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Is T.V. too white?

Despite Hollywood calling for equal rights and representation, its main industry seems to fall short from representing the true diversity of the United States and elsewhere. It seems like every aspect of the entertainment industry is dominated mainly by white, cisgender men.

A survey taken through 2014 to 2015 shows that 69 percent of episodes are directed by caucasian males. For first time episodic directors, 84 percent of them are caucasian male directors. Out of 30,000 Hollywood film characters, 73.1 percent are white. These statistics make it clear that we need to take more action in diversifying the entertainment industry. With Hollywood being predominately run by white men, minorities don’t have as much of a chance to express their creative works.

The United States itself is known throughout the world as a giant melting pot. Immigrants from all around the world come to the US in hope of achieving the American dream and experience equality in all aspects. However, if we just look at the entertainment industry alone, we wouldn’t be able to tell that the United States is so diverse.

A cartoon that tries to show how the United States is a melting pot is a School House Rock cartoon called“Great American Melting Pot.” But Hollywood makes the U.S. seem quite caucasian, with 90 percent of all leading characters in shows from 2016-2017. One can’t say that the US is a land of equal opportunity when minorities and women aren’t being equally represented and given the chance to be part of the entertainment industry.

Instead of hiring people of color for roles, Hollywood tends to cast white actors to play people of color. Hollywood has been continually practicing whitewashing since the beginning of the entertainment industry. In 1915, “Birth of a Nation” was released and it’s so systematically racist that they applied black face on white actors. Directors come up with outrageous excuses for whitewashing such as claiming that people of color are harder to cast because they’re not as expressive as white actors. This excuse is not only untrue but also racist. The movie “Ghost in the Shell” used a white actor instead of an Asian one as the main character.

If the United States is truly a melting pot of equal opportunity, then Hollywood will give equal opportunity for all people despite their gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

18 thoughts on “Is T.V. too white?

  • JB King

    Just as people’s need for anti-black racism to exist is so extreme they create anti-black racism hoaxes over and over, the writer has to reach back over 100 years to 1915 for an anti-black movie example.

    Being White does not make you a racist nor does being male make you a sexist. Asserting that White males just must be racist and sexist is what makes one racist and sexist.

    But tell you what, summarily fire 84% of black professional athletes so their representation is the equal you demand, thus freeing up many very talented people to take up work in the movie and TV industries to address this quota-mongering.

  • This is the subject that angers me the most. I think that this topic is the reason why we are going through a societal racial divide. If TV were becoming or was ‘too white’ how would we have these ongoing sitcoms/shows/movies that are directed and made for the benefit of people of color. Though it’s quite funny how a person of color can complain about the television being ‘too white’ yet–when a white journalist says that the ‘2019 Grammys was heavily black’ they are called out as ‘racist’. Half of this topic is completely one sided in my opinion. Because if anything the television is becoming more diverse. Social media, the food market, makeup brands, ect. are becoming very broad. Yet, again, we cancel a syrup bottle, a rice brand, and a cartoon character because they are ‘racist’. However, they were created by a person of that racial group, for the benefit of having representation in those markets. So yes, personally I firmly believe this topic is just an excuse to complain about white people. Now I know that might sound biased coming from a girl who is as white as paper, though again, I could easily say ‘I think that the TV is too black’ and be crucified for it. Is that claim true? No. Because again, the TV is extremely diverse. Might I add certain TV subscriptions like Hulu and Netflix promote, specifically, “Black Stories” and “BLM”. So with that being said, I could easily say “How is TV and subscription programs, that offer TV shows specifically about Africans, becoming or is ‘too white’”? If anything, that causes more of a racial divide. I could even ask “is TV becoming too black?”, but I can’t ask that because this topic is so completely one sided. To note as well, weren’t Hispanics and Asians ‘victims to white people’? So with that being said, shouldn’t there be columns for those races as well? Or is this just just exclusive to one solitary race? These are questions I never see being answered by the other side. Because once you ask them, like I have, you are called “a racist”. This topic is extremely hard to discuss without being called a racist because you have a better argument. Cause’ personally, I haven’t seen any valid arguments backing up that claim.

