only offerings. I was watching a show on it last night with Densel Washington. Didn't think anything about it. Then a guy came on and explained that its the "new African-American network," that will spotlight black actors. I'm always seeing black actors on all of the channels I already get. This seems very strange to me.
Does that mean it would be okay for some white guy to produce an "A new WASP network" with only white actors?
I realize that there is a spanish network too. But this seems different to me since the Spanish one is a language thing. I don't understand how this other is okay, but a white's-only network wouldn't be.
What are your feelings on this?
Do you think it comes from the producers feeling that black actors aren't showcased enough? They appear on all my channels regularly. ....Just trying to understand how this is okay, but not if a white group did the same thing.

ApatheticNoMore
9-30-11, 10:25am
Do you think it comes from the producers feeling that black actors aren't showcased enough?

That's how it can be framed, but really it is because advertisers have determined they can sell products that way (if it's not cable then it is purely advertiser driven). African Americans probably do have a harder time getting roles and getting positive portrayals than others. So do many I suppose. Laughing thinking of a network for dramas featuring 50 something year olds or for love stories featuring non-media beauties (and all the people Hollywood in it's infinite triviality and superficiality forgets).

Spartana
9-30-11, 10:35am
If you look at the number of black actors compared to the number of white actors on TV at any given time, you'll see that black actors are in a ratio of something like 1:100 or greater. You may have one black actor in a cast of 10 or more white actors per each TV shows - and many shows that have large casts (like Modern Family) have no black actors at all. So I think that not only do producers want to showcase the works of black actors, but the public (of all races but probably mostly black) want greater representation and diversity to reflect the population of African-Americans in the country. This is why you have things like Black Student Unions on colleges where as you don't have white student unions. Because whites are predominately "showcased" in all areas of life to a much much greater extent then blacks and other races.

loosechickens
9-30-11, 11:51am
Over the years, as our demographics change, and whites become a minority, I feel sure we will feel the need for our own channels so that WE can be fairly represented. As Spartana said, black actors are used in far fewer numbers than their presence in the population, so I'm sure black people welcome a chance to have black actors, etc., have more of a chance to shine.....and as several said, what a nice advertising medium, which is, after all, the reason for the channel. The free market at work.

When your particular group IS the dominant group in society, "normal" is looking like you, so you hardly notice that it's YOUR group who sets the norms, because you are like a fish swimming in water and the privilege and position of your group is never even questioned. By you, but not by groups who are in the minority.

So.....in about fifty years or so, you can expect to see a "whites network", when all the plum acting jobs are going to the majority brown people. All things in time. ;-)

CathyA
9-30-11, 12:18pm
But doesn't talent need to come in to play too? There are black people in all the shows I watch. Some of them have main roles.

I have to admit though, that there are a couple black people in 2 of the shows that seem to be put there just to meet a quota, and have no talent at all and seem rather out of place in their rolls.

I just find an all-black network curious. Just as I'd find an all-white network curious.
Some of my favorite actors on various shows are black. I don't need to go to an all-black network to find good acting by blacks.
I honestly can't imagine that good black actors are being denied roles these days.

Spartana
9-30-11, 12:19pm
Maybe we should do a tally of the number of black actors and white actors on current TV shows we watch (and movies too). I only have anntenna TV so don't get much but of the TV shows I do watch I can't think of any black actors at all - except for the character who is (tongue-and-cheek) named "Token" on Southpark. Oh and Chef - although he's gone now so only Token remains as the only black character of the huge # of white characters (yes, i do know it's a cartoon :-)). Lets see: Carl on the Simpsons, Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, umm... can't think of anymore but then I do have very refined viewing habits ;-)!

Spartana
9-30-11, 12:49pm
But doesn't talent need to come in to play too? There are black people in all the shows I watch. Some of them have main roles.

I have to admit though, that there are a couple black people in 2 of the shows that seem to be put there just to meet a quota, and have no talent at all and seem rather out of place in their rolls.

