Network Television Diversity Report Cards: 2008-2009 Primetime

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national movement to change the face of television in this country. In 1999 – 2000, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, a group comprised of the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), the National Asian/Pacific American Media Coalition, the NAACP and the American Indians in Film and Television, persuaded the four major television networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, to sign unprecedented Memoranda of Understanding. Before these memoranda were signed, we saw much fewer people of color on television than we do today.
The Memoranda serve to diversify the networks’ workforce both in front and behind the camera and to open up procurement opportunities for people of color. These initiatives have incrementally increased diversity over the past ten years; however, the job is far from complete. In 1999, Greg Braxton, of the Los Angeles Times, wrote that out of the 24 new shows debuting at ABC, NBC CBS, and FOX, there was not one single person of color in a lead or regular role. Ten years later, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) reports the following breakdown of film and TV roles for 2008: 72.5% Caucasian, 13.3% African-American, 6.4% Latino-Hispanic, 3.8% Asian & Pacific Islander, .03% Native American and 3.8% other/unknown.
Read the full story on the National Association of Independent Latino Producers, NALIP, site.

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