Event Title

Love and Hip-Hop?:The Misrepresentation of African-American Women in Reality TV

Presenter Information

Sloan Cargill, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 123

Start Date

30-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 11:55 AM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

The reality TV industry, historically, has not addressed issues of race and class overtly. Prominent reality TV shows like The Bachelor, The Apprentice, Survivor, Rat Race, The Real World, and even Americas Next Top Model have not made it a point to highlight the races and classes of the people they document. But a new genre of shows such as VH1's Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta, and Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Blood, Sweat, and Heels, have largely been focused on the lives and experiences of African-American women. There is clearly a growing market for these reality shows as they have become exceedingly popular, so we must question how the racial identities of the cast members affect these shows. This study is focused on understanding how African-American women are portrayed in American reality TV and the particular stereotypes presented in these shows. Through visual and discourse analysis of VH1's Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta I have found that the show and its portrayals of African-American women largely recreate and reinforce the predominate negative stereotypes of African-American women that have been pervasive in mass media. The American TV industry is bursting at the seams with new reality TV shows, so it is crucial for the future of an ethical and equal TV industry that we acknowledge and end the misrepresentation of African-American women in TV today, and make better representations for TV tomorrow.

Faculty Sponsor

Sonja Thomas

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1723

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Apr 30th, 9:00 AM Apr 30th, 11:55 AM

Love and Hip-Hop?:The Misrepresentation of African-American Women in Reality TV

Diamond 123

The reality TV industry, historically, has not addressed issues of race and class overtly. Prominent reality TV shows like The Bachelor, The Apprentice, Survivor, Rat Race, The Real World, and even Americas Next Top Model have not made it a point to highlight the races and classes of the people they document. But a new genre of shows such as VH1's Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta, and Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Blood, Sweat, and Heels, have largely been focused on the lives and experiences of African-American women. There is clearly a growing market for these reality shows as they have become exceedingly popular, so we must question how the racial identities of the cast members affect these shows. This study is focused on understanding how African-American women are portrayed in American reality TV and the particular stereotypes presented in these shows. Through visual and discourse analysis of VH1's Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta I have found that the show and its portrayals of African-American women largely recreate and reinforce the predominate negative stereotypes of African-American women that have been pervasive in mass media. The American TV industry is bursting at the seams with new reality TV shows, so it is crucial for the future of an ethical and equal TV industry that we acknowledge and end the misrepresentation of African-American women in TV today, and make better representations for TV tomorrow.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/399