Saturday, August 26, 2006

Racial Survivor

Survivor's decision to break its contenstants into teams by race is causing a lot of controversy. They're breaking their 20 contestants into 4 teams of 5. White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic.

How does hispanic qualify as a race, incidentally? I don't get that. Hispanic designates place of origin based on predominant language. That's not a race.

But back to Survivor. Survivior is defending its decision by pointing out that they did it specifically to increase the ethnic diversity of their show. In their words, "About 80% of the people who apply are white."

80% That's a pretty large majority. Let's compare that to the most recent US census estimates to see how far removed that is from the breakdown of the United States overall:

White Persons: 80.4%
Black persons: 12.8%
Asian persons: 4.2%

Wait a minute. Survivor was getting applications exactly matching a representative sample, and that wasn't diverse enough? That doesn't make any sense at all.