While reading chapter 13 of the Com100 book I ran into a little snippet about The Cosby Show. Now I’m not going to delve into the fiasco that now surrounds Bill Cosby, but I will say that I am a huge fan of Bill Cosby. In my room, I have his record “I Started Out as a Child” hanging on my wall. And I also have his box collection of stand up.
So with that being said, I was very interested in the study done about Selective Exposure and its effects on different races while watching The Cosby Show. I grew up watching Full House and The Cosby Show on Nick @ Nite. This was during the late 90’s and early 2000’s though, so it was obviously past it’s cultural relevance. But since I watched these shows during a time, and in a very culturally diverse city, I had no idea that The Cosby Show dealt very heavily in race relations. I grew up without a real understanding of black issues as a child, and just thought it was a funny show about a black family.
I would say that homophobia and LGBTQ rights are at the forefront of American media and culture and a great example of this being tackled by the media is the show “Modern Family”, which is a show that openly discusses gay families, adoption and gay rights. How this all relates back to the book is a little bit of a stretch, but I’m going to try.
I grew up in a family that was very split about gay rights/homophobia. To not try and say one is more right than the other, because that is their opinions and not mine, we’ll call them Family A and Family B.
Family A is from Alaska, and is very religious – I don’t have much contact with them anymore, but their ages range from 22-60. Family B is from Michigan/Florida and I see them a lot more. The age range is very similar. But on this side, my family has 3 or 4 gay members. So as you could imagine, family gatherings are a bit awkward.
Once during a family reunion in 2012, we all sat down to watch some television between dinner and the next event on the schedule. Of course Modern Family was on, and as you could imagine, created a huge argument. One side, Family B saw it as a great, hilarious show that humanized gay families. While Family A saw it as an alienation of their traditional ways and thought it was vulgar.
It’s amazing how through selective exposure, my family, all related by blood saw something so different. Each side saw the show as something different, just like the different racial groups watched The Cosby Show.
(Once again I am having trouble uploading photos. I don’t know why this happens, I’ve tried multiple sizes, resolutions and file types. None seem to want to upload. I’ll try back to upload later.)