LatinaLista — It’s been nine years since the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, comprised of the National Hispanic Media Council (NLMC), the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) and the American Indians in Film & TV (AIFTV), began pushing television networks to feature more diverse actors on their shows.
It’s been a long, hard struggle but finally it has paid off. In case you haven’t noticed it, network TV is doing a better job these days of being more inclusive and they’re (literally) getting high marks for it.
Today, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition released its annual diversity “Report Card” for ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX television networks. Each organization (Asian Pacific American and American Indians in Film and TV) within the coalition reviewed network performance for their respective interests.
The National Hispanic Media Council reviewed the networks evaluating how Latinos, in front of and behind the camera, fared. With a membership comprised of sixteen of the largest Latino advocacy civil rights organizations in the nation — the Cuban American National Foundation; League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC; Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund; National Association of Hispanic Publications; National Association of Latino Independent Producers; National Council of La Raza; National Hispanic Media Coalition; Nosotros; Latino Justice, formerly known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund; National Association of Latino Elected Officials; the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Mexican American Opportunity Foundation; Latino Literacy Now; the National Institute for Latino Policy, MANA and the Arizona State University Center for Community Development and Civil Rights — the National Latino Media Council decided it was time to hold the networks to a higher bar given that it has been nine years.
In the process, they were pleased with what they found.
There has been incremental progress at all four networks in terms of American Latinos. There are three criteria areas that we measure. The three criteria are: Institutional programs and measures taken to bring Latinos into the employment ranks both in front and back of camera; out and out performance, that is, actual hiring that is concrete and measurable; and the third criterion is the clear submission of statistical data utilized to accurately grade diversity performance.
As a result, the National Latino Media Council awarded the following grades to these networks:
ABC — What is very significant for us is that ABC continues its attempt to bring to the screen American Latino themed programming as well as increasing deals with Latino producers and attaching Latino actors to new projects that don’t necessarily have a Latino theme to them. Grade: B+
NBC — NBC increased its total number of American Latino Writers/Producers by 25% and also maintained its total number of Latino Directors in the 2007-2008 TV season (9). Grade: B
CBS — CBS has the largest number of American Latino creative executives of all four networks. We believe that the important inclusion of these Latino creative executives has resulted in the addition of “Cane,” and the other Latino-themed programs that are currently under development. Grade: B+
FOX — FOX achieved an 82% increase in its total number of American Latino actors in primetime, driven primarily by the 21 Latino actors featured in the FOX hit, “Prison Break” (5 Regular/16 Recurring). Like the other networks, FOX also increased its total number of American Latino Writers/Producers (+44%) and also “doubled” its total number of Latino Directors (10 this season, versus 5 last season)! Grade: B+
It’s amazing what happens when people speak up and hold others accountable!