Anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels): really nothing about casting a middle aged white man to portray character in a field dominated by men; seven out of ten of the highest paid are white men and of the three women only one is black. So all told what else could he be but a middle aged white man and be anything but unrealistic. Will McAvoy is the white savior. Will is the fantastically intelligent, superbly educated, eminently capable, religiously ambiguous and perfectly flawed white savior. He is an act of self-gratification for Sorkin, and pat on the back to every dye-in-the-wool guilt ridden white elitist liberal who attempts to pacify their conscience by bashing his evil twin, while at the same time having his ego fondled. Will McAvoy is a handy j to the far-left.
Executive producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer): I’m not in the least bit familiar with the qualifications for or the number of women serving as and excelling in the doubtlessly stressful career of executive producing but I'll assume they just needed a female romantic opposite for McAvoy. None of that; however, explains why she had to be white, the part was clearly intended for a white woman as the actress purported to have been chosen first was a white woman. If it wasn’t meant to be a white woman why were no black actresses names touted as possible choices, were there no black women they felt were suitable for the role, if so why not. Was the choice to make MacKenzie a white woman just another one of those Allison Janney over CCH Pounder decisions, was it because when Sorkin closed his eyes it was just another white woman he saw as the best choice again and another pat on Mr Sorkin’s back because he agonized over it, hooray Mr. Sorkin didn’t base the choice that overlooked yet another black actress in favor of a white actress on race.
Jim (John Gallagher, Jr.): Like Jeff Daniels’ character how could he be anyone but a 25-35 year old white guy portray the heir of Will McAvoy’s greatness. This slighter more attractive version of Chris Hayes filled with the requisite idealism, reported in wartime, got shot in ass, champion of the underdog, liberal who just happens to be in love with plain looking white girl with a heart of gold. He gets to be the every man, who does not so good things for all the right reasons, white knight in shining armor. The character no black, Asian, Latino, muslim, non-white gay guy gets to play and is therefore the most insulting character in the series.
Maggie (Alison Pill): we're all supposed to love her ordinary girl next door, pushover, with brains and heart shtick. Being mistreated by her slug of a pseudo-boyfriend and clearly needs to be with good ol Jim who will love and appreciate her for the strong, independent moderately attractive white woman she is.
Sloan (Olivia Munn): a mythological creature, like one of the elves out of a Tolkien novel or at a minimum the progressive, but after a fashion just as patronizing, version of Michelle Malkin.
Neal (Dev Patel): his character is a classic version of the model minority, not nearly as well camouflaged as Sloan, something of a modern day Hadji who instead of magic tricks he amazes us with his computer skills. He is this series' Charlie Young, thankfully without too much of the cloying father-son dynamic between him and Jeff Daniels character.
Don (Thomas Sadoski): everybody loves a villain especially one who isn’t too terribly wicked but just distasteful enough to give us a target for our outrage, and handsome or charming enough to forgive him when he is being a dick.
Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston): the venerable head of the news division and the world’s only functioning alcoholic, and the senior version of Jim and Will, they are all of them a part of the life cycle of a white man’s career in the news, some variation on a Russian family novel.
Let us not forget Chris Chalk as Gary Cooper the “smart black guy” and the black lady Kendra James played by Adina Porter who stay appropriately in the background only popping in to remind us they did indeed include some black people, see see.
Shows like Newsroom and West Wing exist to make liberals and white people feel better for being privilaged hyprocties and well... white. They need shows like those to feel better about the failures in the system that allows citizens of the mightiest nation in the world to suffer homelessness, poverty, hunger, ignorance, racism, homophobia, sexism… though, we have mixed emotions about the classism thing since we all want to move on up to the east side to the d’luxe apartment in the sk’high. Shows like these ooze white privilege and the exceptionalism that they represent and distill into a more pure byproduct are a bit of self-celebration at the expense of the fellow citizens they claim to champion. When you watch shows like Newsroom you’re told you can see yourself in these characters, that there is something universal about them that transcends race that it's about the ideas and realism and so on and so forth, fact is though that they didn't make any one of the starring characters a person of color, gay, or anything else not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. The fact is how are you, non-White religiously ambiguous person, supposed to see yourself in these roles, when clearly they didn't see you or anyone like you in these roles. Dev Petal's characters and the black man and women are well intentioned well-reasoned window dressing, tokens in the worst possible way because this isn't the 70s, 80s, or 90s and yet there they are trotted out to offer a colored person's perspective which is really just the white perspective in ethnic face.