GROUP: NO COLOR ON TV NETWORKS GET LOW MARKS FOR ETHNIC DIVERSITY.Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer
The four major broadcast networks - CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. in particular - were slammed by the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition on Wednesday which charged that there has been a widespread failure to increase the presence of Latinos, Asian-Americans and American Indians American Indians: see Americas, antiquity and prehistory of the; Natives, Middle American; Natives, North American; Natives, South American. in front of and behind the television camera.
Fox received the highest overall grade with a C, slightly up from its 2001 grade. ABC ABC
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. , which received a D-minus last year, improved to a C-minus. NBC NBC
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. was given a D-plus, a significant drop from the C it received just 12 months ago. CBS was given a D-minus, the lowest grade of all the networks.
``Progress has been limited and painfully slow,'' said Karen Narasaki Karen K. Narasaki (b. 1958 Seattle, Washington) is the President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center, formerly known as the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC). AAJC is a national Washington, D.C. , chairwoman of the coalition and of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition.
As an example of the ongoing mind-set of the networks, Narasaki pointed to the casting of the top-ranked sitcom ``Friends'' on NBC.
```Friends' still presents New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. , one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the world, as an all-white enclave,'' she said. ``Apparently, both at work and at play, the friends practice racial segregation Noun 1. racial segregation - segregation by race
petty apartheid - racial segregation enforced primarily in public transportation and hotels and restaurants and other public places . Unfortunately, they are not unique in prime time.''
The coalition came together after the networks unveiled schedules for the 1999 fall season that were virtually devoid of ethnic minorities. It has given annual report cards on each of the network's progress after all signed memorandums of understanding pledging to better diversify.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), organization composed mainly of American blacks, but with many white members, whose goal is the end of racial discrimination and segregation. , which led the battle that year, did not participate in this year's report cards, stating that it would be issuing its own detailed report later this month.
``While not included in the composite grades, the networks either improved or maintained a significant presence of African-American actors, although too few in leading roles,'' Narasaki said. ``There was far less progress for African-American writers This is a list of African American authors and writers, all of whom are considered part of African American literature.
Note: Consult Who is African American? to gain a better sense as to who can be listed as an African American writer. , producers and directors, and very little progress for executives.''
The coalition, stung by what it said has been particular indifference on the part of CBS, announced that it has launched a letter-writing campaign to major CBS sponsors such as AOL (A division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, NY, www.aol.com) The world's largest online information service with access to the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms and a variety of databases and services. Time Warner, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, to voice their concerns.
``If there is no response, the strategy is to turn up the heat and turn up the hear,'' said Alex Nogales Nogales (nōgä`lās), city (1990 pop. 19,489), Santa Cruz co., S Ariz. on the Mexican border with its adjacent city, Nogales (1990 pop. 105,873), Sonora, NW Mexico. There are copper, silver, and lead mines. of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Narasaki charged that CBS President Leslie Moonves has completely ``lost interest altogether'' in increasing opportunities for the minority groups by not implementing programs to significantly increase diversity within talent, writers and other key positions.
CBS struck back Wednesday by releasing a statement saying they ``vigorously dispute the findings of the so-called 'Report Card' '' and said it would not be ``sidetracked into engaging in a divisive and negative debate.''
The network said it has increased its minority representation in key roles on all prime time programming by 33 percent since the start of the 2001-2002 season and that minority participation has increased by 43 percent over new series introduced last season.
Josie Thomas, the network's senior vice president of diversity, defended Moonves and the network in an interview and pointed out that three of the network's programming heads are minorities.
``Leslie has been a leader on this issue from day one,'' said Thomas. ``I have no idea where this could possibly come from. He's been very clear on his commitment.''
Thomas said the network has made significant improvements ``across the board'' in terms of being inclusive.
``Any time that you have a process such as this which is divisive and not productive, I assume there's a lot of agenda going on,'' Thomas said. ``If you notice, the NAACP NAACP
in full National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Oldest and largest U.S. civil rights organization. It was founded in 1909 to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for African Americans; W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. did not participate.''
The NAACP's John White was present at the coalition's press conference and would not say why the organization did not except to say ``this is the way we decided to go.''
``We support the coalition in terms of what grades that they gave,'' White added. ``This is a fight we think is important not only personally, but important to the nation.''
FAILING GRADES FOR NETWORKS
Jon Gerung/Daily News