In an effort to ratchet up its campaign against the four major networks, the head of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People has purchased 100 shares of stock each in the parent companies of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox to gain access to shareholder meetings and address the lack of diversity in programs on the broadcasters' new fall schedules.
The stock was purchased Tuesday on behalf of the NAACP by President and CEO Kweisi Mfume at a total cost of $22,000, according to a spokeswoman for the civil rights organization.
The stock acquisition comes a little more than a week after Mfume first attacked the four major networks for nearly excluding minorities in their new fall prime-time lineups. Of the 26 new comedies and dramas premiering this fall, none currently features a minority in a leading role. Minority characters in supporting roles are sparse, with few blacks in those roles, and Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other ethnic groups nonexistent.
Fox executives said Wednesday that they will add more minorities to their upcoming series, and other networks have indicated they will also place more minorities on new shows in reaction to the criticism.