Blinded by the White - THE CATASTROPHIZER
 
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It seems there are only white people in Canada. Canada is so smug about its multiculturalism, you'd think it would actually make a point of showcasing its diversity in ways besides making visible minorities share the small screen with Sheila McCarthy. But two recent television-watching experiences have led me to question whether this country is, in fact, populated only by Caucasian, sweater-sporting executives and their blonde, Queen's University-attending children.

First, there was Top Chef Canada. I was willing to look beyond the host (Thea Andrews, who, coincidentally, is blonde and graduated from Queen's University and calls to mind that episode of Seinfeld in which Kramer suffers from Mary Hart-related seizures) and the fact that a strangely high number of the contestants appear not really to be able to cook. What I find hard to accept is that they couldn't have included one contestant of a non-pale hue. Apparently, the show's (unnamed) defenders claim that "the contestants were chosen based on ability, not on location, gender or race". That just means that there happen not to BE any women or minorities who are as good at cooking as these white men are, which is especially distressing as most of these white men appear not be very good at it at all.

Then there was the whiteness of the recent election debate. I'm not referring to  the fact that all four leaders and the host were white (and also men - although Steve Paikin is a Prince Among Men, which sets him slightly apart). I'm talking about the fact that all six citizens whose videotaped questions were shared were white. They were careful to balance the sexes (three women [all blonde, as far as I can remember], three men) and the regions represented, but made no effort to vary the colour scheme. One of the women had an accent, but that was about as diverse as the evening got. 

Are Canadian television producers so obsessed with regional diversity and not looking like the only place they care about is Toronto that they forget there are other forms of inclusiveness? I find I have been retroactively protesting their lack of inclusiveness for years by forgetting about the existence of Canadian television.

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