Shows on television more accurately reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of the country, and viewers are responding positively to the boosted diversity, according to a new study published this week.
The number of people of color — and women — in on- and off-camera jobs working in Hollywood during the 2019-20 TV season grew, The Associated Press reported, citing a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Darnell Hunt, dean of the school’s social sciences division, told the AP in an interview that viewers giving positive feedback on shows like Issa Rae’s “Insecure” and miniseries “Watchmen," which stars actor Regina King, proves that there is "mounting evidence for how important diversity is to today’s audience."
The study found a spike in viewership among adults age 18 to 49, especially when a show had a “majority-minority cast," the AP reported.
“People basically want to see the TV shows that look like America, that have characters they can relate to and have experiences that resonate with them,” Hunt told the outlet.
In white, Latino and Asian American homes, median ratings grew for shows whose casts were 41 percent to 50 percent people of color, the study found, while ratings were highest in African American homes for shows with “majority-minority casts."
The new study comes at a time when Hollywood has faced increased scrutiny for its handling of diversity issues and inclusivity in the industry.