By Ophelia Garrett
In this week's episode of “you can’t make this stuff up,” Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has been declared “racist.” And, accused of featuring too many men named Mike.
During the 2020 lockdowns, Prof. Lisa Whitenack, a biologist and professor at Allegheny College decided to research the Discovery Channel to see if Shark Week aligned with her ideology. Apparently they got an “F” grade from the professor.
“Discovery’s programming emphasized negative messages about sharks, lacked useful messaging about shark conservation and overwhelmingly featured White men as experts — including several with the same name.”
When the Washington Post published her story, it informed the reader that Prof. Whitenack had loved Shark Week as a child, yet noted "when the scientists appeared on her TV screen, she rarely saw any women she could look up to. Causing her to think 'I don’t come from a family of scientists. I didn’t see very many people that looked like me on television.'"
“Shark Week featured more White experts and commentators named ‘Mike’ than women." –David Shiffman Arizona State University conservationist, the study’s co-author.