5 episodes

Viewers Like Us explores who gets to tell America’s multitude of stories in public media today. Host and independent filmmaker, Grace Lee, along with reporter and filmmaker Akintunde Ahmad, investigate a history of systemic inequities at PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, and envision what the future could look and sound like if PBS centered a diversity of experiences and perspectives.

Viewers Like Us Viewers Like Us

    • TV & Film
    • 4.9 • 90 Ratings

Viewers Like Us explores who gets to tell America’s multitude of stories in public media today. Host and independent filmmaker, Grace Lee, along with reporter and filmmaker Akintunde Ahmad, investigate a history of systemic inequities at PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, and envision what the future could look and sound like if PBS centered a diversity of experiences and perspectives.

    An American Experience

    An American Experience

    Grace and Tunde discuss what it feels like to be a token. Myrton Running Wolf, a professor of race and media at the University of Nevada, shares his experiences of participating in an aughts-era Native American mentorship program run by Boston’s GBH—and underscores the lasting harm of whitewashed narratives when telling Indigenous history. Episode 4 also uplifts the work of visionary filmmaker and producer, Henry Hampton. His essential 1987 series “Eyes on the Prize,” chronicling the civil rights movement, offers a relevant example of how to tell stories with authenticity, integrity and nuance, while ensuring that everyone contributing to the creative process is valued. Callie Crossley, veteran journalist at GBH who directed two of the original “Eyes” episodes, reflects on how this series might inform the ways PBS creates space for and invests in BIPOC-led, community-centered productions today.

    Viewers Like Us is committed to preserving a history of BIPOC makers and their contributions to PBS over the years. We’ve published a timeline on our website listing the ups and downs of PBS’s record with people of color. We invite you to explore our new resource and submit ideas for this work-in-progress via hello@viewerslikeus.com or through the Engage page on our website, https://viewerslikeus.com/engage/

    • 31 min
    Minority Report

    Minority Report

    The words “diversity, equity, and inclusion”—DEI for short—seem to be everywhere these days: from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies and...public media. Episode 3 reveals what happened to a PBS Diversity Report filed 14 years ago, and explores the limits of a system whose leaders repeatedly promise to ‘do better’ over the years without building in true accountability and specific goals. This episode also breaks down CPB (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting), the complex system that makes public television’s structure so confusing to grasp, and examines who’s holding it accountable to meeting its mission. And after facing rejections from several PBS gatekeepers, Grace and Tunde are surprised when one major station leader responds right away to join them for a conversation.

    • 22 min
    Endless Loop

    Endless Loop

    Grace Lee and fellow Beyond Inclusion members meet with PBS leaders in spring 2021. Latinx organizers, journalists and filmmakers confront PBS about the erasure of Latinx voices and stories in Ken Burns’ 2007 seven-part series, The War. And in 1987 at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing, Chinese American filmmaker Loni Ding asks a prophetic question: “Where is the public in today’s public broadcasting?”

    • 24 min
    America's Storyteller?

    America's Storyteller?

    Since its founding in the late 1960s, PBS has presented itself as a trusted home for America’s multitude of stories and experiences. An inclusive space of exploration and education, for all. So when independent filmmaker Grace Lee published an essay in 2020—calling out public broadcasting’s overreliance on “America’s storyteller,” documentarian Ken Burns—her words set off a chain of events that reached the highest levels of PBS leadership. Soon after, a group of filmmakers joined Grace in asking PBS why they relied so heavily on one white male director’s perspective to tell the history of our country and its people. They were left with more questions than answers. Welcome to Viewers Like Us, a new podcast series that explores: What will it take to restore the entire public to public media?

    • 16 min
    Introducing: Viewers Like Us

    Introducing: Viewers Like Us

    Viewers Like Us explores who gets to tell America’s multitude of stories in public media today. Host and independent filmmaker, Grace Lee, along with reporter and filmmaker Akintunde Ahmad, investigate a history of systemic inequities at PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, and envision what the future could look and sound like if PBS centered a diversity of experiences and perspectives.

    Listen and learn more at viewerslikeus.com; join the conversation about public media’s past, present and future using the hashtag #viewerslikeus on Twitter and Instagram; and email us at hello@viewerslikeus.com.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
90 Ratings

90 Ratings

Hicoup ,

Incisive, a must listen

This incisive podcast asks the important and often uncomfortable questions about the lack of diversity and full, equitable representation of America through the PBS lens. The show blows past surface complaint into deep, persistent, structural equity problems with and within the institution. Episodes are tightly edited and clearly and engagingly told.

Julie PBS ,

Great Podcast!

Well done! We were over due for this conversation! Grace and her team are clearly professionals - each episode is crafted expertly with plenty of explanation and detail for those not in the PBS world, All media people and those who listen and donate to public media need to listen to this important reporting.

Egads DVT ,

important and not inside baseball

this is a very well-done look at how even liberal-professing organizations maintain racial inequities. And it really matters, because PBS is a crucial part of how America learns about itself. I recommmend everyone listen to this.

Top Podcasts In TV & Film

You Might Also Like