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Race & Ethnicity on TV

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On ‎08‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 4:36 PM, Neurochick said:

This is very true.  White people and the way white people do everything is seen as the norm.  I was on a commercial thread when people were commenting on that silly commercial with the rapping teacher.  People had to talk about the man's hair; I guess because it seems "strange" and "exotic" because it's not straightened.  It's braided and on top of his head.  If his hair were straight and worn the same way, I doubt people would complain.

I'm one of those who thought his hair was a bit odd.  I didn't care that it wasn't straightened, or that it was braided and on top of his head.  I just thought the way it was piled up was strange looking, with bits sticking out at different angles, and I'd think the same if he was white.  (Don't even get me started on man buns.)

Edited to add that, in general, though, I agree that white tends to be the default setting in the television and film industries, and, in addition to be far more fair, it would be so much more interesting if it weren't.

Edited by proserpina65
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Latino Drama ‘Vida’ Lands Series Order at Starz

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“Vida” is a half-hour drama series focusing on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighborhood, where they are confronted by the past and shocking truth about their mother’s identity. Veronica Osorio has been cast in the role of Emma, with Melissa Barrera playing her sister, Lyn.

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18 hours ago, possibilities said:

Am I delusional? I recall that Joy Luck Club successful back in the day.

Also, do I live in an alternate universe, where is Jackie Chan a figment of my imagination?

It's been done. Excuses are just excuses.

Along with, Sammo Hung, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat. However those were not just shows/movies with an Asian as a lead but rather a proven international superstar trying to cross them over to the American market. Which happened with some success.

If my quick google/wiki search is correct while The Joy Luck Club got the critical response it was more in the Oscar bait category and brought in around $54 million inflation adjusted dollars

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10 hours ago, Raja said:

Along with, Sammo Hung, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat. However those were not just shows/movies with an Asian as a lead but rather a proven international superstar trying to cross them over to the American market. Which happened with some success.

How do the Rush Hour and Shanghai [Noon, Knights, and up-coming Dawn] movies fir into this?

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1 hour ago, xaxat said:

I've liked ESPN's Jemele Hill for a long time. But now I really respect her for the way she has kept true to her opinion (which I happen to agree with) while the White House asks for her firing and the President demands an apology.

The man she called a "white supremacist" has said a lot worse about many other people, including the then-President.

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1 hour ago, xaxat said:

I've liked ESPN's Jemele Hill for a long time. But now I really respect her for the way she has kept true to her opinion (which I happen to agree with) while the White House asks for her firing and the President demands an apology.

An anti-Trump Political Action Committee has filed ethics charges against Huckabee for violating federal law which prevents Executive Department officials from interfering with the employment of people working for private entities.

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25 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

Great article on Jemele Hill.  A little long but worth your time.  

 

Link.

Man, it's so nice that the internet hasn't killed longform articles. Especially the well-researched, well-written ones.

As to Jemele and what she tweeted? As the old saying goes, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

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15 minutes ago, AimingforYoko said:

As to Jemele and what she tweeted? As the old saying goes, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

Agreed. For a group of people who voted for a guy because he "told it like it is" and wasn't "PC", they sure get awfully bent out of shape when somebody criticizes him, or them by extension. If Trump can dish it out, he can damn well learn to take it. 

I don't watch ESPN, simply 'cause I don't pay attention to sports in general, but that was a really interesting piece on Jemele. I felt for her and her mom with the difficulties they experienced throughout their lives. I'm glad her mother's in a better place in her life now, and I liked learning about how Jemele got interested in sports and journalism. I'm sadly not even remotely surprised to hear that both her race and her gender get some people's panties in a twist, but I love how she's responding to those sorts of stupid comments and attitudes. Wishing her all the continued success. 

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I follow Jemele on Twitter and have seen the hate she gets. I wonder if the same people who want the 6:00 p.m. Sportscenter have the same problem with celebrities appear on Sportcenter from L.A. I think stick to sports is code for get those black people off my TV. 

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On 9/10/2017 at 10:16 PM, In2You said:

I havent watched the show in a long time but I see OUAT is redoing their Rupunzel storyline. This time with a white actress. I still remember all the outrage when Alexandra Metz was cast.

http://tvline.com/2017/09/08/once-upon-a-time-season-7-rapunzel-meegan-warner/

They have Mekia Cox on this season as Tiana.  No way they would return Rapunzel with a black actress.  That would make *gasp* two black princessy types in one season.  And *gasp* they might possibly share a screen.  Can't have that....

