People of color become more prominent in media

By Viviain Gurrola-Amissah |Staff Writer|

kerry-washington-glaad1Television has become more diverse than ever, with a variety of TV shows coming out this year, diversity has taken a large role on taking away stereotypical roles for people of color.

From “Empire,”  “Jane the Virgin,”  and “Fresh off the Boat,” these are a few shows that have a diverse cast and writers group that are based on talent and not stereotypes.

“Empire,” is a drama about a family dynasty, set within the world of music, glamour, danger and power.

According to Bustle Entertainment, “It’s what networks dream of, ratings that look like before the internet.”

“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels, speaks on how much pleasure it gives him walking into a room full of black writers that are changing the way television hit series are being portrayed.

From African-American actors like Terrance Howard and actress Taraji P. Henson, taking on leading roles in the show helps utilize the power of black viewers and boost necessary representation for the black community.

“Jane the Virgin,” a comedy drama based on a young Latina Catholic virgin who becomes pregnant after accidentally being artificially inseminated.

“This is a show that doesn’t reduce characters to their ethnicity or make broad judgments about their cultures,” said Alanna Bennett.

After being greenlit for a second season this year, student Rachel Garcia was asked about her thoughts on the predominately Latino cast. “Its like a telenovela; the show focuses a lot on Latino culture and embraces a lot on Latina womanhood,” said Garcia.

Co-creator, Jennie Snyder, focuses on the power of tradition and turns this show into a Spanish/English series that grabs audiences of Hispanic and Latino descent.

“Fresh off the Boat,” a comedy series involving a Taiwanese family journey to America based in the 1990s.

“It took 20 years before ABC, or any other network would take a chance on a series led by an Asian-American cast,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

Producer, Eddie Huang focused on his experiences growing up as an immigrant child; with this show Huang was able to tear down negative Asian stereotypes.

By showing positive reinforcement for many Asian-Americans, he opens up the bubble that many casting directors tend to stick to when filling roles for Asian-American actors. Huang breaks down these walls and shows no stopping at his craft.

“Its upsetting that it took this long for networks to realize it, but now it’s time for people [of] color to be recognized,” said student Kenneth Ross.

With massive success, these new TV programs have showed minorities have the same potential as others if given the opportunity without being shoved into stereotypical roles.

This year has been successful for people of color, we’re aware that about 20 years ago these types of shows wouldn’t have aired.

Networks were unable to compensate for the diversion of people that live in America.

We aren’t there yet but, in 2015 young people now have positive representation of themselves and can aspire to be great because of this.


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