<p>The <em>Atlantic </em>staff writer Hannah Giorgis grew up in the ’90s, watching dozens of Black characters on TV. <em>Living Single</em>, <em>Sister, Sister</em>, <em>Moesha</em>, and <em>Smart Guy </em>were just a few of the shows led by Black casts. But at some point in the 2000s, those story lines and some of the Black writers behind them seemed to disappear. In a <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/10/the-unwritten-rules-of-black-tv/619816/">cover story</a> for <em>The Atlantic, </em>Giorgis traces the cyclical, uneven history of Black representation on television.</p>
<p>One writer whose career encompasses much of that history is Susan Fales-Hill. She got her start as an apprentice on <em>The Cosby Show</em>, wrote for <em>A Different World, </em>and now is an executive producer of BET’s <em>Twenties. </em>This week on <em>The Experiment, </em>Fales-Hill and Giorgis talk about  how power dynamics behind the scenes have shaped what we watch, what we talk about, and how we understand ourselves.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/podcasts/archive/2021/09/unwritten-rules-black-tv/620088/"><em>A transcript of this episode is available. </em></a></p>
<p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/podcasts/archive/2021/09/unwritten-rules-black-tv/620088/"><em>Further reading: </em>“Most Hollywood Writers’ Rooms Look Nothing Like America”</a></p>

<p>Be part of <em>The Experiment</em>. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at <a href="mailto:theexperiment@theatlantic.com">theexperiment@theatlantic.com</a>.</p>
<p>This episode was produced by Meg Cramer. Reporting by Hannah Giorgis. Editing by Katherine Wells. Fact-check by Jack Segelstein. Sound design by David Herman, with additional engineering by Joe Plourde. Transcript by Caleb Codding.  </p>

The Experiment

[email protected] (The Atlantic and WNYC Studios)

The Unwritten Rules of Black TV

SEP 16, 202135 MIN
The Experiment

The Unwritten Rules of Black TV

SEP 16, 202135 MIN

Description

The Atlantic staff writer Hannah Giorgis grew up in the ’90s, watching dozens of Black characters on TV. Living Single, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and Smart Guy were just a few of the shows led by Black casts. But at some point in the 2000s, those story lines and some of the Black writers behind them seemed to disappear. In a cover story for The Atlantic, Giorgis traces the cyclical, uneven history of Black representation on television.

One writer whose career encompasses much of that history is Susan Fales-Hill. She got her start as an apprentice on The Cosby Show, wrote for A Different World, and now is an executive producer of BET’s Twenties. This week on The Experiment, Fales-Hill and Giorgis talk about  how power dynamics behind the scenes have shaped what we watch, what we talk about, and how we understand ourselves.

A transcript of this episode is available. 

Further reading: “Most Hollywood Writers’ Rooms Look Nothing Like America”

Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at [email protected].

This episode was produced by Meg Cramer. Reporting by Hannah Giorgis. Editing by Katherine Wells. Fact-check by Jack Segelstein. Sound design by David Herman, with additional engineering by Joe Plourde. Transcript by Caleb Codding.