Shonda Rhimes on why TV has so few African-American leads
8:20 PM CST, January 10, 2012
Jan 10 (TheWrap.com) - Why does network television have so few African-American lead actors? The team behind ABC's "Scandal," the only current network series with an African-American lead, has a few ideas.
Rhimes and the cast spoke during a panel Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
After decades of African-Americans leading some of television's biggest shows -- including "The Cosby Show" -- series have increasingly featured African-American actors only in multi-racial casts that appeal to as many demographics as possible.
Laurence Fishburne was the key character on "CSI" before he departed at the end of last season, but even his show was an ensemble. NBC's "Undercovers," with two African-American leads, was quickly canceled last season.
"I think there's a way people want to perceive people of color," he said. "This is what they are, this is how they work, this is how we accept them. Which is a completely gross overassumption of people. And I think this show... tells the story of people. It has nothing to do with color."
ABC announced Tuesday that "Scandal" will debut Thursday, April 5, after the Rhimes-produced "Grey's Anatomy."
(Editing By Zorianna Kit)
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