Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Taraji Crams To Understand: Black Marketing In Hollywood

Blog Post #7
From the great site Shadow & Act:

"WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers….....I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the shit I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!"

Words from Ms Taraji P. Henson posted on her Facebook fanpage yesterday. [9-20-11] She’s talking about the upcoming new CBS drama series Person Of Interest, created by wunderkind producer/director J.J. Abrams, starring James Caviezel, Michael Emerson’s, and of course Taraji.

It's important to note that while it was up yesterday morning (9-21-11) that quote was removed from her Facebook page.

I feel Taraji’s pain. Black people are well underrepresented in mainstream media. We don’t grace mainstream magazine covers and we don’t headline TV shows unless it’s a sitcom. It just doesn’t happen and it doesn’t seem to be the interest of those who are doing the marketing either.

Having studied advertising in college, you have to understand that advertising is a science. NOT ONE ad is placed or aired unless they know EXACTLY who they are marketing to by age, race, and gender. Not one. Was it right for Taraji to lament on social media? In a word Yes.

As Shadow & Act also reported “She’s got almost 700,000 followers on Twitter, and over 3 million fans on Facebook! So, there’s a fanbase there.” THAT IS a huge fan base and social networks DO matter as indicated at how it rescued a dead show after two years, The Game. (You can read more about that here ). Also indicated in the comment section on S&A, many people didn’t even know she was on the show, so her ire was warranted.

It also brings interest to what could be a pivotal point in her career. CBS does have huge faith in this show being a hit.

"According to CBS, Person of Interest received the highest test ratings of any drama pilot in 15 years, what one CBS executive called "crazy broad appeal you don't usually see." The ratings prompted CBS to move CSI, which had occupied that slot for over 10 years, to Wednesday 10/9c to make room for Person of Interest."-Washington Post

Thursday is considered PRIME TV real estate. It is considered the last day of the week as far as ratings. Friday is considered the weekend where most people are going out NOT staying home watching television.

Being on a hit show not only gives you a steady pay check, but huge exposure. Who ever heard of Mariska Hargitay before Law & Order: SVU. I mean really?

As a huge fan of Lost and a fan of Michael Emerson since he played that creepy bastard “William Hinks”on another favorite show of mine The Practice, I probably would have watched the show regardless for at least a couple of episodes, but Taraji being on the show just increased this person’s interest (couldn’t resist) 1000%.

You can read more as well as more comments including my own (under my real name Dankwa Brooks) on Shadow & Act here

UPDATE: September 23, 2011: Shadow & Act has posted the TV Guide response to Taraji.

According Debra Birmbaum, the editor in chief of TV Guide:
“I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on ‘Person of Interest’ and that’s who I was going to put on the cover. That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We’re certainly fans of Taraji Henson and her storyline on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don’t know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it’s been clear to everyone from the start. I don’t make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender… This week’s cover September 26 issue features the three stars of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ — Minka Kelly, Annie Illonzeh and Rachael Taylor. We are not pursuing a cover of ‘Person of Interest’ at this time.”

Shadow & Act has a TON of comments on the issue in the new post. You can read them here

See ALL of our posts about Person of Interest by clicking Taraji P. Henson’s picture from the show below

Taraji P. Henson in Person of Interest. Photo courtesy of CBS Official Website


CLICK the graphic below to see more of our blog posts about diversity in Hollywood at our parent blog 'Nother Brother Entertainment Blog

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