the annual tv diversity "report card"

Wow, is it already that time of year again? Last week, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition released its seventh annual "report card" grading diversity on network television. The report rates the major broadcast networks on hiring minority talent in front and behind the camera and in the executive ranks, as well as "overall commitment to diversity initiatives." Who came out on top? ABC earned an A-minus for the 2006-07 season, the highest grade out of all the networks: ABC wins top grade for diversity. The other networks followed, ranging from B-plus to B-minus.

As for the representation of Asian Americans on television, well, you know the drill: Primetime TV lacks diversity, study says. While Latinos are gaining increasing visibility, thanks to shows like Ugly Betty, major broadcast networks seem to be lagging when it comes to images of Asian Americans. According to the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, just 29 Asian Americans hold regular primetime roles, up only two from last year. 29! Doesn't that seem like a lot? Don't get to excited. Most of those roles are only minor players. Karen Narasaki nails it: "When compared to other racial groups, Asian Pacific Americans are still far less likely to be in starring roles in primetime programming, although a number of shows are set in cities with high Asian Pacific American populations." Bottom line: yes, things are improving, but at a glacial pace. We still have a long way to go. Here's a link to the 2007 Asian Pacific American Report Card on TV Diversity.

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