That's no accident, according to reality TV producers and creators.
"We're looking to create shows that everyday people can relate to, and for that you really need a true representation of the population," said Dave Broome, executive producer of NBC's "The Biggest Loser."
"A couple of seasons ago, there was an over-the-top character who was white that we could have cast, but we sacrificed that for a Latino. That's how important that is."
The culture mix is driven by more than just political correctness. Although reality shows aren't directly in the business of bringing racial and ethnic enlightenment to America, they are in business. For shows that thrive on conflict and drama, a collection of cast members from varied backgrounds often serves that goal. Unresolved issues surrounding race, class and sexual orientation can either quietly fuel tension on programs or generate outright emotional explosions.
For shows that thrive on conflict and drama, a collection of cast members from varied backgrounds often serves that goal.
If you think they're creating shows with upscale pretty people who avoid conflict and drama, you're largely right. In other words, they're avoiding shows that deal with the "unresolved issues surrounding race, class and sexual orientation." I.e., shows that deal with blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.
But why are they doing this? Don't they realize that reality shows are doing much better than scripted shows? That people are watching reality shows precisely because they reflect reality? That America's increasingly diverse population wants to watch equally diverse shows.
How stupid do you have to be not to understand this? America is multicultural. Multicultural sells. Hollywood is losing money by not featuring multicultural heroes and storylines.
For more on the subject, see Diversity Lacking in Television.
Below: A short-lived bit of diversity in Wolf Lake.