I mean, this is ABC and even on a channel like ABC that is miles ahead progressively from, say, CBS, the WOC female multiples is distressingly low. 

Has Olivia Pope ever interacted with another black woman who wasn't her psycho mother?

At least Bailey and Cristina on Grey's had their own relationship separate from Meredith.  But the three WOC left, Bailey, Maggie and Stephanie barely ever interacted.   (And don't get me started on the terrible (lack of) romance storylines for those three, I could write a novel).

Heck, even Bow in Black-ish doesn't have any black girlfriends. But since she spends most of her time dodging insults from Ruby, I guess that counts.

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Has Olivia Pope ever interacted with another black woman who wasn't her psycho mother?

Last season Fitz was dating the FBI Director who is a Black woman. Before she and Fitz took things to the next level--as it were--she had dinner with Olivia and basically asked if Olivia would be okay with it. They're not friends though.

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Gina Rodriguez Producing Immigration Series Projects At CBS & the CW, ‘LA Story’ Reboot

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As news is still sinking in of President Trump’s decision yesterday to end the DACA program that protects undocumented immigrants who had been brought over to the U.S. as children, the CW is developing an hourlong dramedy about the family of a teenager in a similar situation. Titled Illegal, it is one of two projects Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has sold as a producer in her first development cycle under an overall deal at CBS TV Studios for her I Can & I Will Productions. The other, Have Mercy, is a medical drama at CBS based on the German format Dr. Illegal. Rodriguez executive produces both projects with I Can & I Will development executive Emily Gipson.

I Can & I Will also has other projects in the works at CBS Studios, including a series adaptation of LA Story  —   the 1991 romantic fantasy comedy-drama feature written by and starring Steve Martin and directed by Mick Jackson — in conjunction with Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films, and a drama based on the novel Flood Girls which they are executive-producing alongside Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and writer Corinne Brinkerhoff.

Illegal is written/co-executive produced by Jane the Virgin scribe Rafael Agustin based on his real-life experience. The Ecuador-born Agustin grew up in America, and it was not until high school when he learned that, like his parents, he was undocumented. Illegal is described as a light one-hour about sixteen year old Rafael. He is a charming but bumbling high school student just trying to survive puberty. But when this all-American teenager discovers that he is not American at all, his perfect Honor Roll world is turned upside down.

Agustin originally developed the project, which he referred to as “undocumented family sitcom” as a half-hour spec script at the Sundance Institute where he was an Episodic Story Lab Fellow.

Optioning the Dr. Illegal format was one of the first moves for I Can & I Will — named after an encouragement frequently used by Rodriguez’s father — made when it inked its CBS Studios deal with the goal of telling stories from underrepresented voices.

Written/executive produced by Queen Of the South co-executive producer Dailyn Rodriguez, Have Mercy centers around a Latina doctor unable to practice when she immigrates to Miami who begins work as a nurse’s assistant, but risks everything when she opens a makeshift clinic in her apartment to serve the community. Also executive producing are Intrigue Entertainment’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter who had initially optioned the format.

Edited by Dee
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46 minutes ago, feverfew said:

However, George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) is executing producer on that one, which makes me go 'hmmm'.

From what he says it's basically just a title and of course money.

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5 hours ago, feverfew said:

@jhlipton have you seen this? *squees*

HBO closes development deal with for adaption of Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death.

However, George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) is executing producer on that one, which makes me go 'hmmm'.

"Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will write and co-executive produce." and "Okorafor is set to serve as a consultant on the series." So I'm hopeful.  

Also, GRMM on SSH:

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Even now, though, some of these stories are getting it backwards, talking about how I "added" Lombardo and Mancuso. Ah, no... rather, they (and Nnedi) added me. This was their project from the start, I'm the new guy in the boat. But I'm thrilled to be here, and I'm excited to be working with Michael, Angela, Nnedi, and now Selwyn. We all share the same goal: to make this extraordinary novel into an extraordinary television series.

So, **squee** indeed!

14 hours ago, DearEvette said:

I mean, this is ABC and even on a channel like ABC that is miles ahead progressively from, say, CBS, the WOC female multiples is distressingly low.

Annalise (Viola Davis) and Michaela (Aja Naomi King) interact in every episode of HTGAWM...

Edited by jhlipton · Reason: HTGAWM
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Oh, that's good to hear. But now I'm angry at Variety for centering the story around a white man* (again). 

*I sort of get it; Martin is the more well-known name, and GoT is the biggest show on Earth right now. But still.

