2017 has seen a drop in representation for a huge demographic.
New findings from GLAAD's annual Where We Are on TV report shows a decrease in the representation of black characters. From the 901 series regulars counted throughout primetime T.V. this year, 18% of those characters were black which is a 2% decrease in comparison to last years 20%.
“There is no doubt that we have made substantial progress over the past few years in increasing Black and POC visibility in front of the camera. But this only tells half the story of diversity in Hollywood. Better representation of our communities on the screen starts with the writers and showrunners who craft rich stories and compelling characters,” Rasha Robinson, executive director of Color of Change says, via Hypebeast.
The findings did show that a spike in the representation of LGBTQ characters has gone up. Of the 901 series, 6.4% were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer. The reports were collected from broadcaster networks such as ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, and NBC.
“Numbers are only a small part of the story when it comes to LGBTQ representation on T.V. and simply being present onscreen is not enough,” Megan Townsend, Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis at GLAAD said. “While we’re pleased to see numbers on the rise, consideration of how LGBTQ characters are woven into storylines and whose stories are making it to screen is crucial for judging progress of the industry. And there is still work to be done.”
These new findings that urge a push in diversity on mainstream television come as no surprise since Hollywood has been the leading force in demonstrating culture appropriation. As of late, big time names have been called out for taking part in the act in instances that trail off the T.V. screen and have to do with magazine features.
Rihanna was blasted by fans on Twitter after she was the face of Vogue Arabia dressed as Queen Nefertiti, one of Egypt's most celebrated figures. Some users questioned why the singer was branded on the magazine over an Arabic woman.
After Vogue India dealt with the same issues when they put Kendall Jenner on their magazine cover, the publication came out with a statement that read: "India has given the world so many beautiful faces to admire. After all, we are Vogue, an international brand, and we want to give the love back by featuring some of the best international celebrities on our covers. Occasionally!"