DURST: Television for White Folk

The NAACP is threatening to sue the television networks and pressure advertisers because not one of their twenty six new shows premiering this fall features a Black, Hispanic or Asian star in a featured role. We're talking whiter than the Perry Como Northern Vermont CEO Polo Invitational.I don't know what the big problem is. There's as much diversity on the tube as there is in the programmers real world: like your average Pacific Palisades Parent Teacher Conference.The NAACP has obviously been misinformed. Asians are constantly popping up as rickshaw drivers and launderers in "Martial Law." You always see blacks on "ER" as gunshot victims and questioned by the cops in "Law & Order" in gritty realistic dialogue about grisly crimes committed by Jamaican and Colombian drug lords. And aren't there plenty of wacky Puerto Ricans garbling English as various restaurant workers in "Friends?" Or is that one of those WB shows?You can't blame the networks. Economics demand they appeal to the largest demographic possible and white audiences just don't want to watch black artists. That whole Bill Cosby thing a couple of years ago was just a fluke. As is Chris Rock. And more than half the music industry. Just a long stretch of serendipitous flukes. In Hollywood, they don't throw away good money for a hunch on a fluke. They need sure things. Like "Encore, Encore", and "Buddy Faro", and "The Sue Costello Show."Will Durst misses Urkel. No he doesn't.

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