  • yes i think that t.v is way to white based but it’s not only that, its disabilities and gender, sexual orientation, religion, race

  • I mean, I would totally watch a show directed by a duck, but then the whole would just be a quack job.

  • Diversity does not matter. And if you want to get technical, it is the most diverse it’s ever been. If you go into the past, yes it’s all white BUT that was then this is now. And now you have all types of people in movies, and shows. And diversity does not matter because if you have someone playing a role and they are white they are not the white role same thing if (s)he was black or purple it does not change their role kind of like Obama and everyone making a big deal of him being brown.

  • Katherine Tai

    I agree, I also do see that the media is dominated by white cisgender men. We definitely need more diversity in industry to show that we are diverse and not just white cisgender men. Well written.

  • Luke Severs

    I think that TV is mostly white people because over 65% of Americans are white and that takes up a huge number of our population. They take up a lot of jobs because they control the population and it is less noticeable in California because we are so diverse. At the end of the day, I think you should judge people on their abilities and not their skin color and whoever will do the job better should get it. I think it’s unfair that white people get to take minority roles though in TV because it makes the actors look so fake.

  • Taylor Baptista

    I agree, the television industry is controlled by white hetersexual cisgender men and it’s very apparent in almost all shows and movies. We need more representation in the media. We always praise ourselves on how diverse we are, but don’t portray that in television.

  • Angelica

    I strongly agree, we are all humans. The film industry should use its platform to demonstrate all the various ethnicities there is in the United States. People of any gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity truly deserve to be involved and show their uniqueness. I believe that it would look beautiful to bring in more ethnicities on to tv.

  • Jenna Lynn

    I agree with everything that was said. The evidence doesn’t lie that the media is dominated by straight, white, cisgender, males. While some will say these people in the media are because the worked hard to get where they are, sure they worked hard, but they had the opportunity to work hard. It really highlights the benefits of white privelege and how our society is considered to be capitalistic, is it true capitalism if not everyone has the same opportunity to succeed in society? To be completely honest, I think it is.

  • Cece Hurtado

    I agree with this article, and I like how she gives data to further prove her point, along with actual examples of whitewashing.

  • I do agree — especially when it comes to commercials. It isn’t very often that you see minorities in commercials. A typical husband and wife are often represented by a middle aged white couple. I an say though, that things have been progressing. Awareness of this topic is spreading, and I hope the change and end racism will continue to progress.

  • I absolutely agree. I feel like everyone should have someone that they can look to on tv and relate to, and everyone regardless of race or sexual orientation should always have equal opportunities. The reality is that not everyone is a white, straight, male. If we want to move forward in society in a healthy way we need to fix things like this and make sure that every bit of diversity is shown when we want to represent America.

  • Cassie

    The excuse that diversifying movies or shows that showcase mostly white people is not enough. Often, TV shows or movies that are considered diverse contain characters that follow stereotypes, or characters that play an insignificant role. One or two shows with diverse casts are not enough.

  • Haley Barth

    Yes I do agree that most people who CREATE shows and movies are white. However, I also believe that a lot of characters in T.V. shows are played by many people from different backgrounds, race, and ethnicities. How To Get Away With Murder is a T.V. series that is played mostly by people of different races and the leading star of the show is African American. This show is a great example of this topic.

  • Shaelly Adams

    I totally agree! Some people may argue that we are slowing changing and allowing more poc to showcase their talents but we also have things like the trusty non-white sidekick, Black Entertainment, etc. Most characters of color I notice, also play off too many stereotypes. It is totally just a petty excuse 🙂

  • Steven Gil

    Yes there are a lot of white people on T.V, but this is also many cases of diversity in shows & also movies. There are more white in the majority but the minority are slowly becoming more and more in even more T.V & movies.

  • I agree we need equal representation, but the film industry was started by the white men of the time. We slowly are diversifying and allowing for more types of people to showcase their artistic ideas. It is slowly changing, but these films shouldn’t be censored that are considered racist since some contain innovations in film making.

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