Minority representation may slowly be on the rise, but a new study has revealed that actors and characters of Middle Eastern or North African descent are nearly non-existent on TV.
Despite making up 3.2% of the U.S. population, only 1% of series regulars on TV are played by MENA actors. The report also found that when MENA characters are featured on scripted TV, they are usually portrayed as terrorists or tyrants.
Researchers for the university-funded study presented by the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, examined 242 first-run prime-time shows on broadcast, basic cable, premium cable and streaming platforms during the 2015-2016 TV season. After breaking down the racial, ethnic and gender demographic information for 2,052 series regulars on TV, the researchers found that overall, 92% of all shows had no MENA series regulars.