Have you ever been watching a television show and noticed that the majority of characters are white, cisgender, and heterosexual while there are only a few characters who represent multiple minority identities? This is often the case in television when a limited number of characters are assigned many different minoritized identities, becoming catchalls for diversity. We test this phenomenon through our media analysis of Shondaland, a production company that is widely regarded as more progressive and inclusive relative to its cohort. Its ten ensemble cast drama series—ranging from Grey’s Anatomy to How to Get Away with Murder to Bridgerton—provide ample media to investigate. In examining the distribution of diversity and other patterns in its programming, we answer the question: is Shondaland still susceptible to the pattern of identity piling and other factors that diminish diversity? We anticipate this study will demonstrate how Shondaland has exemplified diversity over time and how this has correlated with the production company's success.
Download Full Text (1.8 MB)
Newsome, Nick; Gold, Julia; and Hammond, Angelina, "Is Diverse Television Really Diverse?: An Examination of Shondaland" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 76.