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Despite progress on screen, TV is still struggling to diversify behind the scenes

Inside a frank conversation about race (and gender, and disabilities, and age) at the Summer TCA Press Tour

FROM CAMPAIGN US: As any regular TV viewer can see, the industry has done a better job of diversifying its product in recent years. Where black or Asian faces were once relegated to a handful of supporting roles, they are now appearing more often as leading characters, and dominating shows on mainstream networks. A typical night on network TV might not yet fully reflect the expansive diversity of American life, but it has certainly come a long way from where it was just a few years ago.

Two ABC sitcoms at present featuring an Asian cast, “Fresh off the Boat” and “Dr. Ken,” is a first historically. New seasons of scripted network hours “Empire,” “American Crime,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Jane the Virgin,” among others, feature more diverse faces in lead roles. ABC’s sophomore ‘black-ish” earned the respect of the critics by tackling the subject of police brutality against black citizens. Next season ABC will feature a new sitcom, “Speechless,” featuring Micah Fowler, a teen actor with cerebral palsy. And these participating networks on the panel offer additional opportunities to showcase the diverse face and voices of America by the individuals who represent those backgrounds.

Then there is the multi-ethically representative “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix, and the growing rise in product on the digital streamers with a greater blend of multi-cultures. For more, click here