Is your child’s extra screen time creating racial bias?

Kids have access to more TV than ever before. Here’s how to make sure their viewing habits support your anti-racist beliefs.

In a key scene in the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, the main character, after swinging between the city’s skyscrapers, stands on a building, removes his mask, and reveals … that he’s Black.

Watching, my 14-year-old son—who’s also Black—squealed with joy. It was one of the few times he’d seen a positive Black image modeled back to him from a screen, and clearly, it felt good.

He’s not imagining the absence. While modern children’s television shows are far more diverse than the shows their parents’ watched as kids, streaming apps expose children to older shows that often don’t represent reality when it comes to diversity and inclusiveness. According to 2019’ Hollywood Diversity Report, 80 percent of lead actors in movies are white, as are 78 percent in scripted TV shows; if diverse actors and themes are included, they’re overwhelmingly stereotypical.

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