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5 hours ago, feverfew said:

Oh, that's good to hear. But now I'm angry at Variety for centering the story around a white man* (again). 

*I sort of get it; Martin is the more well-known name, and GoT is the biggest show on Earth right now. But still.

If Steven Spielberg was directing a film written by Milton Davis, I would expect all the headlines to be about Spielberg.   This time, I think it has a lot more to do with "Q-rating" than race.  The headlines about A Wrinkle In Time have mentioned Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey as much as, if not more than, Reese Witherspoon.

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Yeah, you're probably right, it's just ... the headlines got my hackles up: "‘Game of Thrones’ Creator George R.R. Martin’s ‘Who Fears Death?’ Adds Michael Lombardo, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds". Martin actually sounds quite reasonable in the piece.

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3 hours ago, memememe76 said:

All three lead actor Emmys went to a man of colour: Glover, Ahmed and Brown. That has to be a first, no?

In addition Donald was the first black man to win for directing a comedy series and Lena the first black woman to win for writing in a comedy series.

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And Ahmed is the first Asian man to win in an acting category.  Before him the only Asian actor to win in an acting category was Archie Panjabi.

I didn't watch the Emmys, but I was thrilled for Lena Waithe.  That episode of Master of None was hands down the best of the series.

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13 hours ago, DearEvette said:

And Ahmed is the first Asian man to win in an acting category.  Before him the only Asian actor to win in an acting category was Archie Panjabi.

It surprised me that he didn't know this. Then again, he's British and probably doesn't know all of America's social and racial history when it comes to entertainment. So never mind. 

 

20 hours ago, memememe76 said:

All three lead actor Emmys went to a man of colour: Glover, Ahmed and Brown. That has to be a first, no?

I didn't see Sterling's speech, but I heard it was great. I'll have to look it up online. 

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Sandra does not have an Emmy but Hagel does? There are legitimate Asian women deserving of an Emmy: Lucy Liu for Ally MacBeal, Yunjim Kim for Lost.

Edited by memememe76
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12 hours ago, possibilities said:

I agree, but I still cried when Lena W. gave her speech.

Thanksgiving was a "coming out" story which felt like it was my story too. I'm straight; but it was a story about real life. She earned that win. The writing was so detailed, so black, so authentic. I felt so connected to that episode I must have watched it 20 times by now, and the other episodes have been seen twice at most. I love seeing us on TV, and I am never upset with some Angela Basset.

I kept tweeting, "y'all can have your Lena [Dunham], I'm gonna stick with Waithe!"

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9 hours ago, BoogieBurns said:

The writing was so detailed, so black, so authentic.

Yup. Yup. Yup. The black Jesus on the wall, the soundtrack for the ep, those conversations around the Thanksgiving table every year.  My family has had variations of the same ones in the same tones

re: Nicole Simpson Brown during the 2006 Thanksgiving "if Nicole was black we wouldn't even be talking about this."

re: Sandra Bland during the 2016 Thanksgiving "If Sandra was white we wouldn't even be talking about this."

And can we talk about how Angela Basset just completely humanized the character of Denise's mother?  it would have been so easy to write her off as the typical parent who is homophobic because she instantly rejects her daughter's sexuality.  But her face when Denise says "I don't like to have sex with men" had so many emotions pass over it.  That entire scene in the diner when Denise comes out!  An then the scene in the kitchen where she tries to figure out where she went wrong.  Her awkwardness around the first girlfriend.  Basically every scene of her angry sipping during the various dinners whenever Denise invites the girlfriends to Thanksgiving.  And then her slow acceptance.  So funny, such sublime acting.

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3 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Yup. Yup. Yup. The black Jesus on the wall, the soundtrack for the ep, those conversations around the Thanksgiving table every year.  My family has had variations of the same ones in the same tones

re: Nicole Simpson Brown during the 2006 Thanksgiving "if Nicole was black we wouldn't even be talking about this."

re: Sandra Bland during the 2016 Thanksgiving "If Sandra was white we wouldn't even be talking about this."

And can we talk about how Angela Basset just completely humanized the character of Denise's mother?  it would have been so easy to write her off as the typical parent who is homophobic because she instantly rejects her daughter's sexuality.  But her face when Denise says "I don't like to have sex with men" had so many emotions pass over it.  That entire scene in the diner when Denise comes out!  An then the scene in the kitchen where she tries to figure out where she went wrong.  Her awkwardness around the first girlfriend.  Basically every scene of her angry sipping during the various dinners whenever Denise invites the girlfriends to Thanksgiving.  And then her slow acceptance.  So funny, such sublime acting.

