Why Representation On Television Is So Important

Why Representation On Television Is So Important

Thank you, Nickelodeon.
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On July 20, Nickelodeon aired an episode of "The Loud House" called "Overnight Success." In this episode, Lincoln Loud, the main character, prepares for a sleepover with his best friend, Clyde McBride. When Clyde's parent's drop him off at Lincoln's house, they are very protective, caring and sad to drop Clyde off at what seems to be his first sleepover. This clip made history for Nickelodeon, as Mr. and Mr. McBride, an interracial couple, were the first married gay couple to appear on the network.

A few children's television shows have featured LGBTQ+ characters, although many have been ambiguous, unconfirmed or censored. Disney Channel's "Good Luck Charlie" is one of the only other children's shows to features a married gay couple.

Now of course, some people have responded negatively to this scene, by banning their children from watching the show or by lashing out against the show on Twitter. And to that I say, grow up. If you have a problem with Nickelodeon showing loving, caring parents, then you are putting your own discomfort and inability to accept a normal, natural and legal human relationship above the importance of representation, especially on children's shows.

You see, right now, television representation for various minority groups is incredibly low. GLAAD TV's 2015 report, "Where We Are On TV," which studied diversity on TV, found that only 4 percent of characters on broadcast prime time television are LGBT.

"But Emma, isn't it reported that only 3.8 percent of the American population identifies themselves as LGBT?" Yes, however, very few surveys and censuses ask about sexual orientation, so this data isn't necessarily accurate/updated, and many people are scared or unwilling to report their sexuality to surveys.

Even if this 4 percent is accurate, that still means that over 12 million Americans are being represented by 35 characters on prime time television, many who are portrayed in damaging stereotypes, or as one-dimensional characters, with their sexuality being their only characteristic.

This lack of representation is a common theme among most minority populations. On broadcast television, only 33 percent of characters are people of color and less than 1 percent of series regulars are characters with disabilities.

On children's television, these numbers are even lower. This needs to change.

Nickelodeon's decision to include the McBride's in their show is so important, because representation is so important.

Diversity on TV is especially necessary for children, who are incredibly impressionable and deal with loads of insecurity. Children who are only shown a narrow view of our world on television may grow up retaining this narrow world view and the closed mind that often comes along with it. Children who are unable to see representations of themselves, or people like them on TV may feel insignificant, weird or isolated. However, imagine the impact that can be made if networks choose to represent all types of characters on their shows.

Imagine the young boy in a wheelchair who connects with a disabled character on his favorite TV show that is successful and powerful not in spite of their disability, but rather without much mention to it at all. Or the 14-year old girl who is bisexual, and sees a bisexual character on TV that is not only comfortable in their own skin, but has healthy relationships and is not stigmatized as overly-sexual or solely defined by their sexuality. Imagine the young boy with two dads who sees this Nickelodeon program and feels comforted in the fact that his family is, in fact, normal.

Whether we like it our not, representation in the media can validate the existence of ourselves and others.

Especially in this day and age, so much of what we know and understand comes from the media around us; it's an incredible source of information in our lives. If we choose to exclude or severely under represent significant portions of our population in our media, we are not only sending a message that we do not value these people, but we are preventing everyone from better understanding the diverse population surrounding us. Despite what we may believe, television isn't solely entertainment. Television, though fictional, is a very real way that we tell stories about life in our world. Through television, we learn about people, places, situations and emotions that we otherwise may not have known existed.

The inability or lack of opportunity to understand a group of people is dangerous. Without representation for minority groups, so many of our fellow humans remain misunderstood, stigmatized, isolated and oftentimes, feared.

If we never hear about certain people, how will we ever learn to accept them?

Thank you, Nickelodeon, for taking this step. For reminding us that sexuality and race have no impact on your ability to be a loving parent. For exposing children to the diversity that is everywhere and that is normal. For showing characters that are in a minority without making that their defining characteristic. We need more characters like these.

We need to be telling everyone's story.

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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