NAACP: Industry 'Out of Sync'

Biz falling 'seriously short' in achieving diversity, report says

The NAACP Hollywood Bureau issued a report Wednesday saying that the entertainment industry "continues to fall seriously short" in achieving diversity, particularly in TV.

The report, "Out of Focus, Out of Sync -- Take 4," argues that minorities are under-represented in nearly all facets of the film and TV businesses and are denied access to top positions. It says that "employment and promotion opportunities for minorities are directly tied to highly subjective practices, a closed roster system and potentially discriminatory guild membership practices."

The report also says that the "serious shortage" of minorities on primetime TV is linked to the "virtual disappearance" of black programming since UPN and the WB merged into one network -- the CW -- two years ago as well as a dropoff in the number of minorities in recurring roles and a diminished role among the networks in actively developing young minority talent.

"At a time when the country is excited about the election of the first African-American president in U.S. history, it is unthinkable that minorities would be so grossly under-represented on broadcast television," NAACP president/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said.

NAACP Hollywood Bureau executive director Vicangelo Bulluck added that the lack of primetime programming created by, for and about minorities is related to the fact that there are "few" black people in higher positions with the ability to green light new series or make final creative decisions.

The report recommends that a task force of network executives, educators and NAACP advocacy partners update the "Memorandum of Understanding" between the networks and the NAACP and its partners with a goal of creating the "best practice standards throughout the industry."