Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bachelor

I should preface this post by saying that I've never watched "The Bachelor" or any of the other such programs that have tarnished the airwaves over the last decade.

The other day I came across a Newsweek article entitled "A Black President Before a Black 'Bachelor'?" It was the TV critic's review of the current season of ABC's "The Bachelor" and the critic, Joshua Alston, chose to focus on the glaring fact that the "bachelor" has been white in each of the show's 14 seasons. (Side note: 14 seasons? I had no idea, but that just seems like 13 too many.) Mr. Alston writes about how he realized it would be silly to call the producers to ask about this because he knows that Americans overwhelmingly marry within their own race. He goes on to say,

White people are the majority in this country and, therefore, the best audience to target from a ratings standpoint, and there's risk in alienating viewers who may have less enlightened views on interracial couples. Could they cast a black man? Sure. Would it be smart to? Probably not. The Bachelor is one of many pop-culture artifacts that highlight the uncomfortable gap between the way we'd like to think of racial integration and the way it actually is. Just as people of different races don't often date each other or worship together, we also don't read many of the same books, or like many of the same movies, or adore many of the same celebrities. Certainly not as much as we'd like to believe.

Read the article and, if you've not already read them, my two previous posts about race (here and here). Then, let me know what you think. I'm curious to know if you think that the online dating world reflects the larger, nationwide trends written about in the Newsweek piece or if it is more liberal or conservative.

1 comment:

Ily said...

So, I don't want to over-comment, but...there have been some reality dating shows on MTV and VH1 with a black (or, in the case of Tila Tequila, Asian) bachelor/ette, but I guess these shows aren't seen to be as "serious" as "The Bachelor"(Which I haven't seen, either). Nor are the guys, of any race, on those shows people that most women would see as a serious marriage prospect (which "The Bachelor" is supposed to be about). ie, Flava Flav.

Also-- 14 SEASONS? Scary...