Every season of Walking Dead I think about their seeming "black man quota" - - it seems like there can't be more than one regular black character on the show at any given time. Lately I think they may have increased it to two - - I would say three but I feel like that's unlikely to last through the end of season 5. But generally, if they introduce one, another one is almost always going to die shortly thereafter, sometimes the same episode. (And if you want to get intersectional with it, the black characters are almost always men.)
Obviously I'm not the only one who's noticed this, and there are a lot of opinions:The Walking Dead's Ongoing Black Man ProblemDanai Gurira, Who Plays Michonne, Says ‘The Walking Dead’ Isn’t RacistDoes 'The Walking Dead' have quota for number of black characters?The Walking Dead: "Made To Suffer" review
But I don't see a lot of numbers thrown around. Has anybody done an actual study on this?
I keep thinking how interesting it would be to see a statistical breakdown of race on The Walking Dead. It's a pretty diverse show compared to a lot of stuff on TV (which is kind of sad), and I feel like the nature of the show, with the cast constantly being killed off & replaced, would lend itself to a lot of neat data.
Like, by race, what is the...
* ...percentage of the overall cast?
* ...average lifespan, by # of episodes?
* ...average speaking time? As in, did T-Dog have more than one line this episode?
And so on.
I'm picturing a lot of pie charts, and timelines with notes & averages. Would probably need to break it down by "main cast" vs. "supporting/guest characters" - not sure if that would be determined by # of episodes, or who appears in the title sequence, or what. I think most of the data could be gathered from the Walking Dead Wiki, though to dig deep (as far as dialogue/etc.) one would have to probably do a rewatch.
What do you think? Is this interesting to anybody else? What other data do you think would be good to gather, if I did some kind of project like this?
Looking at treatment of gender on the show would be interesting but I feel like it'd be more subjective, harder to quantify. Ageism I'm not sure about (I feel like, if anything, it'd go along with sexism), and queer representation, well, that's laughable. But I feel like there's a lot of interesting stuff about race on the show.
I just really like crunching numbers and talking about representation in media. And I need something to keep my brain happy while code compiles.