“The Golden Woman” strives to bring awareness to a minority group that is often overlooked and totally underrepresented. When it comes to television, this is a major issue across the board—people of color, the LGBTQ+ community and women in general aren’t present on our TV screens the way they are in our actual world. Lack of representation is even more apparent when it comes to women of color, gay or trans women and disabled women who are also older. These women barely exist on our screens.
TV producers and executives want material that’s “fresh” and “new”—so they hire younger writers, who are familiar with the issues and lifestyles of similarly younger people. They also tend to assume that shows that represent a minority will only attract a demographic of minority viewers instead of a broader, mainstream audience.
Not only do middle-aged and senior women make up a substantial proportion of U.S. media consumers, but the issues they face on a daily basis aren’t exclusively age-specific; they deal with dating, friendship and careers, experience milestones and suffer embarrassing moments just like men and women of every age. And while Betty White dealing with ageism in the workplace and Rue McClanahan facing the onset of menopause might not be relatable to everyone, these episodes are still entertaining. They give men insight to womens’ lives, tell younger women not to be afraid of aging and validate the problems that older women face.