WXXI AM News

Connections: Discussing the state of diversity in television in 2020

Aug 5, 2020

21 years ago this month, the NAACP was advocating a boycott of the major television networks. That's because the networks had just released their fall schedules. 26 new shows would be hitting the airwaves that year, and not a single one of them featured a star or prominent character of color. For African American leaders in particular, enough was enough. The networks promised to change. In some ways, they have: there are more African American and Latino leads than ever before. But in many other ways, the industry has not changed much at all. As the LA Times reports, there are very few executives of color at the networks, and while the networks are pledging support of the Black Lives Matter movement, African American actors have their doubts.

This hour, we explore representation in media. Our guests:

  • Calvin Brown, Jr., executive producer of "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder"
  • Tina Chapman, director of diversity theater at RIT
  • Chris Thompson, engineer, writer, comedian, and activist
  • Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences, and professor of sociology and African American Studies at UCLA