October 19, 2007

One Native on TV

This year's search for Natives on television is over.

I've watched many of the season's new shows, including:

K-Ville
Journeyman
The Big Bang Theory
Gossip Girl
Back to You
Bionic Woman
Private Practice
Dirty Sexy Money
Reaper
Cane
Aliens in America
Chuck
Life
Cavemen
Pushing Daisies
Samantha Who?

I've also watched many of the ongoing shows:

Prison Break
Law & Order: SVU
Ugly Betty
Grey's Anatomy
ER
Shark
Men in Trees
The Simpsons
King of the Hill

As far as I could tell, Adam Beach of SVU was the only Native actor to appear on network TV in the season's opening month. That's one recurring role and no guest-star roles out of some 250 spots. (Figure roughly 10 roles per show x 25 shows.)

Let's do the math:

Percentage of Americans who are Native = 1.0%
Percentage of American network TV characters who are Native = 0.4%

Conclusion:  As if we didn't know it already, Natives are underrepresented on TV.

4 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
The craft guilds in the film and TV industry long have kept the very statistics that you now are quoting. And what have they done about it? Little to nothing. The last time that 'diversity' had any meaning in that industry was 1969, when writerfella made his own entrance into the industry and then struggled to hold on after being the first minority writer to gain entry. That lasted until 1978, when the industry swung back to the levels that had produced their efforts toward diversity in the first place.
If that is not an argument toward writerfella's assertion about 'minimalization,' then what else would it mean?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I'm glad you finally explained what you mean by "minimalization."

If the craft guilds have done nothing about the problem, then it's good people like Mark Reed and me keep publicizing it.

Unlike Reed, however, I publish the details of my "research" so people can see the data for themselves.

P.S. I think the word "minimization" is preferred over "minimalization."

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Boy, Rob, comparing yourself to Mark Reed is like any middle-of-the-road candidate comparing himself to David Dukes of the KKK. Reed is in the business strictly for himself, strictly for his own financial gain, strictly for scamming otherwise earnest Native wanna-bees with his 'workshops' and 'training sessions', when he knows that all he is after is self-promotion. Of course, he gladly will take your money, should you wish to enroll in the courses offered by himself and 'Sonny' Roubideaux. And they'll laugh all the way to their respective banks...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

We're still waiting for you to provide evidence that Mark Reed is anything other than what he seems. So far all we've heard is your big-mouthed character assassination.