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Streaming TV has boosted on-screen diversity. But there's work to do behind the scenes

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - 12:47pm

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Issa Rae Insecure HBO
Merie Wallace/HBO
Issa Rae in Season 5 of “Insecure.”

The universe of at-home entertainment choices has expanded dramatically over the past few years, which has become even more noticeable during the course of the pandemic. The list of streaming services now includes Apple TV+, Disney+ and Hulu, to name just a few.

Having more outlets for new dramas and comedies has led to more diversity, as a growing number of actors and performers of color are seen regularly. But advocates say further steps are needed both in front of — and behind — the camera.

Stephanie Troutman-Robbins is chair of the Gender and Women's Studies department at the University of Arizona and is also co-editor of the book, “Race in American Television: Voices and Visions that Shaped a Nation.”

The Show spoke with her, and she began by explaining how big an impact streaming services have had in increasing diversity on TV.

race in american television book cover with editor stephanie troutman robbins
University of Arizona
Stephanie Troutman-Robbins is co-editor of “Race in American Television: Voices and Visions that Shaped a Nation.”

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