I just find an all-black network curious. Just as I'd find an all-white network curious.
Some of my favorite actors on various shows are black. I don't need to go to an all-black network to find good acting by blacks.
I honestly can't imagine that good black actors are being denied roles these days.

I don't think it's so much an issue with talent, but an issue with representation. It's sort of like how you never see a guy in a commercial for a household product or tending the kids. Only women. And if they do show a guy trying to do anything domestic, they make him a bumbling idiot. More people would like to see reality based commercials and TCVshows - i.e. guys cook and clean and watch the kids and blacks actually do live on this planet in greater numbers then are shown on TV.

I did see the first ever commercial for a laundry detergent with a guy the other day. he was dressed as a hooded medevel torturer placing the clothes thru various torture devices like the rack (stretch), etc.. to show what clothes go thru if you don't use the right detergent. Very funny but, again, I'd like to see guys depicted in a real way.

CathyA
9-30-11, 1:04pm
Okay, here's a list of some of the shows I watch:
Criminal mind - a black lead
L&O SVU - a black lead ( and LOTS of black criminals.....hahaha)
The Good Wife - several black lawyers
Harry's Law - one black main actor in last season with lots of other blacks (criminals, mostly)....but hey.......those are roles, too, right?
CSI NY, Black lead
Body of Proof - black medical examiner
Old Law and Order - black male detective, black female sergeant
Numbers - black male detective
NCIS- LA, black lead
Cold Case - black detective

In my recently taken-off the air soap opera, they had at least 5 blacks in main roles all the time.
I could go on and on. And this isn't mentioning all of the lesser roles on these shows in which blacks are.
This is why I don't understand the need for an all-black network.
In my experience with TV, there are tons of blacks in various roles, many of them in very respectable positions.

Spartana
9-30-11, 1:28pm
Okay, here's a list of some of the shows I watch:
.
In my experience with TV, there are tons of blacks in various roles, many of them in very respectable positions.

but you need to put them in a ratio to the number of white actors in a show. For instance: Criminal Minds - one black actor and approx. 5 or 6 white actors. L&O: SVU - one black actor and many white actors. So it's not just "is there a black actor on a show" it's "what is the propotion of black actors to white actors on a show". Like Southpark's joke satire of naming it's only black character "Token" - it implies that, yes there are black actors on TV, but usually just one and that's a token. So for instance, most of the shows I've seen on TV and the movies will often have only one black main actor and sometimes dozens of white actors. Ratios which don't usually depict real life.

As for my tally of main, recurring black actors on the shows I watch here it is: besides the shows I mentioned in my other post (Simpsons, Southpark, Family Guy and American Dad - 3 black characters in total amonst dozens of white characters - and a few space aliens :-)) I also watch SVU and Criminal Minds (2 black actors total with a dozen white actors), Supernatural (no blacks approx. 4 whites), Fringe (one black approx. 8 whites and a cow), The one with the astro-nerds (no blacks approx. 6 whites), and other's that I don't watch but have seen like Modern Family (no blacks numourous whites), The Middle (no blacks numerous whites), most of the L & O regular cast... and well, can't think of anymore right now but to me, there seems to be much less than 10% of blacks in the average TV showor movie compared to the percentage of white actors.

Alan
9-30-11, 1:33pm
BET has been around for years. This sounds like more of the same.

Spartana
9-30-11, 2:03pm
I just read tyhat there are 27 new shows that debut this season on Prime Time (I'm assuming that's CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc...) and almost none have black actors - or only one. A few other primetime shows I can think of that have fairly large white casts but with either one or no black actors: Greys Anatomy. Desperate Housewives. Two and a half men. Will think of more... Castle. Cougar Town. The Mentalist.

Actually just looked thru all the TV shows for 2011 and there were very few with even one main black actor.

