critic: reality TV shows “the assimilated minority vs. the non-assimilated.”

critic: reality TV shows “the assimilated minority vs. the non-assimilated.”
Are reality shows racist? It’s a frequently asked question, but the St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans writes that it’s not a matter of shows perpetuating “ugly reality TV stereotype[s],” as Entertainment Weekly wrote. Instead, he argues that reality shows “reveal a deeper truth about the personal politics of race in America … the saga of the assimilated minority vs. the non-assimilated one—not just in racial matters but in a lot of places where outsiders are looking in.” As evidence, he points to the frequent presence of “two people of color among the contestants. And when they are both black people, one person usually finds fitting into the majority culture a much easier task than the other.” At the end of his analysis, he writes that “those who suspect a hidden racism in reality TV may be reacting to a more subtle dynamic: a morality play that unfolds week after week highlighting the rewards of acceptance and dangers of resistance for those whose skin color and culture mark them as different.”

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