23 April 2012

Why We Need More Screenwriters of Color

I'm what many would call a TV addict. I have DirecTv (with premium channels!), a Hulu queue that always hovering around 30 deep, a Netflix subscription and a Redbox account. I would say I consume about 40 hours of television a week not including the blogs and television news I consume, so it's probably the full-time job I'm not getting paid for. 

That being said, I'm not an idle watcher. I consume but I also critique and lately with all the Girls controversy and similar issues with one of my favorite shows, The Vampire Diaries, I've been doing some deep analysis of the current television climate and frankly, it's kind of sad. There was a recent study that said that all-white jury pools convicted Black defendants 16% more often than Whites. Furthermore, the presence of just one Black person on the jury made the conviction rates almost identical (even better in that instance White defendants were convicted at a 2% higher rate). I think this same dynamic plays out in the writers room. Just the mere inclusion of one writer of color can make the difference in how what we see onscreen plays out.