We’ve all felt at various points (maybe at most points) that some media creation has reached us by mistake, that we are not the target audience. 20th century American TV was aimed largely at a white majority, with a parallel, underfunded channel of content aimed at people of color. So how have things changed? There still seem to be “black shows,” but how do they fit in to a landscape where inclusiveness is a tool by which shows attempt to appeal to everyone (i.e. get all the money)? Comedian/actor/writer/producer Rodney Ramsey joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the experience of watching outside your demographic, whether identifying with characters requires physical commonalities, “black voice,” and the evolving TV landscape. We touch on Watchmen, Atlanta, Black Panther, Insecure, Sorry to Bother You, BlacKkKlansman, Tyler Perry, Dear White People, The Chi, Black Jesus, and the black Herminone issue. Some of the articles we considered included:
- “What Does It Mean to ‘Sound’ Black?” by Hannah Giorgis
- “A Racial Divide Widens on Network TV” by James Strerngold (in 1998!)
- “Why White People Don’t Like Black Movies” by Andre Seewood (2014)
- “Moving Beyond Audience Segmentation: What Marketers Can Learn from Post-Demographic Consumerism” by Lauren McMenemy
- “Is Black English a Dialect or a Language?” (Lexicon Valley ep. #4 by Mike Vuolo)
Follow Rodney @Rodney_Ramsey. This episode includes bonus discussion that you can only hear by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.