Steve Guinn, a white, 80-year-old police retiree, thinks there are too many African Americans on the television channel he watches. Not that he objects to having them on television, just not when he’s trying to enjoy “NCIS” and “Law and Order,” Guinn told Journalisms by telephone on Wednesday.
The 80-year-old retiree watches ‘Women’s Entertainment TV,” in order to see the “Law and Order” shows to which he is “addicted.” He has to endure programs such as “Mary Mary,” a reality TV series chronicling the lives of Erica and Tina Campbell, sisters and members of the contemporary gospel group by that name, and seeing black women with pink, green, blue and yellow hair and whose “English grammar is deficient.
“I’m not casting criticism,” Guinn adds, but “the commercials are the biggest offenders.”
So he wrote a letter to the editor of the Arizona Republic, which published it Monday.
“By my count, nearly 50 percent of the folks in commercials are African Americans,” it began. “That is not the ratio of the general population. It is an attempt to be politically correct, but a feeble one.
“There are few Asians, Native Americans or Latinos. African Americans are way more sensitive and activist about their image.
“Does this diversity in advertising create more sales for the advertised product? I don’t think so, but that is only my opinion.
“Mixing a social issue with product promotion may only dilute the product message.”
The Republic published the letter under the headline, “Letter: Why are there so many black people in TV ads?”
Asked about that “nearly 50 percent” figure, Guinn says, “I’ve not researched that number, but I believe it’s awfully close.”
It is a figure, however, that has been bandied about by white supremacists on sites such as Stormfront or a Rush Limbaugh fan page.