Daily Poll: Can Reality TV Challenge the Racial Divide?


“Just as the military and professional sports — two arenas not heralded for their liberal thought — became the unlikely vessels for breaking racial barriers decades ago, reality programming may be a similarly transformational force in bringing greater diversity to television today.” Or at least that’s what this piece in the Los Angeles Times claims, pointing out that the two major exceptions to this rule are ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

They admit that reality shows are “keeping it real” for self-serving reasons — greater audience, not social progress — but we think it’s also important to note what harm shows that “thrive on conflict and drama” and “outright emotional explosions” might do in exploiting stereotypes rather than promoting greater understanding. That said, you can count the number of minorities helming their own primetime series on one hand.

What we’re wondering is: