an artist’s graphic representation of six weeks in August and September of this year. Granted, it’s just six weeks out of a 52-week year, and as the chart’s architect, Bard Edlund, says himself, charting race is a far-from-exact science. However, his representation is a snapshot worth noting: Late-night talk show guests are, without a doubt, more predominantly white and male than the general population, and that reflects the entertainment industry in general, at least as much as it reflects possible hidden biases in seeking out guests. Who’s popular, who’s being pushed most by publicists – all of these behind-the-scenes machinations factor in.Despite a diverse team of news correspondents, The Daily Show has the whitest guest lineup in late night, while Jimmy Kimmel Live and Lopez Tonight join the Comedy Central hit in having the malest selection of guests – that is, according to
Hispanics are egregiously underrepresented – only George Lopez comes close to evening it out, which only points to the need for minority hosts who’ll pay closer attention to such matters. African-Americans are mostly on par in this sampling (with Lopez exceeding census representation); Asians are nearly invisible for the most part. No one, on the other hand, comes close to making their guest lists 50 percent female to represent the general population. And a bit surprisingly, Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson out-lady the competition, even Chelsea Handler (who does, however, equal them in top-billed female guests).
What do you think, PopWatchers? Do any of these findings surprise you?