So I just read Shannon M Houston’s Paste Magazine article, and it inspired me to write an article about her article (doing it for the clicks haha!!).
But seriously, check out Houston’s article HERE , it’s a fun and interesting read with a lot of good information and well thought out content.
Houston raises an interesting question about the increase in diversity on TV. Although this increase is awesome sauce, a new black character architect seems to be taking place. Not including reality shows, it would seem the top TV series headlined by African Americans include “Power, Survivor’s Remorse, the forthcoming Queen Sugar, black-ish, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Empire”, all of which feature predominantly well off black people with wealthy people problems. Houston does mention some TV shows bucking the trend, including the upcoming HBO’s Insecure and FX’s Atlanta. She even praises the Netflix series The Get Down pointing out “the simple act of buying turntables on credit, for example, could become a necessary house party for a broke person.” But the main point is that, by in large, rich black people rule the TV screen.
I actually, have no problem with that. I’m not disagreeing that the only other big show with a large diverse cast that doesn’t portray black people as rich is Orange is the New Black, but I don’t necessarily have an issue with the current standing. In entertainment, television studios go with what works. Not just in race, but in most TV series, certain frameworks are consistent. It’s hard to convince a studio to take a chance on something new because of the costs associated with failure. Although it’d be nice if TV shows could show the ultimate form of diversity representing all walks of life, there’s no guarantee people will tune in each week to watch it. Currently audience members are intrigued by wealthy African Americans, whether with comedy, drama, or suspense. I say ride the wave, and expand from there!