ABC scores with diversity


With shows like ABC's "Ugly Betty," Hispanics are making big strides in primetime, according to Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition's seventh annual diversity report card released Tuesday, which grades the broadcast networks for hiring minority talent in front and behind the camera and in the executive ranks, as well as "overall commitment to diversity initiatives."

"The number of American Latinos both in front and back of camera has increased, but they are incremental numbers in proportion to the (Latino) population," said National Latino Media Council chair Esteban Torres.

The success of "Betty" earned ABC an A- for the 2006-07 season, the highest grade for any net. NBC and CBS maintained their grades of B and B+, respectively, while Fox was the only network to go down, from a B to a B-, prompted mostly by Fox's policy not to disclose complete statistical information. The network still was praised for increasing the number of Latino writers and producers by 57.1%.

Things look dimmer for American Indians and Asians.

"Behind the camera, American Indians remain invisible," said Mark Reed, spokesman for American Indians in Film and Television.

Added Karen K. Narasaki, chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition,"We are deeply concerned about the lack of commitment to development deals with APA writers and talent."

The NAACP stopped participating in the annual report cards a few years ago.