Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"I'm nobody's sassy black friend."


Nor am I "part of a 'niche' audience" called "women".

Okay, so, in reality, I am a few people's sassy black friend. However, new friends (hello, and welcome!), please do not describe me as "sassy". Also, when pointing me out to other people, do not let your first adjective about me be "black". I encourage you to employ phrases including "that funny lady" or "the one with the book" or "some weirdo" when painting the whimsical picture of insanity that is me.

Here is my inspiration for the day:

Diversity in Entertainment: Why Is TV So White?, by Jennifer Armstrong, Margeaux Watson, at EW.com via Racialicious.

and

Hollywood 'Shocker': Women Go To Movies, by Mark Harris, EW.com.

Overall, both articles totally get me and what I'm about. Until I reached this self-congratulatory mess in the first one:

That kind of color-blind casting is something teen-focused networks seem to have down pat: Nary a show has passed through ABC Family or The N without an interracial coupling or a naturally integrated cast. [Nary? Haven't the writers of this article seen Whistler? Neither have I; that's why it got cancelled.] (ABC Family's Greek even has an interracial gay couple.) Those networks' execs say it's a simple matter of economics, that their Gen-Y viewers accept — nay, expect and demand — such a reflection of their multi-cultural lives. "They're completely color-blind,'' ABC Family president Paul Lee says of younger viewers. ''We've done a lot of things wrong as a nation, but we've clearly done something right here. They embrace other cultures.'' Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that the most high-profile minority casting for the fall is on another teen show — The CW's 90210 remake, where African-American actor Tristan Wilds (The Wire) will play the central white family's adopted son. ''When we talked about how to make it more contemporary, diversity was a big part of that,'' Ostroff says. ''It feels as if it's a very modern family scenario.''


I'll dissect this pile of colorblind-crazy later. Because wow. There's nothing like two powerful white network executives (I'm assuming they are both white from their pictures) educating reporters about "diversity" and "embracing other cultures". What other cultures are you talking about, Paul Lee?

Though I do appreciate that the writers pointed out the glaring inconsistency of these statements with the facts:

That said, 8 of the 10 regulars on 90210 are white (in addition to Wilds, Ecuadorian actor Michael Steger will play a student at West Beverly High).

Michael Steger-- who is actually of Ecuadorian, Austrian, and Norwegian descent--will be playing Navid Shirazi, who is allegedly Iranian. So, good going Dawn Ostroff and friends, who follow in the steps of The L Word by killing two ethnic birds with one stone.

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1 comment:

angryyoungwoman said...

Personally (and I'm just a little white girl from the whitest town in whitesville), it bugs me when people use the term colorblind because it's not like suddenly our generation stopped seeing color--I see color, and I figure you do, too. I think our generation is more color-aware, though (and more sensitive, maybe?), in that we see people of many different colors around us--and we see that they are real people not stereotypes--so when we don't see them portrayed accurately on tv, we're going to bring it up. I hope that makes some sort of sense.