Master of Arts (MA)
Semester of Degree Completion
Scott M. Walus
Dynamic and diverse representation of black men and women in traditional television has been suppressed through the lens of many problematic ideologies since their introduction to television. Over-the-top video streaming platforms have created new avenues for making televisual content for mass audiences with less censorship and restrictions. This opens a door of opportunity for studying black representation. Focusing on original television written by black men and women for over-the-top platforms, I perform a textual analysis on Luke Cage, Dear White People, and Broke as the population of black-written television on OTT to find the character types and roles exist for black people on black-written television shows and how dynamic and important to the plot are black characters on these shows. I found that the interaction of the establishment and black characters cause black-ness to be divided ideologically, socially, and economically among characters in the plots of OTT platforms of black-written television. Although several character's narratives take measures to combat the system, they consistently find themselves being challenged by the establishment in their actions, consciousness, and beliefs. The division of race, class, and black consciousness drives narratives in black-written original television on OTT platforms. This suggests black-ness cannot have diverse representation without consideration of the cultural relationship with the establishment.
Chatman, Bradley C., "Re-Presenting Black People Through OTT Television" (2018). Masters Theses. 3551.