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NAACP: TV Still "Grossly" Under-represents Minorities

Prime-time TV has a "serious shortage," of minority characters, the NAACP says in a new report, calling the problem part of an industry-wide oversight. Says NAACP president/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, "At a time when the country is excited about the election of the first African-American president in U.S. history, it is unthinkable ...

Matt Mitovich

Prime-time TV has a "serious shortage," of minority characters, the NAACP says in a new report, calling the problem part of an industry-wide oversight.

"At a time when the country is excited about the election of the first African-American president in U.S. history, it is unthinkable that minorities would be so grossly under-represented on broadcast television," NAACP president/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous says in the report, titled "Out of Focus, Out of Sync: Take 4."

The NAACP decries the "virtual disappearance" of African-American-targeted programming since the WB and UPN merged two years ago to form the CW. It blames a shortage of African-American executives in position to make casting and programming decisions.

Among the Big 4 broadcast networks, only CBS' The Unit is fronted by African-American actors (Dennis Haysbert and Regina Taylor). Including the CW, Everybody Hates Chris and The Game are the only series to target African-Americans, the report said.

Is there a solution? The report recommends that a task force of network execs, educators and NAACP advocates meet to reiterate and enforce the "best practice standards throughout the industry."