Academic Says ‘Shark Week’ Too White, Too Many Men Named ‘Mike’

  • Lisa Whitenack, a biology professor at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, was a fan of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” since childhood. But it always nagged at her that there weren’t more women on the shows.
  • During the pandemic, she led a team of researchers that examined hundreds of “Shark Week” episodes that aired between 1988 and 2020.
  • Her findings: “Shark Week” overwhelmingly featured white men as experts, including many named “Mike.”
  • “When there are hundreds of people of color interested who work in this field, [and] when my field is more than half women, maybe it’s not an accident anymore that they’re only featuring White men,” said David Shiffman, an Arizona State conservationist who co-authored the study.



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