TV networks striving for diversity

Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition grades nets

The broadcast nets are making strides in promoting diversity – but they’ve still got a long way to go.

That’s according to the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which released its ninth annual network diversity report cards.

The group – made up of the National Latino Media Council, the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition and the American Indians In Film and TV – noted that the improvements came despite the work disruptions caused by last year’s WGA strike.

“After nine years of assessing the diversity efforts of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, network television diversity is finally taking hold,” said Esteban Torres, chairman of the National Latino Media Council. “It is reasonable to expect that the present numbers will continue to climb and there will be no back sliding.”

The groups rated the networks by actors in scripted series; reality TV participants; writers and producers; directors; program development; procurement; network execs; and “network commitment to diversity initiatives.”

The National Latino Media Council gave “B-plus” grades to ABC, Fox and CBS, and a “B” to NBC.

Asian Pacific American representation still lags behind, however, the group said.

“Although the networks have improved the quality of roles for APA actors, when compared to other racial groups, APAs are still far less likely to be in starring roles,” said Asian Pacific Media Coalition chair Karen Narasaki.

This year, the Asian Pacific Media Coalition gave CBS, Fox and NBC “C-plus” grades, while ABC earned a “B-minus.”

The American Indians in Film and TV, meanwhile, handed NBC a “B,” Fox a “B-minus,” CBS a “C” and ABC a “C-minus.”

“American Indians are the only minority group that has not evolved in the media in the 21st century,” said the group’s Mark Reed.

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