Race in the Writers’ Room: How Hollywood Whitewashes the Stories that Shape America

The power of the media to shape images and biases about groups of people has long been acknowledged.  The analysis by Darnell Hunt of UCLA of 1,678 first-run episodes from all 234 of the original, scripted comedy and drama series airing or streaming on 18 broadcast, cable, and digital platforms during the 2016-17 television season found that “[o]ver 90% of showrunners are white, two-thirds of shows had no Black writers at all, and another 17% of shows had just one Black writer. The ultimate result of this exclusion is the widespread reliance on Black stereotypes to drive Black character portrayals, where Black characters even exist at all—at best, ‘cardboard’ characters, at worst, unfair, inaccurate and dehumanizing portrayals.”  To access the full report, click here.

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