A majority of Americans in the U.S spend their time watching television. On average the total use of television is a ration of 5:11 hours. The percentage of households that own at least one television is 99%. Out of about 300 million people, about 64% are white, 16% are Hispanic or Latino, 12% are black, 5% are Asian, 2% are two or more races, .7% are either American Indian or Alaska Native, .2% are some other race, and .15% are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. The U.S is a very diverse country compared to other countries, with people of all races living here. So shouldn’t that mean that television would accurately represent its population?
Well that isn’t always the case. In Hollywood television, some films and tv series seem to mostly consist of white, straight leads. Some films even go as far as casting a white actor or actress in the place of a person of color. This is so unfair and damaging to not only people of color actors and actresses, but to viewers as well. As a young child, when I watched television and saw mostly white actresses on the screen, I felt really excluded because whether you like to admit it or not, it’s nice to look at a screen and see people who look like you. I know a lot of girls and heard about a bunch of different experiences on how long it took black girls to be able to be comfortable in the skin in they are in. I firmly believe that television is a factor in that. If you grow up feeling excluded, even if it is something like not seeing people like yourself on television, it’s really damaging.
Another thing about television that shows that it doesn’t really promote diversity is when they do cast people of color, they pertain to a certain stereotype. Asians will be deemed as ‘nerdy’, while black actors while be pertained as ‘ghetto’. There have even been accounts of actors/ actresses talking about their experience on how they’ve gotten cut from a movie because they weren’t ‘ghetto’ enough. They should provide actors with more roles other than their stereotypes. Also, when there is a role made out for a character that is suppose to be a person of color, sometimes white actresses take the lead. An example being is when the manga ‘Ghost in the Shell’ was adapted into a movie the main character Major Motoko Kusanagi is Japanese. Directors decided to cast Scarlett Johansson who isn’t Japanese. Their are so many Japanese actresses out there that would’ve done justice to the role. Lastly, a something a lot of directors say when it comes to the topic of diversity is that ‘diversity doesn’t sell’. That just isn’t true; “Get Out”, a movie with a diverse cast, made 241 million dollars in box office with a 4.5 million dollar budget.
I’m not saying that all film series and tv shows aren’t diverse and are making huge mistakes when it comes to casting people of color as their characters. What I am saying is that there needs to be a change made because it's not fair to those making a living out of this career who are looking for opportunities and for the viewers as well.