Not content with but one show, Oprah recently created her own network. Interestingly enough, she has been getting some criticism for what some regard as insufficient diversity among her TV personalities. While her network is not exclusively white, the majority of the high profile programs are headed up by white people (most famously Dr. Phil).
While it might strike some as a bit odd that Oprah, of all people, would be subject to such criticism, such is the way of things. In any case, this does raise some interesting matters.
One obvious question is what would count as an adequate degree of diversity. One approach is to use the diversity of the general population as the standard by which to measure diversity on smaller scales, such as on Oprah’s network. If the United States is used as the standard, then it would seem acceptable for her network to have a majority of white people. Of course, she would need to hire people from all the various other ethnic groups in order to be properly diverse. This would also require sorting out what groups count as distinct groups and what groups should be lumped together. For example, should Mohawks get a a show hosted by a Mohawk or would having a show hosted by a “native American” suffice to cover everyone in that category? Would people who are “mixed” count multiple times or would they count as fractions? Presumably all these mathematical details could be worked out in a formula of diversity. Or perhaps not.
While the numerical approach has some appeal, it would seem that there should be alternatives. Perhaps another foundation could be used for the measure of adequate diversity. And, of course, some might raise questions about whether diversity is a good in and of itself or not.