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. . To hate that there's not enough black people on tv

(143 Posts)
Iloverusks Fri 27-Sep-13 11:44:59

Yesthey are flittered into the soaps and some tv shows. But since Desmond's there has not been a tv show where the majority of the cast are black. Of course there are countless "all white" shows.

In these multicultural times why is this the case?

Mimishimi Sun 29-Sep-13 01:04:46

YABU.

EldritchCleavage Sun 29-Sep-13 00:49:55

*I live in the countryside and don't know any black people - the only black faces I see are on TV where they seem over-represented to me. The only non-white people I see in real life are in the curry house.
Don't assume that the whole of the UK is like London!*

We aren't. I spend a lot of time in such mono-cultural hotspots as East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. I grew up in the countryside. That's why I said upthread I think how BME people are portrayed and used in media is more important than the absolute numbers.

*Is it really do shocking that there are not as many black actors as white? If only 2% of the population are black...and only x% of those black people are actors/actresses...there is never going to be an 'even' representation of white/black on tv.

Statistics define that there must be a larger percentage of good white actors than good black actors, because there is a much, much larger pool of white people to draw from. It's no mystery really.*

Oh come on, no one here is suggesting there should be parity of numbers for black and white actors, nor that the number of good black actors is the same as that of good white actors. Just that BME people, disabled and trans people and older women are much much less visible than they should be. And that even actors from those groups of very obvious talent (e.g. because they find work abroad) are saying they get offered very few roles, and often only very stereotyped roles, in the UK.

FlobberWobber Sat 28-Sep-13 19:21:34

I think it's shocking how older women are dumped from TV once they reach 45. So many older men presenting with young women, it's outrageous, would never happen the other way round.

FlobberWobber Sat 28-Sep-13 19:19:52

I wouldn't say Eastenders is a particularly good representation of life in general! I imagine the main bulk of their viewers are white though, which is why they have so many white people in it. Could be wrong.

FlobberWobber Sat 28-Sep-13 19:17:44

If only 2% of the UK population is black, then I would say black people are overrepresented on TV and other ethnic minorities underrepresented.

Bue Sat 28-Sep-13 18:04:51

There are now more Americans with Spanish as a first language than English

This is the most bizarre inaccuracy that I have seen on Mumsnet in a long time!

Lweji Sat 28-Sep-13 18:01:17

Eastenders is also not a good representation of the East End because there's hardly anyone commuting. And if there are, they are likely to lose their jobs within 6 months or less.

microserf Sat 28-Sep-13 17:58:45

i definitely think there could be much more inclusive use of actors from all ethnicities on the tv. it does feel quite monocultural sometimes. we are Londoners, and I'm not seeing the full diversity of London on screen!

also, older women - angry angry i am furious about how women over 45 get dumped off the tv! older men = character/experience, older women = over the hill. dh knows not to mention this as it triggers The Rage and it takes a good glass of pinot grigio to calm down... blush

SoleSource Sat 28-Sep-13 17:44:29

I think it would be good if there was a regular soap with mainly Asian actors. Used to love The Crouches smile

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 28-Sep-13 15:28:22

They should just keep repeating Desmond's. Nothing can top that grin

Pachacuti Sat 28-Sep-13 11:59:16

According to the latest detailed figures behind the report lljkk linked to, only 34,183,747 US residents over the age of 5 (about 12% of the population) speak Spanish at home (N.B. they would have been counted in this figure even if they spoke both Spanish and English at home). 16,120,772 of those Spanish speakers (so slightly under half) don't also speak good English.

stringornothing Sat 28-Sep-13 11:14:37

I think scripted drama isn't bad for Afro-Caribbean black representation, because TPTB have been trained to think "ethnic diversity - must tick box" but haven't got past the idea that "ethnic" = Windrush descendant, so it's been rubbish for people of South Asian descent, and hasn't begun to get a grip on the idea of representing people from Eastern Europe. It's similar to the US TV underrepresentation of East Asians.

This is where reality TV and quiz shows sometimes show up the lack of imagination of scripted telly. You see trans people, blind people, white/Chinese mixed race gay couples, just getting on with their life, answering quiz questions, answering 999 calls, having their houses made over, and not fitting into any of the Central Casting boxes.

lljkk Sat 28-Sep-13 10:33:51

Sorry but that's simply not true about more Americans have Spanish as 1st language than English. 20% of Americans speak a non-English language at home: which could be Korean, French, Vietnamese, Lao, Quechua, Farsi, etc. Not all Spanish-speakers by any means.

