Rev. Jesse Jackson urged Dish Network to bring back Tribune Broadcasting and WGN, which carries “Underground,” asking if Dish “is using the same kind of math with ratings that the old south employed when enacting laws that counted African-Americans as three-fifths of a man.”
Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition made the demands in a letter obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. (RELATED: Chicago Seminary Launches ‘White Privilege Glasses’ Campaign)
“Is Dish using the same kind of math with ratings that the old south employed when enacting laws that counted African-Americans as three-fifths of a man?” Jackson asked. “Dish is not taking into account that Underground has broken records for WGN America as their highest-rated original program in nearly 18 years, ranked as the top cable program on Wednesday nights throughout its run, and averaged 3 million viewers weekly.”
“For far too long African-Americans have been underrepresented and unfavorably portrayed on television, silencing the significant contributions they have made to this country,” he added. “Underground is a crucial part of a brand-new day of diversity on television that sheds a bright light on the bravery, ingenuity and power of the African-American experience, and is being used as teachable moments in homes and history classes around the nation at a time when we need it most.”
The show portrays the path that slaves took to find freedom via the Underground Railroad. WGN is scheduled to air a marathon of the show on July 2, but Dish network subscribers will not be able to see it.