Main Token Minority Discussion

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09:35:39 AM Jul 31st 2013
Can this trope be used for In-Universe examples, or is it strictly minority characters in an otherwise monochromatic cast?

Because I can think of two shows that explore this: The Jeffersons, "Tennis, Anyone?" (George is offered membership at an all white club whose charter might be revoked) and King of the Hill, "A Man Without A Country Club" (Asian-only country club Nine Rivers offers Hank membership in order to keep a tour by Tiger Woods).
08:12:25 AM Oct 26th 2012
"Depending on the setting, it can merely be an accurate representation of demographics in that region or industry."

^^ Well then THAT wouldn't be an example of this trope now would it. <rolleyes>

Or inversely, its also just as often an utterly NON-realistic representation.

Every white person in real life doesn't have a convenient black friend who drops by daily in the fashion of almost every popular sitcom these days. (Or the goofy white friend on the WB channel.)

I live in the bay area and thats not the norm in real life even around here. Far from it.

Of yeah, and dont forget that the token minority is almost always represented by a black person!

A black person is the duct tape of racial tokens representing every minority in the world according to hollywood culture.
06:50:07 PM Jan 9th 2014
Indeed. There should be some mention on the page about the fine line between a true token minority character (patronising appeasement of moral guardians) and a character who happens to be of an ethnic minority in some way. The Firefly examples fit the latter, as do the Star Trek examples, since Star Trek always made a point of showing genuine diversity (especially in TOS, showing cajones on Roddenberry's part) but having them be proper characters, demonstrating wisdom and foresight about the progression of social attitudes.
02:53:34 PM Sep 3rd 2011
I think it needs to be mentioned that the women in the lord of the rings movies where given more screen time because of this, and also so I can make the Tolkien minority pun.
02:14:51 AM Jul 17th 2011
Moved this from the Quotes tab. Is this a quote? If so, from which work? Which character said it?

...In this section we will also meet Tom, Sophie, and Jamaal: three characters created to illustrate not only the following examples but also to point out that, for some reason, one must include an ostensible minority even when dealing with imaginary people. - This trope in a nutshell.
11:49:15 AM Dec 9th 2010
When does it stop being token? When there's two black characters? Three? Four? When they actually exist as people instead of colors? There seems to be quite a few examples that have several names down as the Token Minority for a single show. What does that mean?
08:22:51 AM Oct 26th 2012
I think it stops being a token when its not being obviously done to be noticed.

Kind of like Hollywood shuffle when they where looking for an "Eddie Murphy" type, its pretty easy to notice when a character has been very deliberately designed and casted to DISPLAY a minority instead of just being a character first who may also happen to be a "minority".

Sometimes I'm surprised when I notice that 2 of the main characters in Red Dwarf are black. Because it never seems deliberate.
09:11:27 PM Nov 29th 2010
Is there a trope for the reverse situation where there are so many minority characters that the minorities become the majority? You often see this with advertisements trying to include as many skin colors as possible. You could also see this is other countries where there are too many white characters, though I can't think of a specific example.
02:57:13 AM Aug 27th 2010
edited by johnnye
In what sense is news reporters usually being one-man one-woman teams an example of this? The world is fifty percent women, they're representing that proportion precisely. Yes, the way they actually treat those women is less than ideal, but this particular accusation seems to rely on some seriously circular logic.

"You hired a woman! Did you only hire her because she's a woman? You must have done, you'd only hire a minority for the sake of tokenism. I know women aren't a minority, but... people like you treat them as if they were, so it still counts..."
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