(AllHipHop News) According to the findings of an AP analysis, ABC, NBC, and Fox have a higher percentage of African-Americans in prime time than the percentage of Blacks in the country’s population. The U.S. Census puts the percentage of Blacks in the population at 13.2. African-Americans accounted for 15% of the cast members on ABC and NBC fall shows.
Fox led the way in that statistic. This fall 21% of the roles on the network’s prime time programming were played by African-Americans. In 1999 it was only 6.5%.
These numbers do not include the new show Empire which features a mostly Black cast. Other Fox series like New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gotham, and Red Band Society all present African-American actors and actresses in major roles.
The ensemble casts of NBC series like Law & Order: SVU, Parks & Recreation, and Grimm feature minority characters. ABC has several series with African-American leads including the family comedy Black-ish. Producer Shonda Rhimes’ hit ABC programs Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder star Black leading ladies Kerry Washington and Viola Davis respectively.
However, there was still stagnation for other minority groups on prime time television, and three of the four big networks still had a greater percentage of White roles than the national population. Non-Latino Whites make up 62.6% of America’s population. Yet, 79.2% of CBS’ characters, 72.7 percent of ABC’s characters, and 69.7% of NBC’s characters were Caucasian. 60% of the casts on Fox were White.
“One can make the argument it’s been progress over 15 years, but it’s still been 15 years and that’s a lot of time to go by to see some of these changes incrementally,” former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume told the AP. “We can get pleasantly and romantically drunk by looking at all [Rhimes] is doing… But at the same time, she’s one person at one broadcast network.”