People have been up in arms over Nellie Andreeva’s story on Deadline about how there are too many ethnic faces on TV these days.
If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can check it out at this link.
Tl;dr version: Because TV shows are getting more diverse, deserving white actors are losing out on roles and we’ve maybe gone too far with this whole diversity thing.
People were not impressed.
And sure, the article is full of quotes like this:
“…the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered.”
“Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited.”
“While they are among the most voracious and loyal TV viewers, African-Americans still represent only 13% of the U.S. population. They were grossly underserved, but now, with shows as Empire, Black-ish, Scandal and HTGAWM on broadcast, Tyler Perry’s fare on OWN and Mara Brock Akil’s series on BET, they have scripted choices, so the growth in that fraction of the TV audience might have reached its peak.”
And sure, people are upset with the fact that a white lady is screaming “reverse racism” because like 5 shows have minority leads. Yeah, people are bugged that she’s intimating that black actors aren’t as talented as white actors. And folks are annoyed that Andreeva is OK with the fact that there has always been a larger percentage of white people on TV than there are in the actual population, but it freaks her out when it’s the other way around.
But while there were some “offensive” quotes in this piece, there were some great ones, too! And no one’s talking about those. So, you’re welcome from The Oreo Experience.
Here are the best quotes from the Nellie Andreeva article.
Like take a look at this:
“In one instance, after a number of actors of different ethnicities tested for two roles in a pilot this year, two Caucasian actors ended up being the top choices for the two remaining regular parts.”
A dependent clause! Just chilling, hanging out in the middle of a sentence. Obviously, this girl can write! And the fact that she can write complex sentences while her freedoms are being chipped away one episode of How To Get Away With Murder at a time is extra impressive. Anne Frank only wrote one book. Andreeva writes like four posts a day. You get it, girl!
“This is not to say that there weren’t other hot commodities this pilot season; star names were in demand as usual, as were hot young guys and girls and occasional foreigners with that ‘sparkle.'”
Proper use of a semi-colon. That’s hard to do! It’s especially hard to do when you are holding such a heavy torch, even if it is in your non-dominant hand. Have you looked at the I Have a Dream speech? No semi-colons.
And look at this!
“Television has been successful with shows that had both all-white (Friends, Seinfeld) and all-black (The Cosby Show) casts on the strength of their premise, execution and talent performances and chemistry.”
In-sentence citations!! With italics! Fancy!
So I think this shows that everyone can just calm down a bit. I’m guessing she even spelled her name correctly. And that is very hard to do when filled with the very justified fear that your people are being unfairly oppressed. I mean, Eric Garner could barely form more than one sentence, imagine how Nellie feels.
What do you think of Nellie’s article? Is TV too ethnic? Not ethnic enough? Do we just need more cowbell? Let us know in the comments!
I know, dear ones. This may sound like difficult TV times for the aspiringly creative, but you can help. Here are some of the best ways to be a good Oreo, to fight the good fight, and to make sure that everyone feels safe in their skin and with yours.