WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

Request for followers of race and reality TV: share your thoughts, articles, blog posts, video clips, damning TV or entertainment press quotes

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

May 9th, 2008

Quick question to WIMN’s Voices readers: do you have specific thoughts to share about racism (or representations of race in general) in reality television, especially through a gendered lens? If so, your insights could help inform the first book that will seriously tackle the subject.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I’m working on a book about the political implications and cultural/intellectual consequences of gender, race and class bias in reality television; my working title (which may be changed) is, Bachelors, Bridezillas & Beautiful Corpses: Unraveling Reality TV’s Twisted Fairy Tales. (See here for a previous post requesting video clips, which I’d still find really useful, so click over and lemme know if you have any of these shows.) I’m about to dig into my chapter on racism (interconnected with gender bias) in reality TV, and your thoughts on the subject — and any relevant original source material you know of — would be helpful as I conceptualize and write this section. I have quite a bit of material already and I’ve thought about this subject for a few years (analyzing first the invisibility of people of color in the genre, then the tokenism and stereotype-laden casting, eventually the bigotry of ethnicity being viewed as a liability on beauty-themed series, to the modern day minstrel show that is “Flavor of Love”). But the more analytical input and practical source material, the better, so I’d love to hear from you.

Specifically: Have you seen news or entertainment press articles or reviews that deal with this subject, either in particularly insightful or significantly stupid ways, or read or heard any damning quotes about race or racism in the genre from producers, cast members or others involved behind the scenes (could be in interviews in the entertainment press, video or radio interviews, etc.) ? Have you written blog posts, essays or produced mashups, podcasts or videos about race and gender in reality TV dating shows such as “Flavor of Love,” “Flavor of Love: Charm School,” “I Love New York,” “The Bachelor” and the like, model and makeover shows such as America’s Next Top Model,” “Extreme Makeover” and “The Swan,” or competition shows such as “The Apprentice,” “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” “American Idolor others? Can you site specific instances of product placement or advertising that glorifies exploitative or bigoted content? Or, do you simply want to weigh in on the subject?

If so, post comments, links and any miscellaneous info below in the comments, or email info[at]wimnonline[dot]org.


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