Created By: Dragonmouth on December 21, 2011
Troped

Minority Show Ghetto

The belief that works starring persons of color cannot appeal to a white audience.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Similar to Girl Show Ghetto but with racial minorities instead of females. This is the idea that fiction centered on a person of color (POC) cannot entertain or otherwise appeal to people outside of that race. Marketers might fear that a work starring a POC will be focused on issues of race and culture, driving away audiences who are not interested in such movies. They might also fear that white audiences won't be able to relate to a POC in the lead.

The result of this belief is that works starring people of color are rare compared to works starring white people. If a work of fiction wishes to deal with issues of race, it will likely star a white person with POC's as supporting actors. See Mighty Whitey, White Man's Burden, and White Male Lead.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • December 21, 2011
    Duncan
    Likewise with Gay Cinema.
  • December 21, 2011
    SKJAM
    According to news articles I have read, this belief is why a biopic about Haiti's struggle for independence is having trouble getting decent funding--there's no white "good guy" characters.
  • December 21, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
  • December 21, 2011
    metaphysician
    There needs to be *some* reference to Tyler Perry, preferably on both angles ( "white people don't watch his all black movies!" "because they are poorly written comedies with caricature characters!" )
  • December 21, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^Referenced on Saturday Night Live: Kenan Thompson as Tyler Perry.
    Some of you may know me from my films like Medea's Family Reunion and Why Did I Get Married?, or you may know my sitcoms, like Meet the Browns and House of Payne. Or you may be white.
  • December 21, 2011
    Isane
    This may also overalp with the issue of white actors getting cast to play characters who were Po C in the source material - e.g. The Last Airbender, Akira...
  • December 22, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Truth In Television:
    • Oscar-Winner Halle Berry says she has a hard time finding roles due to this belief.
    • Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Samuel L Jackson and to a lesser degree Martin Lawrence seem to be the only men of color who can consistently find starring roles due to this belief.
    • There have also been studies that prove this belief to be true. They presented people with identical movie synopses, but with either a white cast or a black cast. And people picked their own race/ethnicity as the one they'd most want to see even if the film had the identical plot.

    Also related to the fact that a lot of the so-called giants of fantasy and speculative literature were racists whose views informed their work to one degree or another:

  • December 22, 2011
    captainpat
    This is an Audience Reaction it can't be Truth In Television because it's not a trope.

    Also I can no idea what those authors have to do with this page. This is about the belief that shows staring minorities can't appeal to the majority demographic
  • December 22, 2011
    Cider
    Does Tv Tropes really need another page that is not about a trope? No it does not, But Not Too Black is enough already. This topic took how long for the Tyler Perry bashing? You're as annoying as the Twilight people.
  • December 22, 2011
    captainpat
    It's an opinion that affects what types of movies get made, marketing, and casting decisions. It's also a topic that gets discussed in the entertainment industry, so it has a place here.
  • December 22, 2011
    Abodos
    ^^^^Is it really fair to label Tolkien a racist? His Middle-Earth stories were meant to evoke the old Germanic and Norse mythologies, and having non-white characters would have been odd. And unlike the other three, he never tried to make the case for the inferiority of non-white people in either his books or other outlets for his views.
  • December 22, 2011
    TonyG
    The Cosby Show is one of the main aversions. It was one of the biggest shows of the 1980s, which couldn't have happened had it only appealed to the African-American community. Mostly this was due to the fact that it focused more on family relationships while keeping ethnic or racial elements to a minimum (not that they weren't present, mind you).
  • December 22, 2011
    Cider
    This seems less like a tool of artists or writers trying to tell a story and more like Executive Meddling or Creator Provincialism. Yeah, those are also pages that are not about describing tropes but that's not exactly a good thing.
  • December 22, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    I think it's important. No way to change this problem in fiction and media if we're not aware of it and do something about it.

    And it's not strictly audience reaction. It's kind of that the audience has been conditioned to only want to watch "their own kind" for the most part.
  • December 23, 2011
    AgProv
    There was a TV comedy in the 1980's, The Desmonds, about several generations of a West Indian family living in Britain that centered on the family hairdressing salon and barbershop. It screened on Channel Four, a station with a remit to do differently and consider the things other broadcasters wouldn't touch, such as "ethnic" comedy and drama. It was certainly the first programme of its type to be screened in Britain, and its name even got as far as Bill Cosby, who invited the star of the Desmonds to do a walk-on part in the Cosby Show. Mr Desmond played himself, as a Carribean relative of the Cosbys trying to teach Bill how to play cricket and why the game was so popular in the islands...

    Ten years later, the BBC finally realised Britain was no longer 100% white, and first financed an all-black comedy sketch show called The Real mcCoy (it bombed) followed by an Asian comedy/sketch show called Goodness Gracious me (which became a roaring success).
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4yk7vkebe7w1b90wdq7c6sj9