Is television today still in the era of segregation? I think that it is because none of the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) have enough of security of mind to have a full minority show. In an article in Time magazine, the author wrote, “Of 26 pilots for the fall, none has a minority star” (Poniewozik 1). This is a main point that I am trying to make. The only minority stars that are signed are by second-rate networks like the WB and UPN. The only two shows that will be integrated will be WB’s For Your Love, and UPN’s Grown Ups. Also, if you look at the integrated television shows that have aired, there are always distinct white and black lines. The blacks will usually be in the “hoods” and the whites live under better living conditions.
This is the way our television is, because this is the way the regular white people think. They are always stereotypical of the two races. Black, brown, red, purple yellow or whatever color the person is, they will always be discriminated against. Not just because they are not the same color as white people but also because they are different.
People complain about all the violence on the television and the sexual activity on television, but they are missing the point that kids need to learn about all races for them not to grow up and be discriminatory towards people who are different. Poniewozik also says that, minorities are best represented on workplace dramas (ER, NYPD Blue), but sitcoms, which focus more on family and society, tend to be colorless, color blind or awkwardly color conscious (Poniewozik 2). This is the networks way to think that they integrated instead of the truth that they are segregated.
In the movie Bob Roberts, directed by Tim Robbins, the color issue is also brought up, not in a sitcom style, but in the news taking the blame for the shooting of a senatorial elect. Instead of the news looking at the real story and looking beyond the hype, they took the easy way out and made the people think that the shooter was a man of dark complexion. This was a scam on the part of Bob Roberts. He was not really shot. The shooter shot two bullets into the ground, and on the news, it looked like the man of dark complexion shot Mr. Roberts. This is also an example of segregation on television; if a white man were in the front and it looked like he had shot Bob Roberts, then the people would not be so quick to judge. That is one of the big problems with people today. I think that the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) need to get more of an intergraded lineup of shows. Kids today need to learn about the lives of different people, and since television is usually their main source of learning, television must have a full view of different lifestyles. Also this is not for the kids, adults will see more minorities on television and understand the different lifestyles of people. The networks must address these issues, because in my opinion they are the people who control the thoughts and opinions of white America.
Bob Roberts. DIR. Tim Robbins. PERF. Tim Robbins.Alan Rickman. Giancaro Esposito. and Ray Wise.1992
Norton, W.W. “Riot Act.” Norton Introduction to
Literature April 19,1992
Poniewozik, James. “The Vast Whiteland.” Time July 26,1999:70