On Sat, 21 Nov 2020 11:02:15 +0000 (UTC),
Post by Micky DuPree Post by The Horny Goat Post by BTR1701
CBS, the broadcaster of reality shows SURVIVOR, THE AMAZING RACE and
BIG BROTHER, will require 50% of casts of unscripted programs to be
non-white next season, marking the latest push by Hollywood to
diversify. The network, part of ViacomCBS Inc., also vowed Monday to
allocate at least 25% of its unscripted development budgets to
projects created by producers who are black, indigenous, or people of
color. Reality shows like SURVIVOR and BIG BROTHER have drawn
criticism over the years for seeming to condone racism and not
representing minorities well enough in their casts. The changes are
part of a broader reckoning over the way media companies treat
minorities on screen and off.
"The reality TV genre is an area that's especially underrepresented,
and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting,
production, and all phases of storytelling," George Cheeks, CBS
Entertainment Group's president and chief executive officer, said in
a statement announcing the changes.
As someone who has viewed all 40 Survivor seasons and 17 of 22 Big
Brother seasons, while I haven't gone back and done a full season by
season count, know the shows well enough to know that "especially
underrepresented" is a vast exaggeration and frankly offensive.
Where there's a problem (especially on Survivor) is NOT in the casting
but in the edit given certain minority players. Some "edits" have been
shall we say 'not what the player shown would have liked'. Now that's
not particularly prejudiced - Survivor has a tendency to show
everybody as idiots who regularly do things prejudicial to their own
game and they take great pleasure in showing somebody doing something
remarkably dumb. There HAVE been characters on both BB and Survivor
who behaved in a bigotted manner - nearly all of them have had a
Post by Micky DuPree Post by The Horny Goat
That would make complete sense if the US black population was 50% of
the whole. Since it's nothing close to that it's pandering.
"Nonwhite" means more than just black, and though not technically
ethnographically correct, in everyday use, it also includes
Obviously I know that and that the term also includes Asians. Cirie
Fields (who most Survivor fans would rank top or nearly top player
never to win) has had some memorable play and got "favorable edits".
Yul Kown who won but via a 'behind the scenes' strategy wasn't really
shown well. I could go on. Yau Man Chan got a particularly favorable
edit - and fully deserved it. On the other hand James Clement got a
"you dummy!" edit mostly for getting voted out with TWO hidden
immunity idols in his pocket.
Ramona Grey (season 1) is known to have been particularly unhappy with
her edit - she was an early boot and felt she was portrayed as a boob.
Which as a highly trained chemist she obviously felt was unfair. On
the other hand Sandra Twining-Diaz (who won twice) got an extremely
No question both shows tend to have "America's favorite players" and
"villains" while Russell Hantz and Ghandia Johnson where arch
villains, I don't think race can fairly be linked to that. Ted from
season 5 (Ghandia's season) surely viewed his edit positively.
Post by Micky DuPree
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 estimates, the percentage of
Americans identifying as "White alone, not Hispanic or Latino" is 60.1%.
While still more than 50%, there's a problem with trying to represent
the smaller racial or ethnic groups when you don't have a cast of
scores. For example, the show _Survivor_ seems to have 16 contestants
per season. If they have only one contestant of indigenous origin,
that's overrepresenting indigenous peoples in that particular season by
about a factor of four (if you include native Hawaiians/Pacific
Islanders), but if you never have any indigenous contestants at all
because of that, then they're underrepresented.
I do get that. And very much do understand the mathematics you're
using. My point is that I don't think Survivor or BB have a
"diversity" problem with their casting - to the extent there's a
problem it's in the edit and no amount of casting is likely to change
Again - I'm on home territory on this one being a longterm fan of both
the top two reality programs on CBS. If you want to talk NBC I'll talk
the Apprentice with you till you're blue in the face. I don't think
Omarosa Manigault Newman got a positive edit at all but then she did
plenty to earn that. I was amazed when she later got a 'gig' in the
Trump White House but not at all surprised she was an "early boot"
Post by Micky DuPree
There could be a financial incentive, though. Underrepresented ethnic
groups are known to be pretty loyal viewers when they find a
representation of themselves that they like.
Disclaimer: I don't follow the reality shows, so I don't know from
firsthand experience what their ethnic makeup is, though the promos do
seem a bit on the white side.
Again - casting ISN'T the problem - editting may well be.