Study: Middle Eastern actors ignored by TV

Olivia Newton-John
Updated 12 September 2018
0

Study: Middle Eastern actors ignored by TV

  • The study warned that such depictions can contribute to the rise of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment in American society

LOS ANGELES: Actors and characters of Middle Eastern and North African descent are either ignored by TV or stereotyped, according to a new study by a California-based university.
The few such actors who get work are largely confined to playing tyrants and terrorists, said the study released Monday.
One percent of regularly seen TV series actors have roots in countries including Egypt and Turkey. But estimates show about 3 percent of the US population, 10 million people, are from the region, said the study’s lead author, Biola University associate professor Nancy Wang Yuen.
Researchers who examined 242 scripted prime-time series on broadcast, cable and streaming during the 2015-16 season found that between 90 percent and 97 percent had no characters of Middle Eastern or North African ethnicity.
When those characters do appear, 78 percent are tyrants or trained terrorists, agents or soldiers, the study said. Most speak with obvious foreign accents.
The study warned that such depictions can contribute to the rise of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment in American society.


‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

Updated 19 November 2018
0

‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

  • Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award
  • Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced

LOS ANGELES: “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy on Sunday accepted a lifetime achievement award from the organizers of the Oscars and said she hoped it would open the door for new voices in the movie industry who “might bring the world back to its senses.”
Honored with her producer husband Frank Marshall, Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award.
In 2012, Kennedy became president of LucasFilm, reviving the sci-fi saga and producing multi-billion dollar movies “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that have made her one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood.
“I am very proud to be the first woman to accept this award. But I am also not the first to deserve it and I am 100 percent sure I am not the last,” Kennedy said to wild applause at a gala dinner attended by studio executives and many of Hollywood’s biggest actors and directors.
Kennedy and Marshall co-founded Amblin Entertainment with director Steven Spielberg in 1981 and produced of blockbusters including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.”
Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced.
“It is my hope that with the inclusion of these powerful new voices, we might just bring the world back to its senses and maybe, just maybe, shatter a few glass ceilings along the way,” Kennedy said.
Veteran actress Cicely Tyson, who turns 94 in December, was presented with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, along with Argentinian musician Lalo Schifrin, the composer of scores for “Dirty Harry” and “Mission: Impossible,” and publicist Marvin Levy, who has worked with Spielberg for more than 40 years.
New York-born Tyson, who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and stage plays, was praised by record producer Quincy Jones for her “grace, dignity and class” and for focusing on roles that highlight the struggles of African-Americans.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry noted that Tyson began her career in 1950 “when black people weren’t allowed to come in through front doors.”
She became known for playing strong black women in TV series such as “Roots” in the 1970s, the 1972 movie “Sounder” and more recently “The Help.” “She is a queen to us,” Perry said.