TV PRESS TOUR ’16 GAL APPROVED! How Diversity Is Priority on TV Right Now!

UNCLE BUCK - Pilot Gallery (ABC/Mitchell Haaseth)
JAMES LESURE, SAYID SHAHIDI, AALYRAH CALDWELL, NIA LONG, IMAN BENSON, MIKE EPPS

We’re wrapping up our coverage of TV Press Tour Winter ’16 with a big thumbs up for all the networks and their commitment to bring diversity to the small screen. Across the channels, we saw actors of color on practically every panel. And while we still need to see more diversity BEHIND the scenes, we’re really happy to witness the changing landscape of TV.

SPEAKING TO THE MOTHERHOOD. Nia Long of ABC’s Uncle Buck explained how her character will relate, no matter what your race or color. “I think every woman can relate to being a stay at home mom, and then deciding to go back to work, and the feeling of almost being desperate, like, oh, my goodness, who is going to help me with my children? And so you’d rather have a misfit family member, who has a good smile and can make you laugh, than to call a nanny service!”

ASIAN BEAUTY. We’re stoked for the plethora of gorgeous Asian men coming to the screen. That includes George Young on The CW’s Containment, Daniel Henney on CBS’ Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Joo Foo on CBS’ Rush Hour. Now let’s be equal opportunity programmers and bring more Asian women to TV leading roles.

BRINGING DIVERSITY TO THE EXEC TABLE. Eva Longoria, who is producing and starring in Telenovela on NBC, says there needs to be more people of color and females in top positions of TV to make a real difference. “We need more Latinos, blacks, Asians. We need a lot more perspectives because that’s really where it makes a difference,” she shared. Now, how do you get there? Here’s Eva’s suggestion: “We need a pipeline, and the only way that you can become a network executive is if you touch every rung of the ladder in production; be a producer, be a director, know how TV is made, and then you can rise to the ranks and hopefully run a network.” We totally agree.

TAKING OVER ICONIC ROLES. Justin Hires, who is taking on the Chris Tucker role in CBS’ TV version of Rush Hour, revealed how he felt about the original star. “Chris Tucker is literally one of the reasons that I got into comedy. So it’s a huge honor and a privilege to be able to step into those shoes.” Of course, he plans to bring his own spin to it. “Honestly, I just feel … if I bring my own comedic voice to this role, that, eventually, the audience will see that there’s a different Detective Carter, and hopefully, they grow to love me somewhat comparable to Chris.”

photo credit: ABC

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