Reality television is about 30% of network programming these
days. For African Americans who statistically spend more time then
any other ethnic group watching TV most shows contend to sell the best of the worst
of ghetto fabulous life—flashy, loud minorities who catfight and scuffle;
desperate exes selling their privacy for low budget fame and haggard has-beens
hoping to find their next jump off.
When you turn on your TV do these images represent what you
see in your circle of friends—maybe some of them, occasionally. More
importantly, how does this give audiences a view of the complexities of who we
as human beings really are?
Reality TV’s view of ethnic groups from urban
minorities to Italians from New
Jersey, are less than complicated.
Opportunities for the general public to see even people of color in diverse
ways hardly exists in other forms of entertaining TV, including competition
shows, home improvement and interior design TV; the times I remember enjoying
one of those kinds of programs where the show had a host with brown skin or
curly hair the show lasted maybe 1 or 2 seasons before it was replaced by more
nonsense programming and frivolity.
What side of reality is this? If it’s yours are you happy
with what you see? Is being entertained more important then being