Maybe we can get some Pakistani TV executives over hear to enlighten the American TV industry and help gently guide them into the scary new world of the 20th century 21st century.
If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that one of my major beefs is that when you work in film, everyone preaches at you that viewers are only really interested in male characters, and you will never succeed until you accept that. I kept arguing that if you only offer crappy women characters, it stands to reason people will show more interest in the men. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. More than once, I was told I wasn’t the first to make that argument, but “it doesn’t matter”.
I thought the only time logic doesn’t count is in matters of faith. Is TV a religion now?
If I’m wrong, and the industry is telling the truth about what Americans want to watch, please explain this: Pakistani audiences started asking for “bold and assertive roles in drama” for women in 2001.
Hmm. Is Pakistan a liberal, left-wing, tree-hugging nation of hippie freaks? Not the last time I checked. Even the article refers to their society as “essentially conservative at heart”. And yet the Pakistani survey showed that “during 70 per cent of the telecast time, viewers had perceived women as self-sacrificing with no identity of their own” and they felt the “negative stereotypical images of highly-emotional and suppressed women should be reduced and downplayed”.
Am I being naive to think that American viewers by and large can’t be that far behind the rest of the world? Am I wrong to listen to the viewers I know, who tell me they do want good women characters, instead of a bunch of manipulated numbers on spreadsheets? Is there really some enormous, secret majority of valued, male viewers in the US who refuse to pay women characters any heed, except maybe to check out their bods?