This is Me

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

I Hate....

Today's entry is going to be the first in an "I Hate...." Series.

I know, I know. "Hate" is a strong word and as a Christian it really shouldn't be in my vocabulary, but I'm not talking about people, just certain businesses and their business practices, so it's okay.

So - let me tell you how much I HATE diversity.

Not real diversity. I LOVE real diversity.

I hate Hollywood's version of diversity. The "Let's appease Black folks by hiring ONE - only one - person of color to play someone's best friend or husband who doesn't really have a lot of lines" type of diversity. (Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice are irrelevant in this conversation because both shows were created by a Black woman, who is also the lead writer. Of course there's going to be diversity if we created it.)

Example #1 - 90210.

Really? A young Black teenager adopted by a mid-western white family. Is that the best you could come up with?

Executives make things so hard. They sit at their conference tables and ask each other, "How can we bring an African-American into the picture at a school where everyone is rich?"

Ummmm, why can't they just be students?

There are some wealthy Black families in the world and yes their children do attend schools like West Beverly.

Hollywood gets so caught up in the slant of the nightly news that they think we ALL live in the hood and walk to school with bullets flying past our heads.

Not all of us had rough times growing up. My mother wasn't a crackhead who birthed me in jail and my father wasn't my mother's pimp. Matter of fact, my parents celebrated their 32-year anniversary last month.

(Huh. Didn't know Black people got married.)

Example #2 - Brothers & Sisters

Granted, the movie is about a family, so if the mom and dad are white, then their offspring will be as well, but it's so funny how these "families" never come into contact with African-Americans. No co-workers, no neighbors, nothing. So what do they do to appease the minority community?

Enter Danny Glover, a possible suitor for the widowed mother who "visits" (and even speaks!) every now and then.


In sharp contrast, shows with predominately African-American casts, both past and present, 95% of the time have a recurring white supporting character. But a shows with predominately African-American casts or those that have African-American leads aren't supported by the top executives who make the major decisions. (Not to mention how those Nielsen Ratings Boxes don't seem to make their way into African-American households.)

There are too many to talk about, but the most recent example is The Game.

The CW hailed The Game as its #1 comedy at the same time they were thinking about canceling it. But when Black folks got up in arms, they didn't cancel, but moved it and Everybody Hates Chris to Fridays, essentially setting us up to fail.

*getting on my bullhorn*

"Black people! Please stay home on Friday nights to watch our shows. Even if The CW ends up canceling them, at least the actors can get one more season on their resumes and in their bank accounts. Let's support each other!"