TV

Are We Really Ready To Embrace Truly Diverse Media?

It’s TV cancellation season and along with that comes all the great new shows about diverse people- oh, wait, not this time.

It seems like the executives at some of the biggest networks (Notably, FOX and ABC) aren’t sure how to sustain TV shows that don’t include pasty white faces.The most recent example of this is the death– and quick resurrection– of the comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It set social media ablaze with people asking why a show with such important story lines and a diverse cast would get the ax so unfairly.

 

Sadly, the buck doesn’t stop there.

ABC recently announced that the Priyanka Chopra-staring drama Quantico will not return for a fourth season. They’ve also stated that the reboot of the 80’s show Greatest American Hero won’t be going forward despite its early buzz due to Indian-American actress Hannah Simone being cast in the gender-swapped lead.

We just found out that network tv isn’t ready for the first brown female superhero on tv. The Greatest American Hero won’t be on @ABCNetwork this fall.. and our hearts are broken. This would have been history making and so empowering for young girls around the world. Get loud RT pic.twitter.com/cbGuWu24pO

— Hannah Simone (@HannahSimone) May 11, 2018

Image result for hannah simone

Hannah Simone Image credit Spin.com

ABC may have canceled Quantico due to poor ratings but if that is indeed the case, take a step back and think about why people weren’t watching. Have you drawn a blank yet? The success of any show depends on a show’s promotion. If people don’t know about it, how do you expect them to watch it? When shows like Grey’s Anatomy continue to get top-notch promotion after being lead by a white female for so much time, how are you giving a fresh new show like this the proper exposure it needs? Oh, you aren’t? Yeah, thought so.

The diversity promotion curse doesn’t just stop with the big TV networks. The cable channel Syfy recently gave the boot to fan-favorite space opera series The Expanse, hailed for having multiple black actors in it’s cast. Sometimes the news writes itself.

All of the gloom aside, there is some cause for hope. The CW just picked up a reboot of the popular  90’s series Rosewell, this time set in Mexico. With the network’s explosive success of Black Lightning, things are looking better on that side of things. The second season of Netflix’s Dear White People also dropped to great fanfare. (Although, Netflix isn’t off the hook either)   

The TV landscape really does have so much further to go in not just actively creating diverse shows, but, also deciding what gets promoted and stays on our TV screens. Maybe we can learn from this mishap because what good is a really great show with really great characters if no one’s around to watch, right?  

Also Read- The Importance of Diversity in the Media By Tharushi Hetti 

Cover Image Courtesy of Glamour Magazine 

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