ABC Entertainment Chief: Network Hasn't Paid Enough Attention to "True Realities" of America

Designated Survivor - Kiefer Sutherland - Publicity - H 2016
Ben Mark Holzberg/ABC



Channing Dungey said the shock election of Trump had prompted network execs to question whether its output paid enough attention to America's working class.

ABC's slate of dramas — glitzy shows such as Designated SurvivorHow to Get Away with Murder and Notorious — may not mirror real-life America sufficiently, according to one top network exec, who said the shock election of Donald Trump had caused the network to reconsider its output.

Speaking at a media summit in London earlier in the week, Channing Dungey, who replaced Paul Lee as president of ABC Entertainment in February, said that the rise of Trump and his white blue-collar support had forced execs at the network to question whether its programming was too focused on the upper echelons of U.S. society.

"With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, well-educated people, who are driving very nice cars and living in extremely nice places," said Dungey, according to local publication C21.

"There is definitely still room for that, and we absolutely want to continue to tell those stories because wish-fulfillment is a critical part of what we do as entertainers. But in recent history we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas."

Despite the critical analysis, Dungey did point to ABC's comedy line-up as offering a better "balance" between those on different sides of the economic spectrum.