Trending Topics

8 TV Shows That Reinforce Negative Stereotypes of Black People

Some TV critics have proclaimed that Americans are living in a golden age of TV. With shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Scandal and many others, it can be easy to say that. However, there are a surplus of TV shows that reinforce negative stereotypes of people of color and plague the airwaves. A great number of these are reality TV shows that focus around African-American entertainers. Some are harmless, like R&B Divas. Others, like Love and Hip Hop, offer great drama but portray Black people in a negative way. According to race relations expert Nadra Kareem Nittle, there are five different types of stereotypes of Black people on TV. They are the Magical Negro, Black Best Friend, Thugs, Brash Women and Domestics.

The Wire
As entertaining as HBO’s The Wire was, all of the main characters were portraying thugs, drug dealers and criminals. According to Nittle, “the disproportionate amount of African Americans playing criminals in Hollywood fuels the racial stereotype that black men are dangerous and have zero respect for the law.”

love-and-hip-hop-2Love and Hip Hop

This VH1 reality show is probably the most intense reality to date because it shows an array of verbal and physical abuse in Black relationships that is disturbing. Viewers must admit that some of these relationships are toxic. Sadly, that is what feeds the drama. According to writer Sil Lai Abrams in an article from The Grio, “the emotionally abusive and disrespectful behavior of male cast members such as L&HH’s Stevie J that reinforces the idea that a black man’s power is best expressed through unbridled and unprincipled sexual behavior, as just one example of [this] show’s many horrible messages.”

What people are saying

8 thoughts on “8 TV Shows That Reinforce Negative Stereotypes of Black People

  1. To bad blacks watch the shows, most cannot internalize what is going on. I believe, in fact I pretty much know why these shows are on in the first place, they are not primarily there to entertain blacks but to show the world's other people how blacks act, desensitizing people, as they conclude, "Look at those blacks acting like that, that is what we say about them". When stuff start happening to us, no one cares, because they have had their perception of blacks confirmed by the reality shows. All the women are fake, wearing the weave out, none it appears, to want to look like African women. I do not watch the shows, never have never will.

  2. Amtoine Grant says:

    Obviously you haven't actually watched The Wire, as DeAngelo clearly had a conscious. Omar himself, whom you pictured for this show, was a very complex individual. Much more than just a thug". Not to mention the Captain for most of the show & other political figures, AND the good kids, despite all the negativity around them.
    Vampire Diaries actually had quite a few Black actors on it, mostly all witches. If you actually paid attention, it looked to be a clear attempt to show the witches as being a predominantly Black order, which is actually quite respectful of Wiccan origins.

  3. Exactly why I'm fine without cable. People can be so brainwashed mannn smh!

  4. Don't blame the person that produces it. Blame the ignorant n words that sign up for it. Except for the wire. That is easily the best show ever made on t.v. And I have seen a close second.

  5. the fact that the wire is in this group is insane. And a flat out lie. Black people played good and bad people in it. Anyway, stop worrying about How others look at black people. Like Ice Cube said in be true to the game, "trying to be white or a Jew but ask yourself who are they to be equal too. That is intellectually immature thinking. Grow up!

  6. Gina Omezi says:

    Nitpicking if you ask me! You can say the same about other races who are portrayed in other shows. 'Honey Boo Boo', 'Jersey Show'. I'm pretty sure they aren't good representations of Caucasians either. Plus Mad Men was set in an era when this who how black people would have been represented.

  7. some of you need to read (ISIS Papers) by Dr. Welsing and get your mind right about these shows.

  8. The Wire does not belong on this list.

    All the characters on this show, black or otherwise were represented as complex individuals, not stereotypes. Bubbs had an amazing arc from being a heroin addict, leading up to the scene where his sister lets him come up in the house. Stringer Bell was trying to get out of the game and had bigger ambitions than just selling drugs but he got conned by a crooked politician. Omar was a criminal but he had a strong moral code where he refused to hurt anyone not involved in the game.

    The white characters on the show weren't portrayed as being clean at all. McNulty was a degenerate drunk. Jay Landsman was a glutton who liked to read porn mags at his desk. Herc broke his promise to Bubbs and went on to use his inside information from working in the PD to extort money from drug dealers, that reporter in the last season was just making shit up and got awards for it.

    The Wire is just a show about different institutions and how they work and fail. If anyone got the wrong idea about black people from watching the show, they're morons to begin with who don't understand subtlety and character development.

Leave a Reply

Back to top