The 5 main actors on How I Met Your Mother are all white. 100%. One of them is Neal Patrick Harris (love him), so 110% white.
The narrator is Bob Saget. 140% white.
|HIMYM "Subway Wars" screen cap--white people at a white people's bar|
All of this, weirdly, I can understand and forgive. I mean, in its own way, the "white people exclusively knowing white people" thing is honest. So it's not like the producers would even want to put a racial or ethnic minority in the background there. And to be honest, I think there was someone off to the left (the camera pans left in this scene) who might have qualified had I waited 2 more seconds, so assume that there's an actual minority just outside any of my example screenshots, to be fair to them.
|OMG, wait a minute, 2 black guys! In a single frame! It's like Where's Waldo!!!|
But I just couldn't handle it any more when, in the episode where the 5 cast members are racing to see Woody Allen, we got to see the streets, buses and subways of Manhattan. And OMG are they all white!
Oh, but let me stop and show you this, the actual racial profile of Manhattan (per the pre-9/11 2000 Census, but I did look at CPS estimates that are more recent and this existing pie chart is close enough that I won't make my own, potentially offensive update [I probably would have used yellow for Asian and that might not have been smart])--image from here:
|Demographic profile of Manhattan, 2000 US Census|
Okay, so the context is that real Manhattan is 56% white (actually less so now), but many of those are also Hispanic. Compare the pie chart to this representation of a typical Manhattan subway:
|HIMYM "Subway Wars"--typical NYC subway|
|HIMYM "Subway Ways"--the bus to Melrose Place?|
|HIMYM "Subway Wars"--you can really taste the diversity|
I'm not the "PC police" but you can watch 2 hours of sitcoms on CBS on Monday nights, shows set in New York, Chicago, and Malibu, and you will see 3 racial minorities represented as cast regulars: Adhir Kalyan on Rules of Engagement (he's of Indian descent but from South Africa, so maybe they think he's African American), and Reno Wilson and Nyambi Nyambi from Mike & Molly (which I never invested in, sorry Melissa McCarthy, sorry Swoosie).
For fuck's sake, the cleaning lady in the show set in California is white?! Really? I do love Conchata Ferrell, and have ever since she was a regular on L.A. Law, and I'm not trying to second guess all this casting (oh, yeah, maybe I am), but OMG really?
Are they so concerned about not showing a minority as a cleaning woman they don't cast one at all?
Television's most inclusive cast is from a show set at an Ohio high school (the demographics of that county are 71% white, by the way, so they are w-a-y overdoing it on Asians). It's great that those producers cast such a wide net and even depict a physically disabled character. It probably doesn't seem important, but if you're eager to see someone that looks like you on TV, it's actually a big deal.
And to the credit of the producers of How I Met Your Mother, check out this screenshot from near the end of the show--MLK Jr's dream has come true:
|40% non-white actors in a single frame!!!!|