JaneV2.0
9-30-11, 6:28pm
Back in the seventies, when people who weren't lily-white were just beginning to appear on TV, one of my co-workers made it a point to complain about seeing "too many" people of color (words to that effect) on programs he watched. I wondered out loud how people made to feel invisible for all those years must feel about finally seeing people like themselves on screen. Really, I shouldn't have bothered responding. I'm sure it didn't make the tiniest dent in his overweening sense of white privilege.

ETA: there are a million channels on cable that I don't watch. It's easy to flip on by.

redfox
9-30-11, 6:53pm
Why would a show dedicated to African Americans need justification?

Alan
9-30-11, 6:57pm
Why would a show dedicated to African Americans need justification?
It shouldn't, as long as you can honestly say that a network dedicated to caucasians would not as well.

loosechickens
9-30-11, 7:27pm
"Back in the seventies, when people who weren't lily-white were just beginning to appear on TV, one of my co-workers made it a point to complain about seeing "too many" people of color (words to that effect) on programs he watched. I wondered out loud how people made to feel invisible for all those years must feel about finally seeing people like themselves on screen. Really, I shouldn't have bothered responding. I'm sure it didn't make the tiniest dent in his overweening sense of white privilege." (JaneV)
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Back around that time, and even later, my mother (now deceased) used to watch the Young and the Restless, and that's about the time they began to have some black actors and actresses.......She FUMED about it. And, when I tried to get out of her why (as though I didn't know), she said, "Well, I just don't have anything in COMMON with those people", and I replied.....yeah, I can see what you mean. One of them is a doctor, another is a famous model, the guy owns a company......what WOULD they have in common with an elderly white lady housewife? I can see what you mean.........of course, she didn't get the irony, and it whizzed right over her head.

Alan, when we whites become a minority in this country, and most of the parts and most of the advertising is devoted to black hair products and Hispanic interests, and we're seeing fewer and fewer white people on the programs, I'm sure we will not only WANT, but be able to have "our own network".

But as long as we are the dominant group in the society, that's not likely to happen, because almost all of the TV and movies IS pretty much "white", except for the very recent addition, finally, of some actors of color, playing anything other than a maid, janitor or gardener.

One perennial complaint by most actors of color is that they are only cast in "ethnic roles". There was an interesting interview with a Latina actress today on NPR who just turned 80 years old......she talked about all the years that she was only cast in "ethnic" roles, and virtually every character she played had to have an accent.....as she said, "oh, the number of times I played an Indian girl", or one of the wives of the King of Siam.......as though if you were dark, it wouldn't be believeable that YOU were the female lead, or the girl next door who the main character fell in love with. It just wasn't done.

It's only been VERY recently that TV and movies have used actors of color in any other than roles that were written for a minority character. It's not been like the detective, or the doctor or the attorney were ever black or Hispanic unless their ethnicity was part of the story line. That is changing, certainly, but only slowly.

Even on the news networks, SO often, the black person is sent to cover stories in Africa (if I see poor Charlayne Hunter-Gault in one more African village), or the Hispanic news person is sent to cover the Hispanic holiday celebration.........our stereotypes are dying, but not nearly fast enough.........

It's an interesting straw man type of argument to argue why there can't be a "white network" but it's pretty hard for the dominant group in society to portray themselves as not getting their fair share (not that it stops some of them from whining, hahahaha)

JaneV2.0
9-30-11, 7:28pm
It's obvious that most networks here are dedicated to Caucasians. I'm sure Bounce doesn't ban white performers, just as Lifetime ("the source for women's entertainment") doesn't ban men.

Alan
9-30-11, 7:54pm
Those were the responses I expected.

Loosechickens, there's no straw man argument, suggestion of un-fairness or whining, just a question regarding the possibility of double standards. Thanks for being consistent.

JaneV2.0, it occurs to me that it would only be obvious if a network advertised themselves as a "caucasian network", and if it did, it would be soundly ridiculed here dontcha think?

loosechickens
9-30-11, 8:16pm
Peggy McIntosh, who has written widely on racial privilege, listed 50 points in evidence of the "invisible" white privilege, in which most of us white people walk around.

