In its ninth annual report on television’s portrayal of minorities, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition handed out nothing but B+’s and B’s to the big four networks. One improved, one dropped a notch and two were able to tread water. Fox earned kudos for moving from a B- to a B+. ABC wound up with the same B+ grade, but that marked slippage from its previous lofty A- performance. CBS also received a B+, and NBC got a B, both repeating their previous result.
“After nine years of assessing the diversity efforts of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, we strongly believe that network television diversity for the American Latino community is finally taking hold,” said Esteban Torres, National Latino Media Council Chair, “but there is still great room for improvement in the area of minority business procurement.”
Representatives of the Asian/Pacific and American Indian communities feel they have the most need for improvement. But a representative for the latter at least had cause for optimism. “All four networks are beginning to realize that the American Indian community does not fit into the normal pattern of diversity programs,” said Mark S. Reed of American Indians in Film and TV. “To create success, the approach needs to be tailored to address the unique needs of the American Indian community.”