Television Academy Foundation and The Power Of TV Push For Awareness

The Television Academy Foundation hosted a fabulous event detailing The Power of TV! Since it’s creation, television has literally influenced and impacted society whether we realize it or not. TV programs make us happy, make us cry, have us feeling triumphs as well as intense bouts of joy. Nevertheless, these same shows can also help mold or shape our views; on everything in our lives from fashion to health. How so? Well, at today’s informative meeting, the Television Academy Foundation discussion panel laid out a very detailed and arousing deep dive; into how writers and producers can get audiences to consider early detection of breast cancer.

Television Academy Foundation: Changing the Narrative

Have you ever flipped on your Smart TV or streamed with your phone and saw shows of doctors, nurses and the like? Most likely you have. In fact, some of the most popular shows of all time with the highest ratings have been centered around a hospital or healthcare setting.

For instance, you may think of Grey’s Anatomy. A long running hit show with a heavy focus on the healthcare realm that is STILL going strong! Popularity remains extremely high even after numerous seasons as well as character changes.

Nevertheless, what makes us love to watch such shows? Is it the characters’ dynamic personalities and ‘life experiences?’ Or perhaps just overall storytelling?

It’s most likely a different reason for each of us; however, if we really peer into the life situations and points of view of various characters on television; those moments are the ones that can really at times strike a nerve with us. Why is that? Most likely, it is because we have been through something similar or know someone who has. Or we are simply overcome with emotion and just FEEL for the characters due to empathy.

The Power of TV is real. We relate, feel and come to understand the individuals we see on our screens. Furthermore, this type of power can be used for good; to educate, inform and even inspire others.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Television Academy The Power Of TV Push For Awareness

Therefore, how is The Academy of Television Foundation’s initiative, The Power of TV; planning to use such influence on the small screen? What are television shows trying to do to help get the word out about caring for one’s health and options to viewers? Well, The Power of TV panel discussed how many new, as well as older programs are helping to reshape current breast cancer narratives.

Why is this important? For one thing, statistics are revealing some alarming trends. Many women, even young women are being affected by this type of cancer. Also, men are getting breast cancer as well. Therefore, no gender, or race is being excluded. We all need a solution.

Doctor Carlie Thompson said she would like to see more shows have characters that are shown taking a real interest in breast cancer prevention. She mentioned how many females can develop breast cancer even when there are not many signs. Of course, family history and genetics can play a role in determining factors; as well as the chances of contracting a variation of breast cancer. However, if young and older women do not get checked; that’s when the situation can quickly become more dire.



So what’s being done by the Television Academy Foundation? Currently, the aim is to bring more breast cancer narratives and storylines to the fore. For example, in the iconic comics, Superman & Lois show; they are adding in stories that showcase a younger woman in her 30’s dealing with this health issue.

This is a big deal because normally women are not screened till their 40’s. Reaching a younger demographic and audience can have a major impact on screenings and prevention. The two keys to being able to put up a good fight against this health “foe.”

How to Diagnose Breast Cancer… The PUSH to Get the Audiences Tested

Will such storylines encourage women to get checked? Well, when we look throughout television history there are some positive signals to enable us to have say, “well yes!” For example, many young people started attending college thanks to shows like A Different World, as well as Grown-ish.

Also, we can go back several decades and see an excellent example of the high impact of television. The hit show, All in the Family explored the experience and effects of breast cancer. So this not a new subject that television is attempting to tackle. Back then, such an episode helped open up a proper dialogue; and encouraged women viewers to think about their own health status.

Moreover, thanks to TV, women have even styled their hair like Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston after seeing them on screen. Therefore, all of this proves an important point. Viewers are able to resonate and take action from watching actresses and actors. Once again… the very power of TV.

Something that was also very interesting in today’s discussion; was how show producers are tackling getting breast cancer storylines in various shows. They mentioned the push back they are receiving while attempting to create these narratives, the real impact these stories have on viewers; and also how telling such stories do not take away from the entertainment value and enjoyment derived from such programming.

Such challenges on set can slowdown progress. However, each phenomenal woman on today’s panel is steadily overcoming all obstacles! Stories will be told. Lives forever changed.



Diagnose Breast Cancer: The Experience is Not Always Pleasant

So what’s preventing women from going to get checked for early detection of breast cancer? Well for one, it’s not fun! Kristi Korzec, the co-executive producer of Superman & Lois; humorously related that her own mom said the device used to check for breast cancer is a torture chamber Lol! Anyone who has ever had one, or has known a family member that has had such a procedure done can completely relate.

Korzec playfully continued stating that if men had to get a mammogram procedure done themselves, they would have BEEN redesigned this screening to be more comfortable. And we could not agree more. Nevertheless, you see this is where the Television Academy The Power of TV storylines push to present more breast cancer narratives, is truly a beautiful operation and opportunity.

Showing ladies on shows going into the doctor or an expert anyway despite uncomfortable procedures; can be a really helpful reminder and motivation for viewers to make these appointments themselves. Since early detection of breast cancer; can be a real difference maker. Yet, the REAL issue for women who are Asian, Indian, Latin or Black… is that there’s just not enough research being done.

Carlie Thompson, revealed this is due to money. No surprise. However, it was encouraging to hear that it is getting better.

This is awesome news, because this means more studies can be done as well as clinical trials. Additionally, more research can help to bring on better treatments and results for those affected with breast cancer. Especially if you are not of Caucasian decent. Women and men of all races are at risk. Therefore, such funds are so necessary to the development of good treatments.

The Power of TV: Final Thoughts

Nonetheless, today’s event shed light on a lot of important information. Information that everyone should know; and what better vehicle to transport and deliver such vital data than television? We all watch it, so the reach is inevitable.

What the Television Academy Foundation is aiming to do in the industry and future is much appreciated. People need real stories they can relate to and feel moved by. One day, such a story might just save their very life.

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