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View Diary: Irrelevant Crap: The sliding scale between diverse representation and token characters (63 comments)

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  •  try to find strong jewish male characters (20+ / 0-)

    in the 1970s. on tv, there were a bunch of series about tough italian cops or detectives- delvecchio, petrocelli, baretta, columbo- each of whom was played by a jewish actor. but jews in the media had to be nebbish woody allen types.

    as for black actors/characters, hollywood often embarrasses itself even more when it tries to include some than when it doesn't bother. the big question for this year's oscars is whether hollywood can handle that the most honest depiction of american slavery has come from a british director and a british actor. the real american hustle.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:27:37 PM PST

    •  As a writing hobbyist, self-educated for the most (8+ / 0-)

      part, I would say a diverse mix matters in shows like SNL that cover everything from the silly to the topical.

      But for some shows, it relies on the focus, theme and/or environment portrayed in the story.

      That being said, there is an obvious dearth, still today, in the 21st century, of diverse characters where there most easily could be diverse characters.

      I think some of this does have to do with the comfort area of writers, but much also is due to rusty old racial infrastructure showing its bones in our entertainment industry.

      Not everyone in Hollywood is a curs-ed Liberal.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:08:53 PM PST

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    •  Seems to me 5% of the American population is (0+ / 0-)

      Jewish and about 25% of the characters in tv and movies are Jewish.  I just don't think Jewish people are under-represented.

      I recognize some believe SNL is a bell weather for culture, but who really cares if they are diverse?  It's not important or influential. It's not even funny most of the time.

      Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

      by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:56:00 PM PST

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      •  I don't watch it: I have to get up early for work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simul Iustus et Peccator

        on Sunday morning. ;)

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:56:53 PM PST

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      •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, Chinton, O112358

        25%?  I'm trying to think of any Jewish characters on any of the shows or movies I've seen recently, and drawing a blank.

        Absent some serious back up, your comment reminds me an awful lot of the complaints from right wingers about how gay people are supposedly over represented on television.  

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:12:57 PM PST

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        •  Really? You don't think there are any? (0+ / 0-)

          Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

          by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:17:39 PM PST

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          •  You're claiming 25%... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chinton, O112358

            ...so you should have no trouble naming a whole bunch of shows and characters.  After all, just the big four networks account for 81 hours a week of prime time programming.

            While it may seem that I'm picking on you, I suspect that if you really analyze what you've seen, you'll discover that it's a really small percentage, and that Jewish people are more likely to be under represented than over represented in the media.

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:20:49 PM PST

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            •  We watch The Good Wife and NCIS in spurts. (0+ / 0-)

              Eli Gold and Ziva David are Jewish (Ziva was from Israel. Her father Eli and brother Ari were also Jewish).

              Old shows I watched had Lisa Cuddy (House), and Don and Charlie Eppes (and their dad) from NUMB3RS

              We're currently watching the boxed set of The West Wing, which has Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler.

              Often, many shows have minor characters that are doctors and lawyers who are Jewish. Yes, I know it's stereotyping. But they're common, especially on legal shows.

              But these are major characters on top-rated network shows off the top of my head.

               I don't watch much TV at all. I'm sure there are more.

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:36:48 AM PST

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        •  Granted, I have not watched broadcast tv (0+ / 0-)

          for about two years ever since I got Netflix.

          Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

          by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:18:54 PM PST

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        •  There's the nebbishy, mother-dominated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simul Iustus et Peccator

          stereotype on that Big Bang Show!

          Jews are certainly hugely overrepresented as writers, though. And probably as actors, too.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:23:02 PM PST

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        •  The only one I can think of right now is (0+ / 0-)

          Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.

          President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

          by askew on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:40:00 PM PST

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        •  top of my head (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MHB, johnosahon

          Weeds was a show about a Jewish family.  The Golds on Entourage were Jewish.  Saul on Homeland.  Howard on Big Bang Theory.  Isn't Clyde on House of Lies Jewish?  And herein lies the problem.  Most shows don't deal with religion at all so it it hard to know who is supposed to be Jewish especially since the whole point is you don't want stereotypical portrayals.

      •  you might want to check your numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover

        your perception might have more to do with your perception. you also miss the point- it's how they were depicted, not whether they were depicted.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:14:44 PM PST

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      •  More like 2%, I think, and that's an interesting (0+ / 0-)

        point. To the extent that we want diverse representation (and I think we do) should we support limiting the number of Jews who are hired? Is it okay to say, "Sorry, we've already got too many Jews?'

        Rosenberg didn't run the numbers for % of Jews, I guess.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:18:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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