"Isn't that the fascinating irony of being under-represented in media? That when your group is finally represented, your response is a sharp, shocking sense of 'that is not like me.' Black America chaffed at the middle class comfort of The Cosby Show, career women of the 70s winced at the prim perfection of Mary Tyler Moore, and gay men rolled their eyes at the swishy camp of Jack on Will and Grace. But with decades of perspective, we can now see that these were groundbreaking series that did huge work to educate America about issues of race, gender and sexual orientation. The problem wasn't the TV shows; it was us. We didn't know how to be seen."
During his Buzzfeed Brews interview with CBS This Morning yesterday, Jerry Seinfeld was asked by Peter Lauria about the predominantly white male list of guests featured on his hit web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Seinfeld's response, which you can watch in the above clip, seemed as tired of the question as it was defensive: People think it's the census or something … who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You're funny — I'm interested. You're not funny — I'm not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that, but everyone else is kind of with their little calculating [...]
I never thought we would see the day when SNL considered itself newsworthy enough to parody. But it happened — not in the form of a quick joke during the monologue or Weekend Update, or a walk-on by Lorne Michaels, as has happened before — but with a whole cold open sketch, wherein host Kerry Washington was compelled to play numerous black female characters (Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce) because SNL literally had no one else who could do them. The meta-sketch also included a half-apologetic text scroll from the producers promising to fix the situation, unless they "fall in love with another white guy first," and a cameo by [...]
After SNL added six new cast members — all of them white — in August, the show has received criticism from Salon and others for its lack of diversity. One of the show's three actors of color (along with Jay Pharoah and Nasim Pedrad), Kenan Thompson, spoke about the issue in an interview with TV Guide. When asked what the show will do when there are black female public figures to make fun of, Thompson responded, "I don't know. We just haven't done them. That's what I'm saying. Maybe [Jay Pharaoh] will do it or something, but even he doesn't really want to do it."
"It's just [...]
The Writers Guild of America West released its "2013 TV Staffing Brief" this week, examining the percentage of female, minority, and older writers staffed on shows during the 2011-12 TV season. While there's been a little bit of progress in the way of diversity, TV writing still seems to be a field dominated by white dudes as you can see in the full report.