Like a progressive public school from the ’70s, the National Latino Media Council this year dropped A-F grades it has been giving broadcast networks for Latino inclusion efforts in front of and behind the camera, opting instead for a grading scale of Good, Mediocre or Bad. Today’s report rated the diversity performances of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in the 2013-14 TV season in primetime (the CW is not included). The four networks were graded based on employment of Latino actors, writers, producers, directors and entertainment executives; program development; procurement; and commitment to diversity and “transparency.”
NBC wins the gold star on a low bar, with a pack-leading Mediocre/Good grade, because it “showed great improvement with Latino actors in scripted roles and cast members in unscripted roles.” NBC also went to the head of the class because of its number of Latino writers and producers has increased slightly, though the network had fewer Latino directors. NBC got points for its “commitment to diversity in the programs it supports and for Latino execs it employed at its cable networks — and because NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke keynoted NLMC member organization National Hispanic Media Coalition’s MediaCon.
ABC, CBS and Fox all were deemed Mediocre. ABC had the most Latino-scripted actors and led the pack in terms of Latino writers and producers but didn’t do so well with Latino directors and talent on unscripted series. NLMC was most seriously displeased about the casting of Juan Pablo Galavis on The Bachelor; the group said he “ended up perpetuating stereotypes with his sexist and homophobic remarks.”
CBS lagged in nearly every category, including onscreen talent in scripted and unscripted roles. The organization said CBS “shows promise” when it comes to Latino writers, producers, and directors, but progress remains slow. CBS gets points for having “a Latina entertainment executive” at the helm: Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler.
Fox “shows little improvement in hiring Latino writers, producers and directors.” The network has, however, “made great strides in augmenting the amount of Latino actors” as well as “improving portrayals,” NLMC said. The organization also seemed pleased just to have Fox data this year; the group says Fox declined to provide data the past two years, though the network says that’s not the case.
“It is clear there is a lot of room for improvement across the board,” NLMC chair Esteban Torres said.