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You're watching your favorite sitcom — it's fluff, but it's harmless fluff, right?And you're laughing at the latest antics of the cast, when all of a sudden it hits you — "Are there any black people in New York City?" You've just run across a program guilty of Monochrome Casting.The melanin content of the actors simply doesn't vary much at all.Almost all of these programs consist of either an all-black or all-white cast; given that the reasons for this trope's existence are primarily based on demographics, it would not be shocking to see more Hispanic versions in the near future, however.

For instance, the rarified world of the superwealthy that often dominates in Soap Operas really doesn't have many blacks or Hispanics (except as servants, and that might be a bit too much realism for your negative-publicity averse executive); likewise, the Chicago public-housing projects displayed in were pretty much all-black by the time the show aired in the 70s.Similarly, much of Europe was almost all-white until relatively recently (and many parts still are, especially in the East), and there are small towns in rural America that just don't have much in terms of diversity.In some countries, such as Japan or South Korea, ethnic homogeneity is practically state policy.It's when a show exists in an environment like New York or London, where diversity would be almost mandatory, that they can be accused guilty of monochrome casting.Historically, Monochrome Casting was (at least in part) often the fault of Executive Meddling, either overt or covert.Before about 1965, it was standard for television stations and movie chains operating in the southern US to edit movies and TV shows to remove non-stereotypical African-American characters.

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