NAACP Vexed With CNN's Colorless Primetime Lineup
More News Hosts Of Color Are Needed
If you're wondering what the NAACP has been up to lately, they are still fighting for social injustices targeted at people of color. The latest injustice? CNN's new fall primetime lineup fails to feature any black hosts.
"As CNN announced their new schedule, a glaring omission was present -- no African Americans were hosts or anchors in their primetime lineup," NAACP president Benjamin Jealous said in a statement. "The NAACP is deeply concerned with the lack of African-American journalists in primetime, both on cable and national network news shows."
CNN does have Don Lemon, T.J. Holmes, Donna Brazile, Fredricka Whitfield, Roland Martin and Soledad O'Brien on their roster. However, none of them are at the helm of a primetime show, the time slot that receives the most viewers. Jealous did address that CNN isn't the only news network lacking diversity: "We have come to expect this from the likes of Fox News, but not other networks."
To their credit, CNN has devoted coverage to African-American experiences and issues. O'Brien's "Black in America" was must-see-TV when it debuted in 2008. It was followed by a sequel in 2009. We'd also be remiss if we ignored the short-lived and critically bashed D.L. Hughley show. (Hey, better to have tried and failed than wonder, what if?)
Of course the NAACP has a point by calling out CNN, but shouldn't the same anger be targeted at network TV, which has zero shows with an African-American lead character? Adults watch the news, but our kids are watching entertainment shows that have no one that looks like them. What does that do for their self-esteem?
The NAACP's Hollywood Bureau will be setting up meetings with the heads of news divisions to get to the bottom of things.