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Here's Why Essence Atkins Says UPN Went Through A 'Gentrification Process' Before Its Death



UPN was once the go-to station for primetime Black television.
But after years of securing the Black television demographic, the network's autonomy began to shift.
By 2006, UPN had faded out of existence.
The network and The WB would close and unite under a joint venture, now known as The CW.
Six UPN series held over to The CW and the 3 sitcoms led by black talent wrapped their runs between 2007-2009. 
Since then, it is rare to see a show led by a predominately Black cast on the network.

"When you're the number one, number two show on a network and then the network just dissolves and gets bought out and becomes something else...it's not the first time that a network has built their wealth on Black content and then, slowly but surely, [goes] through a gentrification process," 

"We, as Black audiences, we are incredibly loyal, we have a lot of buying power and so markets capitalize on that. What seemed to be the pattern was that they would get their hit white show and then they would slowly but surely eradicate their directives. That leaves a big deficit in terms of us being able to see our own stories, believing in your own story and amassing an audience to the point where you become undeniable."

Today, Black creatives have more avenues to showcase their work thanks to streaming services, ...
UPN's death is still yet another example of how disposable Black talent has been viewed in Hollywood.

source
Tags: black celebrities, race / racism, television
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