Characters break the fourth wall on television when they speak directly to the camera. Using a stratified random sample of one episode of every situation comedy, drama, and reality program airing on the five broadcast networks in the United States (N = 113) during the 2006–2007 prime-time season, we found that, overall, male characters broke the fourth wall more frequently than females. However, when a program employed at least one woman in a powerful behind-the-scenes position, female characters broke the fourth wall more than males. Also, male characters breaking the fourth wall were more likely to make personal comments about themselves and others, whereas female characters talked about competitive strategy and competition.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2008
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