Reality TV Perpetuates the Stereotype of the Angry African American

When it comes to race and ethnicity, television cuts two ways. It can and has taught tolerance. It also continues to perpetuate stereotypes.

A new study of reality television suggests that much-derided genre falls on the negative side of the scale. It finds that, to a surprising degree, it relies on the stereotypes of the aggressively angry African American.

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A comprehensive look at one week’s work of popular reality shows found black contestants were “depicted as more verbally aggressive, and more likely to be the victims of verbal aggression, than other races/ethnicities,” write Jack Glascock of Illinois State University and independent scholar Catherine Preston-Schreck.

This is driven by the fact that “African-American women were…

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