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Jul 8, 2014 05:25 AM

FN quest for ratings: we are more likely to see Giada De Laurentiis or Bobby Flay cooking “ethnic foods” than we are to see a brown person cooking them.

The author notices some racism there, and I'm not sure I disagree

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  1. The network exists to sell advertising, the shows to attract viewers. Those with the highest ratings get the copycats and remain the longest.

    1. There are a number of good cooking shows that are filmed in foreign countries. I watch them and really enjoy their take on cooking.
      The problem lies in language, Americans will not watch something that is not in english, even if it is subtitled in english.

      1. You know, my head was blowing up with names of not-white hosts while reading this, but they may be on Cooking Channel. So technically the point would still stand.

        But: Roger Mooking, G. Garvin, Bal Arneson, Siba, Judy Joo off the top of my head. Maybe it's true (I haven't paid attention before this) that FN has kept the familiar blockbuster hosts and CC gets the B-listers?

        1. Food Network is in the business of making money. Advertisers will pay more money for higher rated shows that bring in more viewers. You can't expect them to keep a host that isn't bringing in the bucks. And if the contests/reality TV shows bring in the viewers and the money, you can't blame them for adding more.
          As far as the addition of two new white women, Trish and Ree. They both brought big audiences with them. Ree isn't that great on TV (IMHO) but she did bring a massive rabid audience from her blog. Numbers make money. I'm guessing if Beyonce knocked on their door and wanted to do a cooking show with her fans she'd be on as long as she'd like. Obviously there are some regular faces on those shows that aren't exactly white male and southern white female, such as Aaron Sanchez who has been around quite some time on Chopped and some silly heat seaking show, Marcus Samuel, Morimoto, to name a few just off the top of my head.
          Until they find an ethnic chef that is compelling as a stand and stir (and stand and stirs seem to be fading on FN), I wouldn't expect them to have one.
          They've certainly tried in the past.
          Personally, I'll watch Ming Tsai on PBS every chance I find him on, because he's a) engaging b) cooks food I want to eat and c) isn't just a boring stand and stir .. he mixes it up with a lot of guests.
          Personally, I don't pick a show because of the color of the host's skin. I pick a show because of the food and the entertainment value.

          1. FN needs a manga+cooking show.
            EDIT: I just realized that most of the "good stuff," and nearly all of the "ethnic stuff" is on YouTube.

            Maybe FN should do a MST3000 show using YouTube?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Kris in Beijing

              Off topic but there are Twitter characters that belong in this project. Watching Surly Giada, Angry Bobby Flay and Drunk Ina Garten commenting on Sandra's tablescapes would take up all of my free entertainment time.

              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                I would love a MST3k of Food Network. I'd have to go buy adult diapers because I would anticipate peeing myself repeatedly as there is so much to snark on. Someone should pass this idea on to Rifftrax

                1. re: Firegoat

                  SOMEONE might be ripe for a milder version the idea, since Restaurant Impossible's are being reframed with little comments at the bottom.

                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                    ooo haven't caught that. Sounds amusing!

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      No, not amusing*
                      More like:
                      Tom had to work an extra 6 hours to strip the paint off the bar that Robert didn't like.

                      *if anyone has seen Flushed Away, join me in a chuckle about the misuse of "amusing" vs. "diverting."