Article Illustration #2 — Ethnic Minority Media


Unknown Author. (2010). Ethnic and Visible Minorities in Entertainment Media. Retrieved from

Quist-Adade, C. (2012).  Lost in Transmission: (Mis)Representation of Racialized Minorities in Canada. Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

This article states, “Diversity is not a drawback” in its protest that Canadian media is too “whitewashed”. It uses all kinds of examples and statistics to try and shock the readers, but in reality I personally think these people are just standing on soapboxes and like to hear themselves talk, figuratively speaking of course. It should go without saying that minorities have a right to be represented in our entertainment media. It’s just that, while the article seems adamant that not enough is being done, I fail to see the problem. It’s not as though in the movies or TV shows you don’t see a single face with any “colour”; there are a large number of respected actors and actresses who are black, Southeast Asian, etc. I could list off several, but, you’re smart people, you know a bunch, so I’ll save myself the trouble and stick to the point. Even shows with a bunch of unknown actors (usually breakout roles for a bunch of tweens on Disney Channel or some shit) usually feature at least one character with an ethnicity that is not “white”.  One can argue that many of said characters are thrown in as “tokens” to shut up the people who would otherwise whine about the show being discriminatory, but so what if they are? They’re there, they’re presented, aren’t they? So long as they are not presented as an object of mockery or as a racist/negative stereotype (I can’t think of any modern examples, but feel free to correct me on that), then I don’t see the problem. If there’s a TV show that features a group of four friends and one is black, it’s not a situation of “3 white kids and the random black kid”, it’s just “4 kids and one happens to be black”, or, even better “4 kids”. Why should it matter?

The article also talks about video games, and how “most protagonists (86 per cent) were white males”. Well, with video games, it’s a different experience: as one is playing, it is easier to ‘get into the game’ if the main character is easy to identify with. As a rule, it’s generally males who play video games, and, despite the growing number of minority groups in Canada, most people who live here are white, so it makes sense that most protagonists in North American-released games are white. The people who make the games are going to make what will sell, and what’s easier to identify with is easier to sell; that’s inarguable and you can’t blame them for that. And there ARE popular games featuring ethnic characters, such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where you play as a black male (and the car-thief thing is NOT a negative stereotype of the game, other games in the series feature white protagonists as well, just to clarify, in case anyone didn’t know). I almost never play video games myself, so I’m pretty much out of examples for that category. Again, I’m sure you all can probably think of enough examples to fill in the gaps yourself.

In short, I think the article makes a great argument where there is nothing to make an argument against, at least not the way I see it. As I said, I’m not against minority representation in the slightest; all I’m saying is that in my experience, from what I’ve noticed, I don’t believe it to be an issue. By all means, discuss in the comments.


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