3. Eric Deggans
Twitter Handle: @Deggans
Writes At: Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg Times, NPR, Huffington Post
The television landscape is still just as whitewashed as America's executive boardrooms, from the almost entirely Caucasian casts of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Girls, to the dearth of minorities in writers' rooms. Eric Deggans has made it his mission to talk candidly and openly about race through the medium of television.
Most of his posts over at his Tampa Bay Times blog, "The Feed," examine the state of race in media (though, like any great TV blogger, he does take time to just nerd out about his favorite shows, as well). One of the most engaging aspects of Deggans' work is how he takes any instance of prejudice seriously. The smallest pop culture moment might be grounds for pages of analysis and commentary.
He's just as likely to dedicate an entire post to Lisa Lampinelli's infamous Lena Dunham tweet as he is to take a deep-dive into media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. Deggans mantra is that there's no instance of prejudice that doesn't matter. Just because prejudice isn't overtly ugly or violent, doesn't mean it isn't a problem. As he eloquently stated in his recent piece for The Huffington Post, "Nine Dangerous Words The Media Uses To Talk About Race": "The mistake some people make in identifying prejudice is assuming the average person will find such notions...ugly and repellant. But many prejudices are attractive, because they simplify the world, offering others the chance feel superior. The primary challenge in deflating stereotypes is resisting those ideas we may find tempting ourselves."
If you want to hear more from Deegans, we recommend his book Race-Baiter. After Bill O'Reilly leveled the titular term at him, Deegans was inspired to examine the way that the rise of niche programming has changed racial dynamics in media, in many ways, for the worse.