Should-Read: Duncan Black: Little Lessons

August 6, 2017
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Should-Read: Duncan Black: Little Lessons: “I like to think I am wiser than I once was (about some things, at least)… http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/08/little-lessons.html

…and sometimes talking about how you were made a bit less stupid is embarrassing because you have to admit that you were, well, stupid.

One such life lesson, back when I was, perhaps, a bit of a Slatebro, was a piece by someone talking about the lack of people of color in television shows. The piece was about the economic argument-basically, white people are the majority, white people want to see themselves on teevee, you have to cast popular actors who are white and, well, it’s just about the ratings and the money so whatchagonnado.

The point this writer made (was 20 years ago or so, I have no idea who) was that it’s one thing to argue that the main casts of Friends or Suddenly Susan have to be all white. But even if we accept this is true (it probably isn’t, but that’s the argument), how the hell can you have shows based in New York and San Francisco in which even the extras are almost all white? Are people really going to turn the channel because there’s an Asian-American sitting in the background at a secretary’s desk?

The argument that you gotta cast white people to make money in teevee and movies probably isn’t true. Get Out and Hidden Figures both made shitloads of money last year, and not even because of their low budgets (especially for Get Out). But even if it was/is, how are people of color so often not even included in the background?

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