The Loudmouth Protestant

May 21, 2009

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye, Part Deux









First “Girlfriends” now this. “The Game” has officially been cancelled from the fall lineup on the CW Network. So has ‘Everyone Hates Chris.”  I am actually a little surprised because I really did expect them to keep “The Game.” Why? Well, I believed that the CW would recognize the importance of not white-washing their network. In an age when black people are hard-pressed to find quality programming on television, “The Game” and ‘Everybody Hates Chris” to a lesser extent was our last hope. And now we’ve got nothing.

So instead of renewing “The Game” and accepting Mara Brock Akil’s pitch to make it a one-hour dramedy, we get more of the same drivel. More rich white people, more wannabe models, more emo’d out white people from the northeast, more oversexed white people on the West Coast, more white people chasing ghosts in the middle of nowhere, more white people playing superheroes, more opportunities for white people to see themselves as multi-dimensional while the only thing black households can depend on in terms of seeing an image of themselves cast on television is catty and fake beougeosie black people a la “Harlem Heights”, ignorant young black people a la “College Hill”, country black people a la “House of Payne”, cross-dressing black people–ok, it’s just one oddly dressed man–a la “Meet the Browns”, half-naked black people a la every music video and enslaved black people a la the NBA, NFL and to a lesser extent, the MLB.

Now please don’t get me wrong, my breakdown of the programming on the CW network is not meant to suggest covert prejudice, but to suggest that the CW network does well at depicting the many faces of white America while giving black America short shrift. We exist! Sure, “The Game” and “Everybody Hates Chris” weren’t meant to serve as the perfect depiction of black America. They both have their flaws, but like the human family, it made sense. “Everybody Hates Chris” was a comical depiction of a middle-class family in Brooklyn in the 80s, think about the family that lived a couple of blocks away from the Cosbys. “The Game” was a comical and dramatic depiction of the lives of young NFL players, their significant others, agents and their families. Those two shows were created by educated, accomplished black people–something for our young, black screenwriters, actors, and actresses to look up to and aspire to. And now, we’ve got nothing. Let’s not forget to mention this puts more than a handful of black actors out of work.

Not to discount Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” which I do watch from time to time, but after spending so many years caught up in “The Game” and the lives of those characters, I am just hurt that it didn’t get one more chance if for no other reason then to add color to the palette. And come to think of it, this is beyond a black thing because yet and still there are no shows that feature main characters of color, except as supporting roles to white ones. Nelly Yuki, Isabel Coates and Penelope Shafai as Blair’s United Colors of Benetton underlings on “Gossip Girl”  don’t count. Dixon Wilson as the black adopted child of the star family of 90210 doesn’t count. Quentin the cocky basketball player and Skills the BFF from “One Tree Hill” don’t count. They are good tries, but most black people live in worlds where they are the main character and the supporting roles are played by everyone else…Think president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Just saying…

I could go on for days about this but then I wouldn’t get any real work done. But I did this to show my great dissapointment in the CW network. I know it’s all about advertising revenue and what is profitable, but for once I wish you weren’t lead by the dollar signs in your eyes and more by the beat of your heart. Better luck next time… I guess we can all pray that another network picks up “The Game”, maybe we can start a petition for that.

And to the casts of both “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Game” I pray you’ll all find shows even better than the ones that you are leaving that will stretch you to new levels as actors. This is just the beginning…



  1. No show makes it without advertising I know..but I wonder if CW EVER wanted the show to succeed. There was hardly any marketing done for the show, no PR whatsoever. For Gossip Girl you see the actresses all over the place, the latest on the show is published in every magazine. But where was the PR for The Game? Most of the black people who didn’t watch the show actually didn’t even know what it was. CW needs to give the show a fair chance. What’s truly amazing is that all of the fans blogs and begging has gone unheard. And CW must not care about their image at all, because they didn’t even issue a statement for the fans of The Game. I personally enjoyed the show not just because of the writing, but the actors were all talented with comedy AND drama..which is uncommon in prime time television. I wish the actors the best and hope they will go far. But I know one thing, I can’t be convinced that the media is not trying to sabotage the world view of African Americans if The Game gets canceled, but shows like the Flavor of Love go through many seasons and even have spin offs.

    Comment by Kristen Jason — May 21, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  2. I’m really sorry about this. I heard earlier today. And the sad thing is, when the fall lineup rolls around we will still be under represented. Unfortunately, the only people on TV who look like us will be Barak and Michelle…and Diddy. Urgh!

    Comment by better home, no garden — May 21, 2009 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  3. Your second paragraph about white people is hilarious! That aside, I too, enjoyed watching The Game and maybe even Everybody Hates Chris by default (keeping the tv on to remember). But therein, was the problem – the ‘black’ shows were aired when most folks, black, white, etc were out or on their way out – Friday at 8:30 pm. That is quite possibly the worst timeslot of tv programming next to Sunday morning (i.e. Like It Is). ‘Tis really unfortunate that the The Game was cancelled. If UPN picks it up as reruns, I’ll be watching.

    -Betsy “Baller” Ice

    Comment by Betsy Ice — May 22, 2009 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  4. Betsy hit the nail on the head with the time slot issue. But the reason the shows were moved there is so that they would die. The move to the Friday night “death” slot was a recent one – if I am not mistaken.

    I remember when C.W. came out and it was suggested that it was going to be “diverse” station. I think that now they are realizing that that diversity comes with a price they aren’t willing to pay. Black shows don’t fair as well, mainly because they don’t get white viewers, while predominately white shows do get Black views – as well as a variety of other races/ethnicity.

    The CW did pick up House of Payne reruns this past fall, but it isn’t the same as a primary show with primary non-white characters.

    I also think that the CW’s deisre to reach the 18 – 37 female demographic led to the demise of thse shows. Everybody hates Chris obviously doesn’t fit and the interracial relationships and primary concentration of black romance again just didn’t garner enough viewership to make people happy.

    If any network really wants to be diverse they need to realize it is going to be a change and it might financially “hurt” their company, but it is right thing to do.

    Comment by blackwasp19 — May 28, 2009 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  5. As of late I have become more and more race aware. Granted we now have a 1/2 black president in the white house. But he comes from the same mold as the last bunch of presidents. but lets not get off target here. Lets talk black, white and green. Should we have the NBA become more american white because its right? hmmmmmmmm! Better yet lets force all the black college teams to match their enrollment percentages at the school? My answer is NO! But what if white fans turn off the game and networks start losing money? well…..oooops there it is! I love basketball and I love hockey. Do black people like hockey? hmmmm Look at the detroit red wings in a city that is mostly black? where are the black fans? Now lets look at my favorite team in the NBA the Boston Celtics…..they have 1 yes only 1 non black player Mr. Scalabrine. Look at the fans at the game they appear to be white. No they are white. Back to black, white and green basketball… white kids have no one to “look too” do we dump the celtics coach and 4 of their players to add a white players? you know I’m just sayin!!!!!!

    Comment by open eyed ITALIAN — December 26, 2009 @ 4:39 am | Reply

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