Race Relations in the Media

Essay by peejay_meerhedUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2009

download word file, 4 pages 4.3 2 reviews

For many years the entertainment industry has been heavily criticized, particularly by groups representing various minorities, for the way ethnic groups have been portrayed in films and television programs. Although considerable progress has been made in the fight against unfair and unflattering portrayals based on false information, the mass media is often still guilty of insensitivity in this area. When considering shows on T.V., audiences from minority ethnic groups don't like the negative stereotyping and simplistic portrayal of their communities on television. It all too often seems characters from minority ethnic groups are included in programs because it is expected that they should be, resulting in characters that are ill-drawn and unimportant. In the news it also seems that people originating from ethnic minorities appear to get portrayed as violent, and involved in gangs far more than white people, so the public gets an unfair negative opinion of minority groups.

In American television shows, the way characters are played by those from ethnic minorities never seem to truly represent them. A report carried out by one of the major broadcasting companies said viewers felt ethnic groups were represented by two-dimensional characters, and were often negatively stereotyped. People interviewed for the report felt minority characters were included just to make a point, rather than as an integral part of the plot - and did not represent real life for Black, Asian, or any other minority. What's the point in having ethnic minorities and not portray them in an honest way? The report said: "The ethnic minority wants itself represented on television because it wants mainstream white viewers to understand the diversity of society and to understand the diversity of the lives they are living."The way the media is depicting them is not how they really live, and this gives the rest...