List of the greatest token minority characters in sitcoms. This list contains the characters who were added to their respective casts as symbols of diversity, such as the one Black guy with six white friends or vice versa. From the token characters you’ve loved to watch to the token characters you couldn’t stand (but couldn’t stop watching), this list of great token minority characters contains them all.
Why do TV producers feel the need to add token characters to a cast? Usually, the addition of a token minority can be attributed to one of two things (sometimes both): the producers want to appeal to a demographic that might not be attracted otherwise, or they want to defend themselves against claims that the show doesn’t represent the diversity of real life. Either way, these token minority characters sometimes become audience favorites. For an example, think of James "Toofer" Spurlock from “30 Rock.”
Perhaps the most commonly noted form of tokenism in sitcoms is that of the token Black character, who is usually tossed into an all-white cast. The greatest token minority characters aren’t necessarily Black, however. There have been plenty of all-Black shows who’ve added a sole white cast member or regular guest. Some of the top token characters represent other minority groups, including Asians, Indians, the handicapped, and homosexuals.
This list consists of the best token minority characters from both past and currently running sitcoms. These token characters are of different ages, genders, and ethnicities, but they’re all one thing -- worthy of being included on this, the list of the greatest token minority characters in sitcom history.
Token BlackSouth Park
43The OfficeThe Office US
63The Cleveland Show, Family Guy
74That '70s Show
66The Big Bang Theory
White MikeThe Wayans Bros.
57Parks and Recreation
50Everybody Hates Chris
55Malcolm in the Middle
Officer Hoppy HopkinsSanford and Son
Telly RadfordSalute Your Shorts
Tootie RamseyThe Facts of Life
62WKRP in Cincinnati
64The Office: Subtle Sexuality, The Office
Ivy WentzGood Luck Charlie
TimmyRules of Engagement
CalvinFreaks and Geeks
Markus RedmondDoogie Howser, M.D.
52Boy Meets World