An Iowa State University professor says popular t-v shows can’t seem to avoid using stereotypes of women and minorities. Tracey Owens Patton studied the Fox Network show “Ally McBeal.” Patton, an assistant professor of journalism and communications, says she was first drawn to the show over the promise of a diverse cast along with new and different ideas. Patton says that was the case early, then the show eventually went back to old territory.Patton says there are very few shows that will venture beyond stereotypes, because the stereotypes are safe, familiar and retain ratings. She says that’s unfortunate because t-v can have an impact, even when we’re aware that the shows use stereotypes. Patton says a good example is the way “Ally McBeal’s” star, Calista Flockhart gained attention by her thin look. That look generated concern that women were emulating McBeal and trying to be too thin.
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