Racial Conflict In Reality TV: Good For Business, Society


You know how reality TV producers tend to pack their shows with people of different genders, races, religions and social classes in hopes of stirring up drama and conflict — tears in the confession room?

It turns out this tactic is perhaps our best hope for racial and social equality on television.

Or at least, that’s the gist of an article in today’s LA Times:

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.

“Transformational force” is a bit much — reality TV breaks the scripted show mould because racial conflict is good for ratings — but you get the point.

Did you know that there are only five scripted shows featuring a minority actor in a central role on network television?

The LA Times says William “Mega” Collins, from the first season of CBS’s “Big Brother,” is the model reality TV producers try to follow. Here’s a clip from that show: