Tuesday, 23 October 2012

1974-2012: ONE US TV show led by black actress

[cross-posted from Rep. of Ethnicity blog]
Useful stat, and insight into the barriers that ethnicity still poses for black actresses: there were zero US TV dramas fronted by a black actress after 1974, until now (Oct 2012). Just a 38-year gap!!!
That would be a helpful stat to quote if ethnicity came up in your exam (wider context).
Article below URL.

American television's real Scandal

Why have audiences had to wait 38 years for a black female lead character?
Kerry Washington, star of Scandal. Photograph: Craig Sjodin/ABC
When Scandal, the new drama about political corruption in the US capital starring Kerry Washington was first previewed in America, the show's creator Shonda Rhimes remarked, somewhat caustically: "I think we were at a place where a non-white actor can be the lead in a television series a long time ago – I just think that people have failed to cast the actors they should have been casting."
Surprisingly, Washington is the first black female lead on network television in 38 years. Not since 1974 when Tessa Graves starred as a policewoman in the blaxploitation show Get Christie Love! has a primetime US network show featured a black woman as the main character.
Since then the roles for black actresses have typically been limited to supportive friend or snappy sidekick. Most recently, former Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman landed a supporting role in the upcoming Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries, fellow Brit Gugu Mbatha-Raw played one half of a husband/wife spy team in the swiftly cancelled Undercovers and former reality star Nene Leakes had turns in Glee and sitcom The New Normal.
Even Miranda Bailey, arguably the strongest character on the show that made Shonda Rhimes's name – Grey's Anatomy – is frequently relegated to the sidelines in favour of another smooch between Meredith and McDreamy.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ikea/Starbucks take women out of the picture

Two of the most recognisable faces of globalisation have shown an ugly side in recent times, Photoshopping women out of advertising materials in an effort to appeal to customers in Saudia Arabia. Full story below from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/02/ikea-apologises-removing-women-saudi-arabia-catalogue:

Ikea apologises over removal of women from Saudi Arabia catalogue

Company says airbrushing women out of pictures showcasing company's products goes against its values
Ikea catalogue
The orginal version of the Ikea catalogue and the censored version circulated in Saudi Arabia.
Ikea, the global furniture company, has apologised for deleting images of women from the version of its catalogue circulating in Saudi Arabia.
The issue was highlighted on Monday by the free newspaper, Metro, which compared the Swedish and Saudi versions of the catalogue and showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company's products.
Ikea's Saudi catalogue, which is also available online, looks the same as other editions of the publication, except for the absence of women.
One picture shows a family apparently getting ready for bed, with a young boy brushing his teeth in the bathroom. However, a pyjama-clad woman standing next to the boy is missing from the Saudi version. Another picture of five women dining has been removed in the Saudi edition.
Ikea released a statement expressing regret over the issue, saying: "We should have reacted and realised that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values."
Women appear only infrequently in Saudi advertising, mostly on Saudi-owned television channels that show women in long dresses, with scarves covering their hair and long sleeves. In imported magazines, censors black out many parts of a woman's body including arms, legs and chest.
When Starbucks opened its coffee shops in Saudi Arabia, it removed the long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown.
Sweden's equality minister, Nyamko Sabuni, said Ikea was a private company that made its own decisions, but added that it also projected an image of Sweden around the world.
"For Ikea to remove an important part of Sweden's image and an important part of its values in a country that more than any other needs to know about Ikea's principles and values, that's completely wrong," Sabuni told the Associated Press.
Ikea Group, one of the many branches in the company's complicated corporate structure, said it had produced the catalogue for a Saudi franchisee outside the group.
"We are now reviewing our routines to safeguard a correct content presentation from a values point-of-view in the different versions of the Ikea catalogue worldwide," it said.