July 27, 2009

The over representation of “minorities”

The snippet of article below underscores something that continues to be a major peeve of mine…

NEW YORK – HBO scored highest among 15 networks for its representation of gay characters last season, according to a report released Monday.

In its third annual Network Responsibility Index, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that of HBO's 14 original prime-time series, 10 included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. That totaled 42 percent of the network's programming hours, in series such as "True Blood," "Entourage" and "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."

By contrast, on NBC and CBS only 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of prime-time hours included them, the report said.

Study: HBO leads on TV in showing gay characters - Yahoo! News

Some basic facts:

The U.S. population's distribution by race and ethnicity in 2006 was as follows:

My totally un-scientific seat of the pants analysis…

Some studies say that there are as many as 10.2 million Gay and Lesbians living in this country (less than 4%). This was from a Pro gay website, so I automatically assume that number is inflated significantly, but whatever.  So if the racial breakdown is as above and the Gay breakdown is as above then if TV is supposed to be a representation of true life ( which is not what I want it to be or what I think it is or should be.  It appears to be the argument that the article is making) then 75% of the programming on TV should be a bunch of white folks.  4% of all programs should have any Gay or Lesbian content, There should only be 4.4 asians to every 100 shows.  I should only see a very occasional person of mixed race, only about 2% of the time in fact.  I should only see black people on 13.4% of shows. Hmmm.. seems there is a black person in every show, some shows have ONLY black people.  Dang.  There should only be a Hispanic on about 15% of programming.  So a combined 3.6 hours on any channel per 24 hour period.  That would be an accurate representation of racial and sexual diversity.  Where is my  Cracker TV?  There is BET, and Si Tv and Telemundo and Univision.  I swear there are Gay people on every show on every channel.  Even Disney.  I am left with the apparent conclusion that TV is not supposed to and in fact does not really accurate represent reality. Shocking. 

So tell me, if 10% of TV shows show homosexuality and they make up less than 4% of the population; if double representation is not enough how much air time is enough?  For the rest of my thoughts on this click here: The other two groups it is ok to hate on

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