Positivity & Diversity on TV

Postivity and Diversity on TV

I wrote a post a while back about why more Black Entertainment is choosing the small screen over the boob tube a few months ago and today I ran across this article.

Why black British drama is going online, not on TV

The article talks about narrow spectrum of blackness on TV and how despite their efforts it was very hard to get TV Networks interested. Inspired by the success of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl many other series are trying their hand at their work. The opposition TV Executives in the UK included “They’re not ready for black women. Commissioners say: ‘Can you make white people laugh?’ Or: ‘Middle England won’t like you.’”

Actor David Harewood has even encouraged Black actors to go the US because there aren’t many roles for authoritative,strong, black characters in the UK.,

Eva Longoria’s upcoming Devious Maids was nixed from the ABC line up. It received some major backlash for not showcasing Hispanic women who were successful like you would see in everyday life?

Tyler Perry also commented on the lack of uplifting diversity on TV in an ET Interview
“People don’t want the kind of positivity that was on “The Cosby Show.” So, if you look at the reality shows and the things that are going on, people don’t want that type of positivity anymore.”

Why do networks feel that this is the only available niche for minorities? Screaming, throwing bottles, flipping tables,fighting, and passed out on the jersey shore?

Where is the diversity in our network programming? I’m not talking about the stereotypical roles i.e The Sassy black friend, the smart Asian friend, and the Hispanic character you didn’t know was Hispanic until the credit came up at the end and saw their last name. In my opinion the television is one of the few places less where you can see almost ZERO diversity. My friends, my classroom, my church, the mall I shop at etc are all somewhat diverse. Everyone is not all one shape,size,ethnicity why doesn’t our programming reflect that?

So shout out Youtube for being a outlet to actually reflect real people, not just what networks want to see. I’m really excited that more people are feeling inspired and creating web series.

Here’s my favorite from the article check out and the original article:

and if you’ve seen a cool Web Series post it below or tweet it to me at @Paige_Nash!

The Underground Movement

When you think about television or shows there are very few options for black entertainment . We have The Game, Let’s Stay Together, Reed Between The Lines, Reality TV Shows, and a few token blackies in prime time TV.

(Ice Loves Coco, TI & Tiny, Carmelo & Lala, Khole & Lamar, Basketball Wives etc)

There has been an out cry from the black community. Where are the “Cosby Show“‘s of this generation? Where are the shows depicting successful couples without baby mama drama, over sexed athletes, and  petty fighting. Where are the shows that are interesting and culturally uplifting; yet still deal with real issues and topics? Where are the people like me?

They’re online.—-

About a year ago I discovered Awkward Black Girl through tumblr, and was immediately obsessed. As a fellow Awkward Black girl I loved seeing an entire show that focused on her “Adventures”. After electing Issa Rae my Spirit Animal I had a friend tell me about “BlackAndSexyTv” and The Couple and The Number.

So why are these shows on Youtube and not on the boob tube?

More Freedom

It’s clear that executives believe only “certain types of media” will be successful on television. There is a very narrow spectrum of how the Black Community is portrayed on networks. And unfortunately we usually support those “certain types” of shows.

” I think we, as black women, need to just create the media ourselves. If you have an idea, get a crew or get your friends together and make it happen. Right now, pitching your idea to a network exec or an industry liaison just isn’t working, because they have this limited perception of black women and what they THINK black women want to see on screen. I think the web is the best way to go right now, and I’ve seen a lot of GREAT shows come off of the internet”

“I didn’t see myself represented on screen, in television or film,” says Issa Rae. “I love these shows like ’30 Rock’ and ‘Parks And Recreation’ because they have this awkward humor. – Issa Rae CNN interview

I think we as a culture need to support these shows WATCH THEM, TWEET THEM, SHARE THEM. And if and when they transition to the small screen WATCH THEM. Turn off Basketball Wives and support quality programming. Stop being addicted to the trainwreck of reality tv and support the initiatives of uplifting Black Entertainment. When I was a child I watch Fresh Prince, My Wife and Kids, the Cosby Show. What will our children watch? Screaming women pulling each others weaves, and extensions out?

How many times have you been sitting somewhere and someone makes reference to a Tyler Perry movie like you’re supposed to immediately transform into Madea. I can’t name how many times I’ve said something and people of other races expected me to pull a gun out of my purse. I am not the Sassy Black friend I will not be your Wanda Sykes to your Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Black People deserve entertainment that is as multifaceted as we are. People in general deserve entertainment that is not just scripted reality tv.

Awkward Black Girl Season 2 premiers in two weeks!