Many of your favorite shows have returned with new episodes this year, but the NAACP is not pleased with the way some of those shows look. The civil rights group says TV shows are not diverse enough. Marquand Ragland has dreams of becoming a big-time actor, but Ragland said there are not enough opportunities for black actors in show business. “We really don't have a fair shot,” he said. The NAACP agrees, saying diversity on television improves the public's perception of minorities. The civil rights group recently released a report to TV networks urging them to include more minorities in leading roles on both sides of the camera. According to their report, minority actors and writers still remain flat on prime-time shows. There were 333 minority actors during the 2002-03 television season. That dropped to 307 four years later. The number of minority writers also significantly dropped. The report praised CBS for making some improvements, like giving the lead role on The Unit to Dennis Haysbert, and Lawerence Fishburne who is now on CSI. UNCW Communication professor, Anita McDaniel, said it is important for networks to bring in different types of minority actors to fill non-stereotypical roles versus the more common minority actors on television. “It would be nice to see other actors, see lots of different types of actors, as opposed to the same actor in multiple things,” McDaniel said. Ragland is hoping that day will come soon. “African-Americans need to get involved in this industry. They need to really realize that this industry is here,” he said. The NAACP report also threatens to seek political action if no progress is made.
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