Television Stereotypes (04:10)
This four-part series explores the roles of African Americans in the white-controlled television industry. Racial stereotypes dominate their portrayal on TV. Hal Williams is criticized for portraying too strong a character. (Credits)
Black People in Television (02:19)
The National Advancement for the Association of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League make the lack of jobs and racial stereotypes in the entertainment industry a priority. A black media coalition charges that Hal Williams' character was written out of "Private Benjamin."
"Private Benjamin" (05:20)
Williams wants to be funny without being a buffoon, or ashamed of his portrayal as a strong black man. The writers want to give Sgt. Ross a stereotypical wife; a black writer on staff helps improve a script's quality.
Role Minimization (07:33)
Williams does not make as much as the two leading women. Performers do not talk money in the entertainment industry; Williams wants to increase contract awareness. Most African American talent works in a supporting capacity in Hollywood.
Presence and Control (03:24)
Roxie Roker confesses that black actors have no control over the script; 45-50 African Americans work in TV exclusively. Producers feel that outside of "Roots," African American dramas do not do well in the ratings.
Future Plans (03:23)
Williams feels black comedic characters are acceptable on TV if there are also strong dramatic portrayals. The industry does not look kindly on African Americans who fight for integrity and strength. Blacks need to develop a network for themselves.
Credits: Goodbye, Sgt. Ross? (00:42)
Credits: Goodbye, Sgt. Ross?
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