Grey’s Anatomy: Colour Blind Casting

Grey’s Anatomy fashions itself as having colour-blind casting. The data strongly suggests otherwise. The top table lists the US medical school graduates for 2002 through 2012 by self-described ethnicity. The bottom table uses data from Wikipedia’s list of characters for Grey’s Anatomy for seasons 1 through 9 (which is still ongoing). Only the primary (main) and secondary (recurring) medical graduates are listed. The “avg %” is the average percentage of a particular ethnic group for the ten year period 2002 to 2012 and represents what should be seen on the TV serial. The “% total” lists what is seen.

GAAs shown, the so-called colour-blind casting has resulted in Africans being over-represented by 213% and Europeans by 11%. Native Americans/Pacific Islanders, Asians (East and South) and Latinos are under-represented with Asians diminished by 81% and Latinos by 45%. There are no Native Americans/Pacific Islanders at all. Alternatively, if one combined all the non-Africans and non-Europeans into one group, they should represent 29.3% of Grey’s Anatomy characters if the show was trying to reflect reality. Rather, they only obtained 7.6% of the series portrayals.

Unless my calculations are waaaaaay off, it would seem that the point of colour-blind casting in Grey’s Anatomy is to create an Afrocentric reality.

Data set:

Europeans: Izobel Stevens, Mark Sloan, Derek Shepherd, Arizona Robbins, George O’Malley, Addison Montgomery, April Kepner, Alex Karev, Owen Hunt, Erica Hahn, Meredith Grey, Alexandra Grey, Theodora Altman, Virginia Dixon, Swender, Margaret Campbell, Robert Stark, Lucy Fields, Sydney Heron, Reed Adamson, Charles Percy, Steve Mostow, Pierce, Megan Mostow, Laura, Sadie Harris, Norman Shales, Jo Wilson, Shane Ross, Heather Brooks, Stephanie Edwards, Leah Murphy, Katharine Wyatt, Colin Marlowe, Finn Dandridge, Ellis Grey, Harper Avery

Asians: Christina Yang, Raj Sen

Africans: Miranda Bailey, Richard Webber, Preston Burke, Jackson Avery, Benjamin Warren, Catherine Avery, Kimberly Elise, Brandon Scott, Candice Afia, Shane Ross, Jerrika Hinton

Latinos: Calliope Torres, Graciella Guzman

Update: 2013-03-06: If one looks at Washington state alone (where the fictitious Seattle Grace Hospital is located), the numbers are even more staggering:

GA3Now, only Africans are inflated, by almost 4000%. As before, the biggest losers are East and South Asians.

Update: 2013-03-15: In S09E17, there is a new African male OB/GYN, Dr. Jason Myers (Charles Michael Davis).

Update: 2013-03-22: Wikipedia missed a surgeon of African descent, Dr. Jeff Russell (Dominic Hoffman). This brings (national) African over-representation to 265% and state over-representation to 4551%

vlcsnap-2013-03-22-18h47m21s84Token East Asian female surgeon Dr. Yang references a male East Asian surgeon (Dr. Marcus Cho) in a magazine. She refers to him as a “like a high-functioning moron who was a year behind me at Stanford” and “he’s a moron!”

Update: 2013-03-26: There are two Europeans not accounted for, Dr. Craig Thomas (William Daniels) and Dr. Parker (Steven Culp). This brings (national) African over-representation to 252%

Update: 2013-07-08: European doctor Cooper Freedman also unaccounted.


One thought on “Grey’s Anatomy: Colour Blind Casting

  1. Pingback: Hollywood Roundup XVII | Ethnic Muse

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