TV scrambles to keep up with social change

N EARLY JUNE, ALL 19 DISCOVERY NETWORKS CHANNELS aired the two-part special The programs, which drew nearly 11 million viewers plus 6.7 million on YouTube, consisted solely of an extensive, socially distant conversation between Oprah Winfrey and a panel of Black politicians, artists, activists and public intellectuals about the reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement, culminating with the participants outlining their “asks.” Stacey Abrams stressed the need for fair elections. The Rev. William J. Barber II, leader of the Poor People’s Campaign, called for an end to poverty. On a somewhat different note, Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson wanted to see crime TV shows stop ignoring systemic racism. “You see tons of Black and brown characters,” Robinson observed. “But it’s a world where Black and brown people exist, but

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