Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Fox Won’t Take Racially Problematic Scenes Out Of Pilot For ‘Dads’ Sitcom

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

(Atlantic Wire) Despite the requests of an Asian American media watchdog group—plus bad press from all corners—Fox has no plans to replace offensive scenes in the pilot of the Seth MacFarlane-produced fall sitcom Dads.

The Hollywood Reporter reports today that Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley have responded to complaints issued by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans' Guy Aoki about racist stereotypes in the show. In their letter, Reilly and Earley make no mention of reshoots and ask Aoki, whose organization contacted the network last week, to give the show a chance to develop, and explaining that actress Brenda Song's character—an Asian-American woman working at a video game company—"is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys." (In the series pilot, the show's leads have Song's character dress up like a sexy school girl and giggle to woo Chinese investors.)

Other scenes in the pilot for the show, which centers on the relationship between two video game developers (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) and their socially awkward dads, contain offenses including a character's use of the word "Oriental" and a series of jokes about the size of a Chinese man's penis. In their letter, Reilly and Earley write that Dads "…is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries – sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations, adding that "…everyone involved with 'Dads' is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and 'earns' its audaciousness." (And, of course, earns money: The CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, which was also slammed for its racist portrayal of Han Lee, a Korean-born owner of a Brooklyn diner, ended up being a ratings success for the network.)

Some people just aren't buying these sorts of defenses of the show or its humor. As Melissa Maerzexplained in an essay for Entertainment Weekly, the problem with the pilot is that it's not actually poking fun at stereotypes, it's asking the audience to laugh with and embrace them. Even Song's character doesn't seem to care about the way she is dehumanized. "This kind of silent compliance might be the most dangerous part of Dads," Maerz writes. "It’s not just that racist jokes go totally unchecked, it’s that the people who are the butt of those jokes end up playing along, just to show everyone that it’s okay." The show also, as other critics have pointed out, just isn't funny.

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Jennifer Lopez Takes On Executive Role For Latin Tv Network

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013


(Contact Music) The On the Floor hitmaker became a minority shareholder in the English-language NuvoTvchannel last year (12), and now she's been promoted to take charge of programming and marketing as the company prepares to be re-launched in July (13).

She tells, "A network that reflects the modern Latino experience, but in English, must have the quality that everybody has."

Lopez will feature on-camera in two upcoming shows for NuvoTv - a special 90-minute Tvbiography and a new behind-the-scenes series, titled Gotta Dance, focusing on the dancers who recently accompanied the superstar on her world tour.

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Eva Longoria’s Devious Maids Is a Wasted Opportunity

Sunday, May 5th, 2013


(Huffington Post) Holy stereotypes, Batman! Have you seen the teaser trailer for Eva Longoria's new Lifetime series,Devious Maids?

The minute-long trailer manages to efficiently portray Latinas as hypersexual, nosy, scheming and, at times, totally invisible domestic servants, one set of pushed-up breasts, devilishly squinted eyes and sassy hair flip at a time. What the trailer doesn't do, however, is allude to the supposed actual premise of the show. According to, the show is supposed to center on "a close-knit group of maids who are bonded together by their jobs, life struggles and the melodramatic 'upstairs-downstairs' universe that engulfs their employers." This formula, the network promises, will paint class warfare both fun and dirty! Because, you know, class warfare has always been so very boring. Thanks, Lifetime!

That being said, Devious Maids seems to be a wasted opportunity. The series is the first mainstream, English-language television drama featuring five Latina main characters, which is — for better or for worse — a novel concept even in this day and age. Not novel, however, is the fact that all — count 'em, all! — of the main characters play "devious" maids. It just all seems like a missed opportunity to diversify the roles played by Latinas.

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ABC News Poaches Black Anchor From CBS

Friday, April 5th, 2013


(The Root) ABC News officially named CBS correspondent Byron Pitts as an anchor and its chief national correspondent Monday, moving Pitts to a network where "diversity is as important as it is to me" and leaving one, he told Journal-isms, that has lost half the number of black correspondents it had when he arrived 16 years ago.

"I don't think any news organization is where it should be, but the people at ABC are at least talking the talk and making efforts to walk the walk," Pitts said by telephone.

As chief national correspondent, Pitts said, he will be covering the nation's major stories. It is a title held by no other person of color at the other networks. Two weeks ago, Jeff Zucker, new president of CNN, said he was excited that Jake Tapper, who is white, will be "the face" of CNN. At that network, John King is chief national correspondent. (Jim Avila, also at ABC, is senior national correspondent and told Journal-isms he is the the first full time Hispanic White House correspondent at a major network.)

