Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Cultural Analysis - Grey's Anatomy

The hit tv drama Grey’s Anatomy first aired on March 27, 2005, and has since made thirteen seasons and counting. Shonda Rhimes, writer, director, producer of Grey’s and other shows such as Scandal and Private Practice, is the first African-American woman to produce a top 10 network series. Grey’s and Rhimes’ other shows are known for casting many minorities because Shonda believes that “everyone should get to see themselves reflected on TV.” Similar to real life, Grey’s Anatomy both questions many and supports some racial stereotypes through the specific characters’ personality traits.

The diversity in the show is accurate to real life in that all races are represented. From the first episode, stereotypes towards African Americans are defied. Dr. Richard Webber, Dr. Miranda Bailey, and Dr. Preston Burke are all African American and are all chiefs of surgery. These doctors play a major role in showing that African Americans are not unintelligent and not hard-working, like stereotypes play them out to be. The show starts off with four white interns and one Korean intern at the hospital, but has three African Americans playing more important roles. The fact that many African American characters are superior to white characters questions racial stereotypes by showing that white people are not superior to minorities and that they do not always have to play a leading role. While many black racial stereotypes are questioned in Grey’s Anatomy, other stereotypes for Asians are perpetuated. In the first episode, Christina Yang, who is Korean, is portrayed as very smart, hardworking, and top of her class at Stanford. The stereotype that Asians are hardworking and nerdy is reinforced. As the audience gets to know the characters, stereotypes are not as obvious, but the first episode both highlights and minimizes certain qualities of the characters.

Bailey for Chief

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