NLMC Evaluates Diversity on TV


They may call Betty ugly, but she is looking pretty good to a Latino group pushing broadcast networks for more programming diversity.

According to the latest network diversity report cards from the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), ABC is still the leader in diversity both in front of and behind the camera, while Fox got most-improved honors. All the networks showed improvement and all received above-average grades--but the group says there is still work to be done.

NLMC rates the networks on acting, directing and executive ranks. It issues report cards on diversity as do other groups, like one which represents Asian Pacific American and American Indian actors.

ABC led the way with NLMC with an overall A-, followed by CBS with a B+, and NBC and Fox tied with NBC.

Esteban Torres, chair of the NLMC, said that the number of Latino actors in regular and recurring programming on ABC is "sky high," and the quality of the roles is "incredibly impressive. The hit of the season is Ugly Betty and Steve McPherson and Alex Wallau are to be congratulated for bringing it to the screen while developing several other Latino-themed programs," he said.

Fox got points for improving from a C- to a B+ in actors in prime time scripted shows, and got an A in reality casting, which the groups attributed to Peter Liguori, President of Fox Entertainment.

CBS got credit for the most episodes directed by Latinos, while NBC also scored high in that department, with the group saying the network has several Latino-themed shows in development that will raise its grade if they get to air.

“With the population of 14% and a purchasing power of over 700 billion dollars a year, the efforts of the networks to include Latinos points to an understanding of the importance of our community,” said Torres.

The networks did not do so well when it came to including Asian Pacific actors and executives in the industry. All networks got a C- except CBS, which got a C. Even worse, the studies found, were the representation of American Indians--with most getting D's and F's, according to American Indians in Film & TV.