Issa Rae believes the real reason you’re seeing more diversity on TV is all about the green.
There was once a time where you would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of token Black characters, playing a supporting role to the main cast. These days, there are a few shows we are heading up our own story lines more than ever before–not just in TV and film, but online too.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” creator told Huffington Post Live that she’s not entirely convinced that is a result of TV executives realizing how important inclusion is until recently.
“I don’t even think it’s smarter as much as money driven,” she told host Marc Lamont Hill.
“I think [TV executives are] like, ‘Oh we see what works and let’s replicate it,'” Issa continued. “I don’t think it’s about even blackness or diversity. It’s really about, ‘Oh, my gosh, there are eyeballs. How do we capitalize? How do we take advantage?'”
The lack of representation on-screen, in Issa’s opinion, is a direct reflection of the lack of diversity in boardrooms where decisions about what we see are made.
“Until you have people in positions of power that have varied experiences, nothing will change. This will just be flash-in-the-pan trend,” she mused, adding that the demand for more diversity just wasn’t loud enough to register before. “I think it’s just honestly, we’re not on their radar. They don’t know; they’re not really thinking about us.”
With Websites like Twitter, audiences have been able to amplify their voice and networks are listening!
Issa said in conclusion, “Social media changed the game in that you’re seeing all these tweets–you’re seeing all these trending topics–from majority Black people that are expressing what they want to see. And now people take notice.”