Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Hard Truth About The Lack Of Diversity On TV - Hollywood is Just Not Interested In Producing Quality TV Shows With Minority Characters

I am sick and tired of the NAACP and media acting like the lack of diversity on television is some kind of shocking story. The sad truth is Hollywood keep developing that same old ghetto-ass crap black shows with the same sub-par black actors. Here's an idea - Stop recycling the same old tired stereotypical black characterizations and the same old tired, boring, stereotypical story lines - and do something really original.

I don't want to see another black reality show. I don't want to see anything with LL Cool J or Cedric the Entertainer in it. One House of Payne is enough. How about hiring Wood Harris for a pilot instead of non-actor Michael Strahan! Girlfriends was a major hit for many years, why does not one actress from that series have a development deal or another series at this point?

What white TV executive got suckered into believing that D.L. Hughley was going to be a hit as a late evening news host? How many books and screenplays by black writers never even get a first look? What in the hell ever happened to the careers of the dudes in New York Undercover? And wouldn't it be nice to see Regina Taylor or Kimberly Elise on television each week?Authors Paula Woods, Grace Edwards, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Eleanor Taylor Bland, Pamela Thomas-Graham, and my boy Chris "Nat Turner's Revenge" Chambers, all have black female detective characters that would be awesome weekly TV series. Wouldn't be wonderful to see Klea Scott, Jurnee Smollett, or Aunjanue Ellis playing a intelligent, resourceful, attractive female detective every week?

Wouldn't it be cool to see a sci-fi genre show with black folks? And I don't mean Homeboys in Outer Space. How about a black secret agent show like MI-5? What about a good old-fashioned black-themed soap opera like Dallas or Dynasty? Why is there NEVER a show with black characters like Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me or Brotherhood? Hell, I want to see a show telling what in the hell black folks were doing in the same era as the hit show, Madmen is set.

There are some many completely original projects Hollywood could develop on television for minority actors, particularly African Americans. They just aren't interested in doing that and that's a fact. It's time to stop acting like it's anything different.

9 comments:

ActsofFaithBlog March 19, 2009 at 3:06 AM  

Regina's a regular on The Unit. Black people have enough money collectively to shoot a pilot, put it on youtube if they have to and other viral promotions to get something done. We have to stop waiting for white people - and other Blacks that are thwarting progress too - to act right.

D.J. March 19, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

Ahh if wishes were horses. I too would love to see some Black Sci-fi/horror/magic on the boob tube. Tamarau due perhaps?

lincolnperry March 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

Amen to that, I don't know professor maybe I'm living in alternate universe or better yet the black bizzaro world, but Regina Taylor plays a strong assertive sista that runs the circle of wives of a elite delta force unit ran by her husband Dennis Haysbert.
Now if that whole is too domesticated for you, Tamara Taylor and Michaela Conlin both play specialists and PhDs on Bones, and Jada Pinkett Smith and Angela Bassett on both doctors on separate shows, S. Epatha Merkerson is a leuitant on Law and Order, that’s just some of the sistas...You have Rocky Carroll as head of NCIS team, Laurence Fishburne on CSI, Dule Hill on Pysch,

I see more black folks in multifaceted roles on television, than I have seen in different occupations in some of the towns I have visited across this country. We have come along way from the Good Times and the Jeffersons.

Professor Tracey March 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

@Lincoln,

I hear you brother and I am in complete agreement, but the point of the article was about black-led shows being canceled, not just black characters on predominantly white shows. Black shows with black leads mean the focus of the show surrounds the black actor week in and week out. How many shows do we have like that of quality?

Megan March 19, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

Yes, yes, YES! I've read Pamela Thomas-Graham and Grace Edwards and their characters would be great to bring to the screen.

TD1016 March 19, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

@Prof. Tracey

You asked what happen to the dudes from NY Undercover (I loved that show), well I know about one.

Malik Yoba's most recent role was in Tyler Perry's movie 'Why Did I Get Married'. He played Janet Jacksons hubby.

Michael DeLorenzo not to long ago appeared on CSI-Miami

lincolnperry March 19, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

Does cable count....Jill Scott in the 1 Ladies Detective Agency, debuts stateside 3/29, a buddy of mine in London send me the UK espisodes aired on the BBC.

Symphony March 20, 2009 at 8:07 AM  

Did you catch The View? Jezebel had a short clip of Barabara saying there 20 network shows that have a black character and "20 isn't a small number."

I guess this was in response to the NYT article because Sherri stated there are 70 pilots currently in development with a white lead and there are only 4 with a black lead.

Are all these successful actors wielding this little power? Where are their production companies full of black screen writers to create these series and dramas?

And they don't have to push garbage just because its from a black person. But man, damn near everyone in LA has a production company.

GoldenAh March 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

I just finished watching the first year of Madmen. I can only watch these cable shows on DVD. I don't have a TV.

Madmen is an excellent show - so far. From what I see in the occasional trickle of black characters, I bet these folks could write a very high quality black show. My guess is getting it approved is another story.

Hollywood thinks we exist solely to be laughed at, or for scorn and contempt. They cannot be blamed entirely, we allow it.

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