So it’s week two! I’m pushing forward with my new weekly piece hoping over time to reach a wider audience. This week is a new topic but if you would like to catch up please follow to see what you missed last week: Week One, a story about a young boy who brought a gun to school in Colorado. Another sad story about a school shooting, which is becoming all too familiar in the world we live today.
Week two’s topic is a little personal for me and maybe more of an issue for me since I am a girl, but I was directed to this article mid last week: Cartoon Network Programming Decisions (From interview with Paul Dini)
I honestly probably would not have heard about this should I not have been directed here, but I think this is something worth chatting about. We all fight for equality in some form or another, whether it be gender, race, religion, the list could go on. We all fight to have the same rights and to be viewed equally. Then we see an article, interview, like this, where there are blatant choices being made on such discrimination.
Paul Dini, writer widely know of writing on “Batman: The Animated Series” among other successes, participated in an interview where he shared a few interesting facts about Cartoon Network executives. Apparently a successful show is not their main goal, it’s about selling a franchise which girls are not in the target audience. Girls are undervalued in their eyes simply because they are deemed a group who would not buy the toys for a series, so canceling it is a better alternative? So no show, is better than having a large female audience who may not buy your toys? So no money is better than some money, wait huh? If someone can honestly explain this line of thinking to me, please I’d be glad to hear and to legitimately understand how they can base there business practice along these lines of thinking.
So basically we are to understand that shows which gain girl audience members are more likely to be cancelled because executives claim they won’t buy the toys, which is more important than having a series to them. I don’t know the world that these executives live in, but I know that for me, I would by items from a show that I like. I grew up with many guy friends, but over the years I have grown closer to other girls, and I have found that every single one has a favorite superhero and many have toys and other merchandise from their favorites.
Where are these executives getting this information? I am thinking a little more research and thought should go into these kind of decisions. Based on demographics, in the past possibly it could have been this kind of statistic, but how can they claim such a thing now? Girls buy just as many if not more toys than boys and if they are worried that girls won’t by action figures, well there are other alternatives.
Just as it was said in Dini’s interview, girls make up almost half if not more of the population, so that is half of the world you aren’t targeting?! Girls like toys, dolls, stuffed animals, and other items, so instead of saying we can’t sell to you, ask what can we sell to you? If there are girls who are watching the show, don’t make a decision to simply end it, simply say what do girls buy? How can we capitalize on the audience that we are reaching?
If the industry is truly about money, then why are they limiting themselves? Are we going backwards in thinking? Isn’t money money? If you have something that is popular and you are not reaching the target audience you would like, why not see audience you have a figure out a way to market products to them? The goal is to reach people, make a profit and continue something that is good, so why stop a good thing? These executives need a wake up call and need to see that this world isn’t so black and white! Boys aren’t the only ones buying toys for superheros anymore and if they believe girls won’t buy the toys, put out other products to sell that girls will buy.
Making money and smart decisions isn’t so hard, but basing them sexist and ignorant practices such as this is hard to understand. Nothing is so black and white, and in the end, these executives are just hurting their network and company by making business decisions on such thoughts. You have a successful show, keep it and market the products to the audience you have. Make the people happy and they will keep coming back, but upset them and you may have made an enemy for life. Let’s see if Cartoon Network has some fall out from this interview, I can already feel the wheels turning.
Got something to say, please leave a comment or send me an email. If you have any ideas or want to submit a topic, let me know and I would be glad to include you. Until next week, happy holidays!
- Paul Dini: Superhero cartoon execs don’t want largely female audiences (io9.com)
- Studio execs are stupid (thepenwench.wordpress.com)
- We don’t buy the toys huh? (kitsfoxden.wordpress.com)