This is really a big problem not only for the society but also for its future because racism affects every aspects of life.
To understand why media always portray African Americans unfairly it is important to understand where this racism came from in the media. Live shows were very popular in American entertainment when there was no film and television long back ago. In 1920s stage shows was the main source of entertainment in America. During that period comedy shows are very popular and mockery of other races by the stage actors is very popular among the white audiences. Generally the white stage performers make the African Americans victims of their degrading jokes.
During that period the most famous comedy show was the minstrel show. The minstrel show was started by in 1830s by the white actor, Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He copied the song-and-dance idea from the young African Americans artists who used to perform on the street. In this show the lead actor used to perform the role of Daddy Rice after blackened his face with burnt cork. He used to perform Jump Jim Crow while wearing tattered clothes. After few years, Edwin P. Christie, a white businessman, marketed the entire show which made the minstrel show more famous. After the laws were changed, the African Americans also performed in the show, but they too had to paint their face black for the show. There were several titles for minstrel shows. These shows are completely based on the stereotypes of African American cultures. Generally these shows are based on lazy African Americans who used to spoke poor English. Often white actors used to perform in a stupid way and audience used to laugh at them.
The motion picture was started after the Thomas Edison invented the Kinetoscope 1889 and after the invention of cinema whites again started portraying the African Americans unfairly for their entertainment. The first full length feature film The Epic Birth of a Nation was released in America in 1915 in which Klu Klux Klan was portrayed as true American hero whereas blacks were portrayed as inferior and brutal to whites. In this way, the first movie which was made in America shows the brutal racism against the African Americans. In the early days of Hollywood there were many African American actors but almost all of them are portrayed as inferior and stupid servants with low level of intelligence.
The minstrel image from the early days of the film and television of America still continue to haunt the media of this country. Men in Black and Rush Hour are the highest grossing films starring African American actors. In the movie Rush Hour Chris Tucker acts as an incompetent joker from the beginning till the end. Chris Tucker is now the highest paid African American actor in Hollywood. He collects over $20 million a movie. In Hollywood there are also serious actors such as Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington who do not perform minstrel roles like Chris Tucker, and both Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington are not highly paid as him. In Men in Black, Wills Smith had performed weird minstrel role and acted like a joker in the whole movie and handles the tiny gun incompetently.
In America media plays an important role to guide the thoughts and mind of the people.