Race Representation in Popular Media

How race is represented online and in popular media is something that has become more and more of a discussion point over the last few years. You may have heard of #blackoutday which was a movement online to celebrate the underrepresented black faces across the world. The movement was most popular on twitter and tumblr.

Underrepresentation of race’s in the media is not just an online issue, with mediums like television also being a place where races are incorrectly represented. After doing a little research I found this study from 2008, that found while 32% of the US population was caucasian males, they were represented on cable TV 57%, while other demographics including Latino men, who made up 8% of the population, were only represented 1%.

These representations have been changing, particularly after 9/11 which lead to the creation of characters from Arab or Muslim decent, and emphasized highlight that Arab and Muslim Americans were not the enemy, that Arab and Muslim terrorists were. However, TV shows began to portray these minorities in America as the “unjust victim[s] of post-9/11 discrimination”. Now this is all well and good, except for the issue that this attempt to avoid racism brings out – that Arabs and Muslims still have to deal with discrimination.

This is why we need to make our representations accurate, and help use them to shape a society that isn’t full of d**ks.

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2 comments

  1. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Love your blog title too by the way. I agree with your argument 100% and also think that the representation of race is not just an online problem even on our news programs I barely see any minority groups represented as news anchors? I look forward to the day when this is not an issue. Great blog, look forward to reading more.

  2. I definitely agree with this post. Underrepresentation is a huge issue that needs to be addressed in todays media. Through the media studies course I am becoming increasingly aware of just how serious evident the inequality is. I found it particularly interesting in the lecture content how particular races are portrayed stereotypically within the entertainment industry. For example asian women are typically cast as doctors or prostitutes in the entertainment industry.

    Another issue is the underrepresentation of races which you have touched on in your post. One example that comes to mind is The Hunger Games. In the novel it never specified what race the lead female was yet during castings they specifically asked for caucasian female for the role.

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