June 08, 2007

TV minorities = sidekicks

Diversity still an issue at TV networks

Black, Latino and Asian groups feel multicultural momentum has been lost.[I]nstead of celebrating, leaders from the NAACP, in addition to Latino and Asian advocacy groups monitoring the TV industry for years, are disappointed, saying network television is sending mixed messages when it comes to diversity. Although they say there is obvious progress, they contend the fall lineup, particularly when it comes to the new comedies and dramas on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, falls short after what they feel has been positive momentum on shows such as "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy," "Heroes" and "Lost."

Though minorities are featured in most of the 29 new series on the major networks, only five feature performers of color in central starring roles. While most of the shows have at least one regular minority cast member, the performers are mostly in support of the main white characters. Many shows with ensemble casts (ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Big Shots") feature predominantly white casts.

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