When we find ourselves in a distinct enough minority that many or most of these privileges no longer apply to us, or only partially, then it will be appropriate for us to want a "caucasian" channel. Up until that point, we can rest pretty much secure in the fact that most ALL of the channels are really for US, with only minor incursions of others. Some of those "others" may now be appearing on "our" channels, but not all that often, not driving the narrative and not with the advertising aimed at them.....hence, no real need (yet) for us to have a special channel......

for your interest, here is Ms. McIntosh's list of the privileged air in which most of us whites walk around:

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.

17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.

18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.

19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.

29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.

30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.

31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.

32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.

33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.

34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.

35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.

37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.

38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.

43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.

44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.

45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.

46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.

49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.

50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

Alan
10-1-11, 6:38am
I had temporarily forgotten that liberals live in, and perpetuate, an "us and them" world. Thanks for the reminder.

creaker
10-1-11, 6:48am
I had temporarily forgotten that liberals live in, and perpetuate, an "us and them" world. Thanks for the reminder.

And apparently so do not-liberals. Some, at least.

Miss Cellane
10-1-11, 9:12am
Last year, the show "Detroit" had two black actors as leads. It was a good show, unfortunately it only lasted one season.

I watch a lot of science fiction TV shows and I do have to say that they tend to be very inclusive in their casting--even Star Trek (the original series) back in the 1960s had a multi-ethnic, multi-racial cast, and newer shows do as well.

I remember there was a big push some years back by black actors to increase their numbers in regular TV shows, and I think it helped. But there's still a big gap to close.

CathyA
10-1-11, 10:37am
So do most of you think there are a great number of black actors out there, and they're just not being hired?
Do you think a good black actor would be chosen over a bad white actor and visa versa? I guess we won't really know. All I know is there's a bunch of great black actors on the shows I watch. I also know that some bad ones are on a couple of other good shows and I've wondered if its a matter of hiring a black actor, no matter what his talents are, just to look like they're not being racist. Maybe there are just more white people wanting to be actors? I just don't know.

I would imagine it would be impossible to know why this is the way it is, for certain. But it does bother me that a certain ethnic group might want to focus on just members of their ethnicity, and its acceptable. But if another certain ethnic group does it, its considered outrageously bigoted.
And maybe it does boil down to my being caucasian and not understanding how another ethnic group feels. I can only say what I've noticed. And I would never want TV or movies to hire people based on something other than their talent.

loosechickens
10-1-11, 11:39am
My best guess, Cathy, is that because you ARE caucasian, you are, like most of the rest of us, kind of oblivious to the fact that TV and movies are more overwhelming caucasian than numbers in the population might indicate, and since our own group is both the dominant one in this country, and the group that defines our culture, we really don't see how many groups, who are NOT the dominant group, feel excluded.

It is starting to change. But black actors, Hispanic actors and others have had a hard road to reach to get "normal" roles, that were not specifically "ethnic" roles. It would be nice if actors were chosen for no other reason than that they auditioned and were the best, but at the moment, casting directors still have to be concerned if they choose, say, a black actor, and the script calls for a love interest, and the woman involved is white. There are areas of the country, and segments of our population that are offended by that, and rating suffer. It's just easier for casting directors to make safer choices.

We are starting to see some black, Hispanic and Asian actors being cast in ordinary roles, where the script isn't written specifically for a black, Hispanic or Asian actor, but it's a slow process, and actors of color feel they have a huge burden between them and a level playing field in being chosen for a part.

It is not considered bigoted if a minority focuses on their own ethnicity, race, etc., but when the dominant group in society does it, when society is already arranged for that group to represent the culture, it would be kind of bigoted, since they already have a share of the pie greatly in excess of their "fair" amount.

I'd never want TV or movie people to choose actors on anything other than their acting ability. But that day has not yet arrived, and until it does, those folks who feel somewhat excluded will look for avenues where their talents can shine.

