Yes, white people like “Black-ish.”
By Zeba Blay
(first published 03/17/2017)
As if we needed anymore evidence to prove why diverse and inclusive entertainment is important, a new study has revealed that so-called “black” TV shows command audiences of all colors.
The newly released Nielsen report has shown that a large percentage of non-black TV viewers watch shows with predominantly black casts. These shows include ABC’s “Black-ish,” which has an audience that’s 79 percent non-black, and HBO’s “Insecure,” which has a non-black viewership of 61 percent. Other shows with black leads that have a high percentage of non-black viewers also included “This Is Us,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Pitch,” and “Scandal.”
It means that the habits of TV watchers are changing thanks to television being far less segregated than it was 20 years ago. According to Indiewire, by the late ‘90s networks like Fox, UPN, and The WB aired 16 of the 20 primetime sitcoms that featured black casts like “Martin,” “Living Single,” and “One on One.” This presented a stark contrast to the major networks that had mostly white shows.
But now, with shows like “Black-ish” and “Scandal” dominating on major networks, it’s becoming clearer that diversity on TV is a win-win. It means better representation for the under-represented, and it makes business sense for networks who want to attract a wide range of viewers. Hopefully, this will encourage more networks to green light even more diverse stories about people of color.