Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Mass Communication and Media Arts


Kavita Karan


This paper is an in depth research that focuses on the experiences and representations of Black women in popular television shows like Scandal and Insecure. The research will show how these portrayals effect Black women in society and the impressions of Black women by the viewers of these television shows. Black women have always been the center of misrepresentations in television leading to limitations in character roles and appearances. These stereotypical roles effect how others look at Black women and it can also reflect on how Black women view themselves. The portrayals I will focus on will be stereotypes, occupational roles and physical appearance. An interpretative textual analysis and content analysis will explore two shows that have Black women as the main characters: Scandal & Insecure. The analysis will present a historical background of Black women stereotypes and compare their portrayals to Insecure and Scandal.. I’ll determine whether these shows are progressive at shifting away from stereotypes or perpetuating them. I’ll also examine the role of television/media with regards to these stereotypes. My conclusion is interesting because both series are written and directed by Black women, Shonda Rhimes and Issa Rae. Nevertheless, with this progressive leadership, these shows have the potential to shift towards improving Black women’s representation on television.