And with our free market, advertisers will be eager to exploit that market niche. When the time comes where white people in this country are a small minority, and no longer drive the bus, call the shots and are the decision makers, I'm sure we'll want our own venues where we can feel we have a fair chance, too. But, at the moment, it's all pretty much arranged with the playing field tilted in our favor, so no need.

cmartin329
10-1-11, 1:24pm
I think all of this is outrageous to slam a TV network that you DON’T have to watch.
I guess it,s true that racism in america is live and well.
It’s too bad and sad that in 2011 we are still dealing with these types self defeating views.
One of these day’s some of you will wakeup to the fact that it’s the U.S. vs the world and we need every american regardless of race, gender, and ect. that we can get.
It is a foolish man that makes enemies where there are NONE!
Aren’t we acting a little foolish.

CathyA
10-1-11, 1:55pm
Aren't we acting a little outraged at my just wanting to have a discussion about it? We don't actually have to talk about anything at all. But I was thinking this is what most of the forum is about. (discussion about issues). You're showing more anger than I have about this.

cmartin329
10-1-11, 2:46pm
Cathy I am very sorry that was not directed towards you. It was directed towards attitudes such as alan's. With all of the chioces that the majority has, to complain about the 3 or 4 statiions targeted to an under served population is in my opinion outragous. Again I'm very sorry and didn't mean to offend good people like yourself.
But, people with alan' s point of view I stand by my comments.
This view it's not about the network it's about the target population.
It's about race.
If the taget population was anything other than afro-amercian nobody would care.

Alan
10-1-11, 3:10pm
Cathy I am very sorry that was not directed towards you. It was directed towards attitudes such as alan's. With all of the chioces that the majority has, to complain about the 3 or 4 statiions targeted to an under served population is in my opinion outragous. Again I'm very sorry and didn't mean to offend good people like yourself.
But, people with alan' s point of view I stand by my comments.
This view it's not about the network it's about the target population.
It's about race.
If the taget population was anything other than afro-amercian nobody would care.

cmartin329, I'm not sure what point of view I've made other than to point out what seems to me to be a double standard from certain folks who decide if something is appropriate or not depending upon the race of the participants. Please point out where I've complained about a station, it's target population or it's programming.

If I have any complaint at all, it's how certain segments of our population (not racial segments but philosophical segments) perpetuate the separation of races, oftentimes simply to show their superior empathy for society's victims, which is something you can't do without a victim or under class.

You can disagree with that if you wish, but at least get my opinions directly from me rather than subject us to your unfounded representation of what I, or anyone else, believe based upon a few sentances on an anonymous discussion board.

By the way, are you new here or an old member under a new identity?

cmartin329
10-1-11, 3:28pm
Got to go shopping with wife. Glad you replied.
We are going to have a lot fun.

peggy
10-1-11, 3:55pm
So do most of you think there are a great number of black actors out there, and they're just not being hired?
Do you think a good black actor would be chosen over a bad white actor and visa versa? I guess we won't really know. All I know is there's a bunch of great black actors on the shows I watch. I also know that some bad ones are on a couple of other good shows and I've wondered if its a matter of hiring a black actor, no matter what his talents are, just to look like they're not being racist. Maybe there are just more white people wanting to be actors? I just don't know.

I would imagine it would be impossible to know why this is the way it is, for certain. But it does bother me that a certain ethnic group might want to focus on just members of their ethnicity, and its acceptable. But if another certain ethnic group does it, its considered outrageously bigoted.
And maybe it does boil down to my being caucasian and not understanding how another ethnic group feels. I can only say what I've noticed. And I would never want TV or movies to hire people based on something other than their talent.

