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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).
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Moved this from the Quotes tab. Is this a quote? If so, from which work? Which character said it?
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?
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.
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.
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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How well does it match the trope?