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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along? This High School Act on Television Needs to Stop, It Just Makes Good Business Sense!

Diversity is a huge focus at Fortune 500 companies around the country, not only to promote those people of color, age and gender to higher level roles or rotational development assignments, but also to help create new ideas and thought behavior that can result in better products, services and a competitive advantage that can last for years.  The numbers don't lie, and these companies have embraced the fact that not only is it great from a public relations perspective, but in the corporate world it really affects their bottom line revenue and profitability.

So why has the entertainment industry been so slow to catch on to these trends in business, and still shies away from a diverse slate of programming in front of the camera?  And here just like in the corporate offices behind the camera, the numbers don't lie.  There is a huge opportunity lost unless some of these big broadcast and cable networks just give it a try and put some money and resources into producing shows without a white lead star or a diverse lead that is supported by other white actors.  Look what the Cosby Show did for NBC in the 80's with an all black cast (and by the way where in the ratings is that Peacock network now?).  And most recently, The Game on the BET Network more than tripled its rating since moving from the CW Network, with an all black cast as well centering its programming on universal themes of love, money, sports and fame.

And let's not leave out the all-Hispanic hits such as the George Lopez Show from the last decade or Chico and the Man from the 70's (well, at least most of the cast was diverse), both bottom line revenue generators for ABC.  Shows such as these point to the fact that we don't always have to be white centric when we turn on our flat screen TV's, and flip  through hundreds of channels on our cable systems.  Remember, when it's time to hit that off button on the remote control and stare back at ourselves from the reflection of that large television screen, we see many colors of the rainbow.

Cut the High School act my TV studio friends, and starting thinking about diversity like everyone else has for the last few years.  It could really benefit your wallet!     


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