Yes, yes, and we do know. My son is an actor and we discuss this topic fairly often. When we discuss it though, we discuss not only blacks but women, or fat people, or anyone who doesn't look like Hollywood's version of 'everyone'. My son, fortunately for him, does look like the 'hollywood good looking guy next door', so is fairly successful, but he has actor friends who don't quite fit the demographics so he sees them struggling. Blacks, no matter how good an actor, will struggle because there are limited roles for them. He tells me when the casting director calls, they have a pretty specific actor in mind. So tall and this age and this ethnic. Sometimes they even specify eye or hair color because the writer specified these things. And their market test tell them just how many blonds, or blacks to put in a commercial or show. For women it's also very difficult, but that is a different discussion. He, as an actor, has no problem with blacks having their own channel. He knows how it really is. More power to them.

Spartana
10-4-11, 11:25am
So do most of you think there are a great number of black actors out there, and they're just not being hired?
Do you think a good black actor would be chosen over a bad white actor and visa versa?

I think there ARE alot of black actors out there just not roles for them. Writers, producers, directors, et al are the ones who make decisions about what with actor should fill which role - often to rflect the products being advertized (which pay the bills). So if they are going to be advertizing to a mostly white audience, then that's probably who they will cast in their shows. And while I think they do a much better job of casting for multi-racial and gender than in the past, they still don't hire blacks in proportion to whites. Even in a show with a very large cast like "Lost". Of the approx. 10,000 people in "Lost" (hyperbole intended :-)!) they had 3 black actors, 2 of which were "sort-of" killed off pretty quickly. You rarely, anymore, see shows with a majority of black cast members EXCEPT on places like BET & Bounce. Shows like The Crosby Show, Fresh prince of Belaire, Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford & Son, etc... are rare now even though they were hughly popular. So i don't blame people of color for having a network that depicts "their" reality as well as hires a greater number of blacks. I mean, if you were black, how would you feel if every time you turn on a TV show or watch a movie, you see nothing but an endless sea of white faces - with an occasional black face - on every single channel 24 hours a day, day after day after day. Or shows that depicted you as nothing more than rappers or gangsters - or rapper gangsters. You'd probably long for a network that represented you and real people like you instead of dated stereotypes too.

jp1
10-6-11, 7:10pm
If I have any complaint at all, it's how certain segments of our population (not racial segments but philosophical segments) perpetuate the separation of races, oftentimes simply to show their superior empathy for society's victims, which is something you can't do without a victim or under class.

I'm curious. So are you saying

1) society doesn't have victims.
2) society does have victims but it's not necessary to show empathy to them because that only harms them (and if so, how does it harm them?)
3) society does have victims but it's not necessary to show empathy to them because it's not necessary to do so for (insert reason here)
4) something else

Based on your posts in this thread and the gay marriage threads I'm guessing #1, but I'll let you tell us.

As far as the original topic of this thread I personally don't care one way or the other whether there's a tv channel dedicated on highlighting black actors. There are way more then enough tv stations out there to watch. Not being black I'm not willing to watch this station if I don't have interest in the programing. If I do I will. Obviously, as with all tv networks, this one was created with a goal of making money. The people who created it must think there are enough black people out there who will watch it either because 1) there's enough talented black actors to make the programming good or, 2) there's enough black people who feel marginalized by mainstream tv that they'll watch even if the acting quality isn't as good as on the non-focused networks.

Alan
10-7-11, 5:25am
I'm curious. So are you saying

1) society doesn't have victims.
2) society does have victims but it's not necessary to show empathy to them because that only harms them (and if so, how does it harm them?)
3) society does have victims but it's not necessary to show empathy to them because it's not necessary to do so for (insert reason here)
4) something else

Based on your posts in this thread and the gay marriage threads I'm guessing #1, but I'll let you tell us.


If I were to boil it down to a single point that everyone could easily comprehend it would be that I believe in the promise of a color blind society. It would appear that others who give the notion lip service, do not.

iris lily
10-7-11, 6:51am
I look at this type of thing as niche marketing rather than victim appeasement. With the 20,000 cable stations out there let them target my demographic, fine with me.