Ah @Dee got there before me, but we all have the "comedic timing" aunt (or uncle) too! Made it even more real. My Thanksgivings were 14-20 people, and a Thanksgiving of 4 felt like home. That's some damn good writing. Damn good.

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On 9/18/2017 at 8:22 PM, topanga said:

It surprised me that he didn't know this. Then again, he's British and probably doesn't know all of America's social and racial history when it comes to entertainment. So never mind. 

I didn't know that either (and I'm South Asian...apparently a bad one, lol). In his speech backstage he did talk about how one person winning an award doesn't really do much in the big picture, but if more things happen one by one, then maybe we can connect the dots and come up with something -- which I think is a good point. Riz is very well spoken and VERY conscious of his heritage and ethnicity. The Night Of wasn't the greatest, but his performance in it was amazing, and his award was well-earned.

Anyway, on another topic: I watched the pilot of The Mayor, which is available On Demand and I think at ABC.com. It's good, definitely worth watching. Brandon Michael Hall is totally charming and will be a breakout star. 

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Lee Daniels Developing Pair of Drama Projects at Fox With Julian Breece, Peter Mattei

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Lee Daniels will executive produce two drama projects currently in development at Fox, Variety has learned.

The first project, titled “Victory,” is a one-hour drama set in the world of competitive gospel choirs. It tells the story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song. The project has received a put pilot commitment at the network. Julian Breece will write and executive produce, with Daniels also executive producing along with Pam Williams and Kevin Donahue. This marks Breece’s second collaboration with Daniels and Fox, having recently sold the drama project “Mason Dixon.” Breece most recently served as a co-producer on Beau Willimon’s new Hulu series “The First.”

Fox has ordered a script with a penalty attached for the the second project, “East of Hope.” The one-hour drama is described as a multi-racial soap set in an all-American working class town. It centers around two families divided by a past event, and reconnected by blood. Both tie their hopes and dreams to the high school basketball team, which they see as their ticket to a better life. Peter Mattei will write and executive produce, with Daniels, Williams, and Marc Velez also executive producing.

Edited by Dee

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I don't want to give CBS the benefit of a doubt, but there are a number of POC, in front of and behind the camera, working on their new show SWAT.

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Dear Networks:

Believe or not, Charles Barkley is not the only black person who can speak about racism and sports. Hell, I'm not sure how many black people under fifty agree with him. I'm over fifty and I sure as hell don't.

(This is when I really miss the great AA sports writer Ralph Wiley.)

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Lee Daniels Is Working On A New Series About Black Women In Journalism

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Daniels, who is the creative mind behind Empire and its sister series STAR, revealed that he's got another big show in the works, one that revolves around Black women in journalism. 

"I’m so misunderstood and it drives me batshit," he told ESSENCE. "So let me just take a moment to flip the table. It’s [the series] about black journalism, women in journalism."

Daniels remained tight-lipped about the project, but hinted that there would be familiar faces. "I can’t talk about it, but it’s two people you know," he added. "We’ve even talked about one of them today."

Edited by Dee

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I heard Lee say during an interview that people had twisted his words around in the past. Apparently he didn't make the lead in Star a white woman 'to make white people feel better about themselves.' He said he show is about healing the world. Um, okay. But I don't watch Star, so I have no idea what that means. 

 

Does anyone watch KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD? I don't mind the premise of the show, but I'm wondering if the 'angel' is just a magical Negro trope whose only purpose on the show  is to help Kevin fulfill his destiny. 

Lord, I'm having horrible flashbacks to what Sleepy Hollow became. 

Edited by topanga
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36 minutes ago, topanga said:

I heard Lee say during an interview that people had twisted his words around in the past. Apparently he didn't make the lead in Star a white woman 'to make white people feel better about themselves.' He said he show is about healing the world. Um, okay. But I don't watch Star, so I have no idea what that means.

The internet is forever.  Here is his direct quote from a NYT interview:

 

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In casting Star, the title character, amid a period of racial tumult stemming from police shootings, Mr. Daniels said, “I wanted to show a white girl that had some swag” as “part of the healing process.” He added: “I wanted white people to feel cool. I wanted them to not be made fun of. We are one.”

Still trying to figure out how casting a white actor as a lead in anything is "healing" anything. 

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Giant Misfit

Keep your comments to race and ethnicity as they relate to TELEVISION SHOWS.  If you would like to discuss social issues without TV context, please visit the Social Justice topic in Everything Else. 

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