GangstersLoveToDance Sat 28-Sep-13 10:08:21

Is it really do shocking that there are not as many black actors as white? If only 2% of the population are black...and only x% of those black people are actors/actresses...there is never going to be an 'even' representation of white/black on tv.

Statistics define that there must be a larger percentage of good white actors than good black actors, because there is a much, much larger pool of white people to draw from. It's no mystery really.

Add to that, any historical dramas set in the UK would need to eliminate non-white actors pretty much completely if there is to be any sort of historical accuracy.

The only exception I can see is EastEnders, where I can see that black actors are woefully under represented for the area. However, the population of black people in London, Bristol, Birmingham is so high that most of the rest of the UK has a percentage of black much lower than 2%...any shows set outside of these areas would not need a large black cast to be representative.

bigkidsdidit Sat 28-Sep-13 09:48:35

I would have thought in terms of sheer numbers black people are over represented on telly compared to % of population, but I take your point OP that it'd be nice to see more in just normal roles in soaps where colour isn't a feature or a storyline.

I believe women and in particular women over 40 are the most under represented group on telly. How many older women are there? Can you imagine a doddery 84 yo woman being allowed to present strictly?

Sorry for the whataboutery OP but I'm so fed up of comedy panel shows with one token female and six (white) men.

FridaKarlov Sat 28-Sep-13 09:32:28

I agree with the op, TV is ridiculously white and male. I really wish there was more variety in the kind of people we see on TV.

Lweji Sat 28-Sep-13 04:14:02

Eastenders actually annoys me the most. Being an East Londoner myself I feel that white English people are the minority!!!

Yes, but non-whites probably live less interesting more normal lives than the characters.

Maybe Eastenders should be renamed White Eastenders. smile

Or maybe Albert Square is the last stronghold of white English in the East End.

garlicbaguette Sat 28-Sep-13 02:20:41

Given that so much of the TV we see is American, it's even more ridiculous. There are now more Americans with Spanish as a first language than English, yet the shows are still pretty much all standard white, with the odd black, gay or Hispanic character thrown in. There was a controversy over the film "Girls", set in Brooklyn (32% black, 10% Asian, 20% Hispanic,) which was supposed to be realistic but everyone was white Jewish!

Catching up on East Enders, I thought it was nice that there were so many mixed couples (I was watching Wednesday's lurve episode.) I only recall one Eastern European in Stenders, though, and only in two episodes. Coronation Street's worse - it's supposed to be Manchester, and all the diversity we have is Dev & Lloyd!

garlicbaguette Sat 28-Sep-13 02:10:01

YANBU in general. Has anybody linked this yet?
www.leeandlow.com/images/emmy_awards_infographic-lg.jpg

Iloverusks Sat 28-Sep-13 01:57:42

Selsifach - I find that shocking but I guess its not unusual as this is a white country.

There are lots of programmes made based in the country that rightly have a predominant white cast but we know all cities are not like this.

I blame the writers/producers/directors who are afraid to cast a normal family, couple, children etc who just happen to be black/Asian/Chinese etc

selsigfach Sat 28-Sep-13 01:12:25

I live in the countryside and don't know any black people - the only black faces I see are on TV where they seem over-represented to me. The only non-white people I see in real life are in the curry house.
Don't assume that the whole of the UK is like London!

Twofour6eighttwo Sat 28-Sep-13 00:32:19

In addition to a lack of BME actors on tv I have recently been confronted, but sadly not shocked, by the lack of representation in magazine media. I teach PSHE to Year 5 & 6 classes in a predominantly white urban area of Britain and hoped to broaden the children's horizons and draw attention to stereotyping through a lesson using images taken from magazines. Despite spending an evening trawling through a varied (IMO) range of mags kept casually in my home (Closer, Obs Weekly, Heat, Radio Times, Weight Watchers Mag, various supermarket mags, National Trust mag etc) I found 3 out of over 40 I ages to be BME and two of these were well known celebraties rather than general models. I cancelled my planned lesson as I was too embarrassed/ashamed to pass off a lesson to which I was not fully committed. Where was I to find a range of images which represent the society I feel I live in?

MoominMammasHandbag Fri 27-Sep-13 23:53:03

Yes I am white and live I a predominantly white village. I see more black people on TV than I do in my day to day life. I never see any Polish or Eastern European people on TV though, they must surely be underrepresented.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 23:38:42

I just get fed up with the stereo types.

soontobeburns Fri 27-Sep-13 23:36:40

True but black, asian, chinese etc doesnt have to mean foreign for example. Any role can be played by someone able. Its stereotypical to cast them otherwise.

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