There was a post on The Root website that asked this question: “Do Black People want quality TV?”
Mos Def!! Now, there isn’t a lot of quality programming let’s face it. Not just because reality programming is cheaper to produce, but also because of the sheer number of stations available. It seems that there is only so much quality to go around and what quality that is leans to the Eurocentric. For all the talk of diversity and crying out about political correctness the fact remains that there is a lack of diversity in quality TV. To make things simpler let’s define quality as award worthy.
There isn’t a lot of programming about US, unless it’s Black History Month, Asian-Pacific Month, Hispanic American Month, or Native American Month. Even then it’s usually early in the morning or late in the evening.
If we look at the nominations and winners of The Emmy’s and The Golden Globe Awards there isn’t a lot of diversity or quality apparently by the number of repeat nominees and winners. Occasionally there are programs ‘aimed’ at Blacks like Undercovers and Scandal. I hope that Scandal does better than Undercovers. Undercovers was just fluff and I suspect that someone in some back room thought it was enough. There are some programs that have Black people, but aren’t about Black people. And that makes people happy, the checklist gets marked and we watch.
We get riled up over our lack of representation on Mad Men and Girls, and settle for half hour sitcoms and racially neutral roles. I suspect a lot of this is because there are so many Black people on the screen in sports and entertainment. It’s not that music and comedy is in our DNA as much as those are the vehicles that we are presented.