Heat stays on Big 4

NAACP head threatens Nov. sweeps boycott

The NAACP plans to organize a boycott against one of the Big Four webs during the November sweeps, following through on the org’s vow to pressure the TV industry into fostering more racial diversity in primetime and in the executive suites.

NAACP prexy Kweisi Mfume, who blasted the upcoming fall sked as a “whitewash” in a fiery challenge to the biz last month, was in town meeting with top brass from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC last week.

Mfume’s seshes with webheads were described by some participants as cordial but not particularly substantive. It’s still unclear which web will be the target of the tune-out campaign by the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.

Mfume could not be reached for comment Friday, but in an interview Friday with “Entertainment Tonight,” the NAACP chief said the org was committed to mounting a “sustained effort” to keep the diversity issue on the radar screen of TV powerbrokers. In response to the NAACP chief’s salvo last month, a number of minority characters have been added to shows on the new fall sked.

However, Mfume told “Entertainment Tonight” that “the larger problem is that the four major networks don’t have people of color as executives.”

By singling out one web as a sweeps month target, Mfume said the org’s goal was to “make a statement” and “to drive down Nielsen ratings which will affect their ability to sell ad time at the same rate as their competitors.”

Over the long-term, the NAACP intends to establish a Hollywood outpost to help facilitate and police diversity initiatives at the major webs. “We’ve gone out and purchased stock in all (the parent companies of) the networks so that we’re now shareholders,” Mfume told “ET.” “We expect to be at those meetings raising these questions.”

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