Black Like Us

 Confirming my own half-baked research, apparently African-American actors are indeed disproportionately represented in TV commercials now. American Thinker records,

In the United States today, the White population (not including Hispanics) is 57.8%….Blacks comprise 14% of the U.S. population but appear in 50% of commercials. White actors now appear to promote health insurance, gold, loans, and some medicines. Moreover, if a White person appears in a commercial, he/she is usually old, sick, a freak, or at the very least, an appendage to a Black partner. If there’s a doctor on the screen, he’s usually Black, while the patient is usually White. Caucasian young men appear in only 4% of the commercials! If some aliens began to study the population of Planet Earth through our TV commercials they would have a somewhat distorted picture of Americans, to put it mildly.

Well, if it matters whether an American is black, white or something else; personally, I don’t think it does or should. This kind of liberal TV manipulation of reality has been going on at least since the 1970s, when it seemed like there was a rule requiring the tech whiz on every show had to be black, like Greg Morris on “Mission Impossible.” Those aliens in the Seventies would get the idea that Earth’s blacks were technologically superior race. Right now, the alien would assume that the majority of marriages in the U.S. are inter-racial. In fact, the number is rising but it’s still around 10% at most.

I find the fictional demographics TV is feeding us to be more amusing than upsetting, but it is hypocritical for the group that constantly complains that it isn’t seeing portrayals of characters that “look like me” has intimidated the entertainment industry into broadcasting a fictional version of reality. many surveys have shown that the public vastly over-estimates the percentage of blacks in the population.

I can see the argument that TV doing this is positive for the culture in the long run. Nevertheless, I find the practice of the media using its huge influence  and power to mislead the public about the nation and world around it ominous and subject to abuse.

And it is abused, constantly. This may be just one of the more benign examples.

9 thoughts on “Black Like Us

  1. That’s an interesting study.

    What’s also interesting are some of the advertisements I’ve been seeing recently of a few new series where all the main characters are black and usually mostly black women and the characters seem to be caricatures of overbearing, overweight, verbally abusive black women that border on or are criminals.

    Are these shows racist, bigoted or prejudice; something just seems wrong about what they are doing.

    Is this really what the black community want’s to watch?

    Is this entertainment?

  2. I agree this is an interesting study, except in my mind you would have to actually “study” history of t.v. and commercials to come away with such conclusions. I guess in the ’70’s I was asleep (graduated H.S. in ’74). I grew up in Santa Ana, California – – 90 miles from Tijuana, Mexico, and God-knows how far from Africa. Half my friends and neighbors, though, from elementary school through two years at Orange Coast Community College, were Mexicans and Blacks. They weren’t “different” from me, my friends, or from people from the Church I grew up in …they were just my friends. I loved my friends, and life in America back then. Also, I loved watching Mission Impossible because my mom watched the show all the time. I never thought of Greg Morris (Barney Collier) as “the tech guy because he was black, or superior.” I just liked his character and the show. I only started such unfortunate warped (but true) thinking in 2007, when first starting to watch speeches from [pathetic] congressman Obama when running for President. I thought then, and still do today, that no one in their right mind would vote for “that race-bating fraud.” –NOTE: it was the majority White Man, not blacks, who put Obama …and now Biden, in office. Your “study” of the percentage of Whites vs Blacks in America demonstrate this as true. 14% of this country did not put Biden in office. Blame the “intellectual Left” for all that is become more and more deplorable with our society. God help this country (but I not convinced God doesn’t say to this Country “…well you majority white folks voted them in!”).

    Whatever the case, keep up the good work, Jack !!

  3. I have to admit, for some reason this black people in every commercial really, really bothers me. It’s just so preposterous. Every couple seems to be bi-racial. And they’re happy! They love each other, even though the white person is a white supremacist and wants to oppress and murder their of color spouse. And all these handsome young black people are living in beautiful houses and tooling around in Mercedes and Audis and other luxury brands. And these people need reparations? And all the black couples are happily married and nurturing their children. And here I thought 80 percent of black families are headed by single mothers! Golly gosh! Turns out they’re living in the tv commercial fantasy land that used to be inhabited by WASPS. It’s just so offensively and patently moronic and patronizing.

  4. The thing that troubles me about these commercials is not the commercials, but the reaction to them. Throughout my entire adult life, I have never thought commercials were designed to present reality. They were designed to convince me, for example, that new blue Cheer would make my underwear smell nice. C’mon, man!
    Now, the same advertisers that I grew up with are portraying happy family situations that some cannot or will not identify with. Huh?
    Much of corporate America realizes that advertising can do more than just promote a product, it can promote the company as being more aware of socially important issues, such as the increase in racially mixed marriages and blended families. Portraying reality? No. Promoting something good? Yeah, I think so.
    For the complainers, ethnically mixed families may not represent your reality, but they are the reality for a growing population of the United States. An exaggerated reaction to the exaggerated portrayal of that reality seems petty, just looking for something to rail against.

  5. So glad I stopped watching TV! I miss all this!

    Advertisers don’t care about ANYTHING but one thing.

    Money.

    If the press isn’t harassing them
    For being racist, and they get a good PC score… that’s like insurance.

    They will stay under the radar of bad companies.

    That’s the only reason they do this…so they will keep an image of a good, caring, brand. Cuz you know… that’s what all the big companies are really about! Integrity and serving humanity.

    Lol.

  6. The question is do we want advertisers promoting single mothers or other socially dysfunctional people in their ads simply to project reality. Most ads involving household products suggest that moms do all the housework and are the primary caregivers – not in my reality. Dads are portrayed as stereotypical suburban resource providers who fancy themselves as Wolfgang Puck on the barbeque grill or one who has an unhealthy obsession with his front lawn. None of these reflect my reality so this does not bug me as much as it bugs others.

    I have no idea, and I doubt any reliable studies have been conducted to determine, if mixed race family units are any better or worse than same race family units therefore, I have no idea if presenting this as a norm is good or bad.

    TV advertisements are fictional depictions designed to appeal to emotion. They provide no factual information that help reduce transaction costs except to advise people of its existence. To assume they are purveyors of truth is at your peril.

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