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George Lopez jokes “Argo” star Ben Affleck “our finest Latino actor right now”

Monday, February 25th, 2013


(CBS News) George Lopez has built a career finding humor in just about everything, from politics to his Hispanic roots.

On "CBS This Morning," the stand-up comedian and actor — one of the voices starring in the new animated movie "Escape from Planet Earth" — got the co-hosts laughing when he talked about Ben Affleck, star and director of the Oscar-nominated movie, "Argo," in which he plays a Latino man Tony Mendez sent to rescue Americans in Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis.

"'Argo' is an amazing movie," Lopez said on "CTM," and then quipped, "Ben Affleck, clearly our finest Latino actor right now."

But Lopez sarcastically noted he had some problems with the role: "Affleck's portrayal of (Mendez) had him shirtless doing pull-ups in the closet. First of all, no Latino is ever shirtless, nor can we do a pull-up, and usually our closet has all our clothes and shoes in there."

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CBS Daytime seeks writers of color for CBS Daytime Writers Initiative Program

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013


( CBS Daytime continues to support diversity in daytime television. Along with the recent additions of cast members Redaric Williams, Lamon Archey and Ignacio Serricchio to "TheYoung and the Restless," the network is looking to enhance diversity behind the scenes as well with their Daytime Writers Initiative.

The Daytime Writers Initiative will provide qualified diverse writers with mentor ship career development and access to daytime decision makers including network, studio and production company executives as well as the executive producers, head writers and writing staffs of CBS’ Daytime dramas, "The Young and the Restless" and/or 'The Bold and the Beautiful." The program is designed to provide an intensive, educational experience of the writing process of daytime dramas and to foster relationships within the CBS daytime family.

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Fox News loses huge share of African American audience

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

(Mediaite) 2012 was a very good year for cable news, with a presidential election that generated huge public interest, and a brightly-lit media landscape that cranked out content to a voracious audience. While Fox News remained the number one cable news network, and CNN performed well on breaking news stories, MSNBC had a lot to brag about in 2012. The network enjoyed significant (around 20%) ratings increases across the board, but made astonishing gains with their already-large African American audience, growing that audience by 60.5% for the Mon-Sun 8pm-11pm period. MSNBC President Phil Griffin told me, in a phone interview, that he is “thrilled” with that result, and that it “says a lot about what we’ve been doing over the last few years.”

In that same time period, CNN grew its black audience by 23.7%(from 131,000 in 2011 to 162,000 in 2012, 23.9% of their total audience) , while Fox News’ declined by 23.7% (38,000 in 2011 to 29,000 in 2012, 1.4% of their total audience), but MSNBC had more black viewers than both of those nets combined (from 177,000 in 2011 to 284,000 in 2012, 31.4% of their total audience). What’s more impressive is that MSNBC attained 60% growth after being number one in that demographic last year, and the year before.

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‘Deception’ and Colorblind Casting: Are We Post-Racial Yet?

Friday, January 11th, 2013


(The Wrap) When NBC's "Deception" premieres Monday, it will become one of only two broadcast shows with an African-American woman in the lead — and one of the few broadcast shows with a non-white lead actor.

Not that the show will emphasize that. "Deception," a soapy detective drama, follows the long American tradition of emphasizing class while avoiding the awkward subject of race.

The cynical read of that fact is that broadcast networks hope that by sidestepping a difficult issue, they can make it go away. Or that they just don't want to deal with anything painful or complex, for fear of losing ratings.

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Fox Gets an F on a Diversity Report Card

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


(Free Press) The National Latino Media Council reported last week that ABC, CBS and NBC have made some progress in improving the representation of Latinos working on their entertainment programming. But the group couldn’t give Fox a passing grade this year.

In fact, NLMC gave the network an F in its 11th annual diversity report card. Fox failed to provide NLMC with data on the representation of Latinos in front of and behind the camera even though the network, along with ABC, CBS and NBC, agreed to do so when it signed a memorandum of understanding 13 years ago.

In its evaluation, NLMC considers the number of Latino actors a network employs for primetime scripted and reality programming as well as the number of Latino writers, producers, directors and entertainment executives.

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Soledad O’Brien’s ‘Black In America’ Airs December 9

Saturday, December 8th, 2012


(Huffington Post) Soledad O'Brien is out with her latest installment in CNN's "Black In America" series.

The special, called “Who Is Black in America?” explores racial identity in black communities. It is the fifth part of the "Black In America" series, which debuted in 2008 with an exploration of black women's experiences with family and education. The latest documentary airs Sunday, December 9 at 8 p.m. EST.

O'Brien, who is multiracial and identifies as "black," spoke out about her own racial identity and why it matters to viewers watching "Black In America."

Full story…

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