HBO’s new series Girls has been met with both critical acclaim and controversy. Some viewers objected to the show’s startling lack of diversity, especially since the show has purported to represent today’s generation of your women and takes place in New York Cty. However, Maureen Ryan, writing for the Huffington Post, argues its television in general that is the problem:
You know what I would really love to see?
I’d love to see a huge outcry when, next fall, the broadcast networks unveil schedules that are full of TV shows that are full of white characters and which will be, for the most part, created and run by men.
You know what I’d love to see?
I’d love to see a mass campaign catch fire, one in which thousands of TV viewers bombard the heads of the broadcast networks and cable networks, asking those executives why they don’t commission more shows from women and people of color.
I’ve written about the sexism in the TV industry many times. By any measure, the television industry is woefully behind the times and shockingly unwilling to change. According to statistics from the Writers Guild of America, women have never exceeded 28 percent of working writers, and according to statistics from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, the representation of women writers in television has actually dropped from 35 percent in the 2006-2007 season to 15 percent in 2010-2011. Also according to the WGA, writers of color have faced the most relentless bias of all: They’ve never been more than 10 percent of the working writers in the TV industry.
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