Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reality TV: To Be or Not To Be

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 misrepresented?

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