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On reality shows, more diversity doesn't lead to better diveristy

  • Increased representation on shows like The Bachelor franchise and Big Brother "has not yet led to more thoughtful consideration of the fiery and emotional racial dialogue fueled by a pandemic and a divisive presidential election," says the Los Angeles Times' Greg Braxton, who spoke to people who study reality TV. "The failure, these experts maintain, undercuts the credibility of ABC and CBS on their pledges of solidarity." Jennifer Pozner, author of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, adds: "In the wake of the largest civil rights uprising since the 1960s, it is understandable that networks and showrunners of reality television would promise to do better. But they still deliver the same kinds of misrepresentation and damaging tropes they’ve always delivered, sometimes in the same package and sometimes in new packaging.” Kristen Warner, film and media studies associate professor at the University of Alabama’s journalism and creative media department, tells him producers of the shows simply want to add more people of color to their casts but not really acknowledge or deal with race meaningfully, because they feel “it’s such a weighty yoke and it’s not fun. They want to have their cake and eat it too.”

    TOPICS: The Bachelorette, The Bachelor, Big Brother, Diversity, Reality TV