I don't like crime shows and cop shows and seldom see black faces on network tv other than advertisements, for which we see a fair number. I had actually forgotten that there are African American actors on The Good Wife which is the only network drama I watch. hmmm, are there really? The lead guy in the takeover of Alicia's firm last season--he was black, I think. But otherwise not so much. But there is that uber cool brown skinned woman Kalinda who kicks *ss.

On network I watch a few comedies which are lily white: Modern Family, The Middle, Parks and Rec, the nerds. One of those nerds is brown skinned, I will point out. Modern Family has the delicious gay couple, so funny! Everyone loves them. But they are not black.:( ;)

Breaking Bad has a very interesting black character, Gus, the drug mastermind. He is in an atypical African-American role, there's nothing --not one thing--ghetto drug dealer about him. But of course, that show has spectacular writing and I would bet that the writers wanted a black man to turn our perceptions of drug dealer on our heads.

Occasionally I received a women's clothing catalog targeted to African Americans. It's my zip code, I suppose. It's just capitalism, chill everyone.

JaneV2.0
10-7-11, 9:03am
"If I were to boil it down to a single point that everyone could easily comprehend it would be that I believe in the promise of a color blind society. It would appear that others who give the notion lip service, do not."

I don't see how you get from A to B, and anyway, who promised us a "color blind society?" Lots of luck with that. Martin Luther King included one in his vision, but he also longed for a day when the content of one's character was what really mattered. I don't give the notion lip service; I say it's a pipe dream. Call me a cynic.

I note Ron Paul cited the CBS as a reason for voting against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After all, poll taxes and other frank voter disenfranchisement didn't affect him, ergo it didn't exist. So I guess that's the logic at work here.

JaneV2.0
10-7-11, 12:13pm
"I look at this type of thing as niche marketing rather than victim appeasement. With the 20,000 cable stations out there let them target my demographic, fine with me."

Likewise. If there isn't an audience, there won't be sponsors. So far, it's clear my demographic (I'd be riveted by the Microscopic Life Channel, the Underwater Photography Channel, and the Learn a New Language Channel) isn't a money maker.

jp1
10-8-11, 9:17am
If I were to boil it down to a single point that everyone could easily comprehend it would be that I believe in the promise of a color blind society. It would appear that others who give the notion lip service, do not.

I'm curious what exactly you mean by color blind society. The reality right now is that there are substantial differences between black people and white people. On pretty much any category one might choose, from income, to life expectancy, to education level attained, etc, black people fare far worse then white people, on average. Is your believe that if we all were able to simply ignore race those discrepancies will disappear?

Alan
10-8-11, 10:07am
I'm curious what exactly you mean by color blind society. The reality right now is that there are substantial differences between black people and white people. On pretty much any category one might choose, from income, to life expectancy, to education level attained, etc, black people fare far worse then white people, on average. Is your believe that if we all were able to simply ignore race those discrepancies will disappear?
Not overnight, but yes, within a generation or two.

Too bad we won't allow that to happen.

peggy
10-8-11, 12:01pm
It's animal nature to establish and maintain a pecking order. Chickens do it, dogs do it, and people do it. But, being of superior intelligence, we recognize this base instinct in ourselves and work to maintain some level of equal opportunity. That's what anti-discrimination laws are all about. Just 'ignoring' it won't make it go away.
And trying to play the socialist card won't work. Yes, yes we all know people aren't equal, and no one is saying we are or should be. But all people should be given the opportunity to 'show their stuff' so to speak, and not be hampered at the start by simply the color of their skin.
But, having said that, tv is supported by advertisers. Free market and all that. If they can get the sponsors and audience for an all black channel then more power to them. if they could get the market for 50 all black channels then we'd have 50 all black channels.
Now, how about pregnant women? How often do you see pregnant women unless the focus of the show/comercial is pregnant women. Or people with glasses? Or fat people? There is one show I know of featuring fat people and from what I've seen (I don't really watch it) it's nothing but wall to wall fat jokes.