New York, NY (PRWEB) September 14, 2006
Senior officials at GEICO, Mitsubishi, Target, and Verizon have informed Asian Media Watch that they have no plans to advertise on the new season of Viacom/CBS's 'Survivor' or will avoid the program. This is in addition to ten other companies reported in the press: Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Diamler Chrysler (Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep), Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Toyota Motor Corporation.
Viacom/CBS has defended its decision to divide 'Survivor' contestants by race as an attempt at diversity and is asking viewers to watch the show before passing judgment. However, CBS has had a poor record of racial diversity in casting: both the 'Survivor' contestants and the actors in CBS's Fall 2006 scripted primetime season are predominantly White.
In the last seven seasons of 'Survivor,' out of 122 contestants: 106 were White(86.9%), 9 Black(7.4%), 3 Hispanic/Latino(2.5%), 3 Asian/Pacific Islander(2.5%), and 1 Native American(0.8%). (1) A picture of all contestants from the past seven seasons of 'Survivor' may be viewed at http://www.asianmediawatch.net/survivor/
Out of the 117 regular cast members on CBS's Fall 2006 scripted primetime season, 82.1% are White, 11.1% Black, 6.0% Hispanic/Latino, 0.9% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.0% Native American. (1) A picture of all regular cast from CBS's Fall scripted programs may be viewed at http://www.asianmediawatch.net/cbsfall2006/
"Today, people of color continue to be victims of racial prejudice, discrimination, and violence; and the struggle for equal opportunity and fair treatment is on-going. If Viacom/CBS is truly committed to diversity and equal opportunity, the company must start by addressing the underrepresentation of minorities in lead acting roles and creative positions; and address the stereotypical and derogatory portrayal of minorities in their primetime programming. Viacom/CBS should increase diversity in their primetime schedule overall and not just on one 'reality' show as part of a race-baited marketing stunt," said Kai Yu, Director of Asian Media Watch
TelevisionWeek reports that CBS's 'Survivor' plans have "lit up the white supremacist world... (The format) plays into the hands of many people in the country who have racist feelings" and quotes a white supremacist as stating "If the Whites win, they will feel pride. If they lose, they will feel resentment towards those who won. It's win-win for us."
New Jersey Record columnist Alfred P. Doblin writes [paraphrasing] that you only need to look at recent incidents of racially-motivated violence to know that "America does not need a reality show celebrating segregation... We live in a racially divided society. That's not entertainment; that's America."
Even 'Survivor' host Jeff Probst has been quoted repeatedly in the press as acknowledging that the criticisms of the show's plans to segregate contestants by race are "fair and valid."
According to Yu, Television viewers and advertisers should avoid 'Survivor: Cook Island' and not be race-baited into watching or sponsoring the show. The American public must not allow Viacom/CBS to profit from using America’s race relations as a marketing ploy for profit, said Yu.
(1) Based on available data from CBS.com primetime television websites including the CBS.com 'Survivor' website.
ASIAN MEDIA WATCH is an independent grassroots non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting a diverse, fair, and balanced portrayal of Americans of Asian/Pacific heritage in the entertainment and news media. http://www.asianmediawatch.net
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