Congratulations are in order for ABC, the network deemed marginally less lily-white than its borderline-albino broadcast rivals in a television diversity report just released by Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition. Behind the leadership of televisionary Steve McPherson—an executive unafraid to crack some skulls when his shows begin to lag behind their diversity benchmarks—and hits like Ugly Betty, ABC easily triumphed over competition that was either satisfied to maintain the Caucasian status quo or backslide further into the alabaster void:
The success of "Betty" earned ABC an A-minus for the 2006-07 season, the highest grade for any network rated by the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition.
The group's seventh annual diversity report card grades the broadcast networks for hiring minority talent in front and behind the camera and in the executive ranks, as well as "overall commitment to diversity initiatives."
NBC and CBS maintained their grades of B and B-plus, respectively, while Fox was the only network to go down, from a B to a B-minus, prompted mostly by Fox's policy not to disclose complete statistical information.
Of course, no discussion of McPherson's dedication to primetime diversity can exclude perhaps his greatest triumph in this area, Cavemen. Ignoring the misguided complaints of a star who felt victimized by the executive's controversial pro-Neanderthal programming policies and the slings and arrows of skeptical critics, McPherson ultimately succeeded in dedicating 30 minutes per week to televising the struggles of a minority group heretofore completely ignored by the networks. While his triumph will probably be tragically short-lived, it's a victory that will be forever reflected in that much deserved A-minus.
- ABC wins top grade for diversity [Reuters/THR]