Why Aren't There More Diverse Faces on Kids' TV?
I've always had a problem with the lack of diversity in children's TV programming, it seemed like Hollywood was decades behind the real world.
It had really been bugging me that ever since That's So Raven went off the air, then later Corey in the House, we haven't seen an African American star or black family showcased on the whole Disney network? What's up with that?
It was bad enough I had to put the channel on an even shorter short list after Zac and Cody started talking about "dates" and kissing girls. Same with Hannah.
Mama don't play that.
That's a major SMH in 2011, for us to have to dig in the crates to see positive images of young black and Latina girls on television -- especially children's television. Our children's generation is more diverse than any other in history and it's tragic that television stations, even as big as Disney, don't have shows that reflect their diverse audience.
In general, I find that Nickelodeon has more diverse programming in general, but I was super excited to see two new brights spots on the Disney channel lately. One is ANT Farm, starring China Anne McClain, of House of Payne and Daddy's Little Girls, as the character Chyna and her friends who are in the Advanced Natural Talents (A.N.T.) program, and are attending high school at the tender age of 11.
My daughter loves this. And I must admit, I've watched more than a few episodes myself.
Another bright spot for diverse programming is Disney's new show, Jessie starring Debby Ryan as an au pair for a wealthy family in charge of a gaggle of diverse kids, including an African American girl, and Karan Brar, whom I loved in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, as Ravi.
The point is, the world is changing and it's about time TV and movies catch up. All children should be able to see positive images of themselves on TV and see that anything is possible.
Anyway, I know it's up to us parents to instill in our little girls the self-love that the media could never do and to fill the hole of positive images with our own research and resourcefulness, but I'm hoping that showcasing more black, Latina and Asian young talent can help a little too.