Exploring TV’s Color Gap
Switch on the TV during the daytime, and you’ll likely be pleased with the amount of African American faces on the screen. But plop down on your sofa later that night, and it’s quite a different story.
According to the Los Angeles Times, daytime television is full of programs that feature people of color. Steve Harvey, Queen Latifah and Michael Strahan anchor their own talk shows, while Cedric the Entertainer recently became the new host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
However, during primetime hours, the color seems to fade, with White performers playing most of the major roles. What’s with the color gap?
Kerry Washington is one of the only leading ladies of color seen with her scandalous character Olivia Pope. The actress even helped NBC’s Saturday Night Live poke fun at its own lack of diversity after the show received harsh criticism for the number of Black entertainers on the segment.
But interestingly enough, ratings seem to climb when minorities are in the forefront.
In 2010, Steve Harvey became the first African American host of the game show Family Feud, and ratings skyrocketed 40 percent last year to an average of 7 million viewers — the program’s highest ratings since 1990, says the Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, ratings for The Wendy Williams Show are up about 30 percent this season compared with a year ago. And The Real, a trial-based show that features a lively panel of ethnically diverse women, just received the green light for another season.
So why aren’t minorities given a chance to make such an impact with primetime? Take our poll and tell us what you think!