"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. news and entertainment media may put African-Americans on camera but they lag in hiring and promoting minorities in critical behind-the-scenes jobs, the NAACP civil rights group reported on Tuesday.
Despite some progress in the last year in hiring by some television networks, notably CBS and Fox, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said there was scant progress for blacks and other racial minorities in decision-making media positions.
"Although there appear to be small gains in on-air roles, there is practically no representation of people of color in the top echelon of production, which is the nucleus of the industry," Mfume said at a news conference to release the NAACP's report on the film and television industry.
He specifically criticized the movie business for failing to employ minority workers except in "token" jobs.
"The industry, and particularly its Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (news - web sites), have virtually held themselves exempt over the last 50 years from charges of discrimination and bias," Mfume said.
"Instead, what has been offered has been no more than token gestures of opportunity to small numbers of racially diverse actors, writers and directors instead of real employment opportunities that are noteworthy when measured against the past."