African Americans and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 6:18PM EST
CBS’ rebooted Magnum P.I. is expected to star a minority actor
In addition to pursuing a non-white actor to take on the role of Thomas Magnum, the proposed reboot will replace at least one member of the original all-male team with a woman. Similarly, CBS’ reboot of Cagney and Lacey is planning to cast a non-white actress in the role of Lacey. The CW’s Charmed reboot will also have a diverse cast. “This is part of an across-the-board effort by the broadcast networks this year to have casts that represent the diverse makeup of America,” says Nellie Andreeva. “What’s more, while non-white actors had often been relegated to supporting roles in the past, judging by early buzz, some predict that we may have one of the most, if not the most diverse group of broadcast pilot leads ever.” As Andreeva notes, ABC announced last year that its Greatest American Hero is being reimagined with an Indian-American female lead.
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 3:15AM EST
Mo’Nique: Here’s a copy of Netflix's contract to prove I was offered $500,000 for a standup special
The Oscar winner posted a copy of the contract proposal on Instagram after rumors circulated that she had actually been offered $3 million. The proposal gave Netflix exclusivity over any future Mo’Nique comedy specials, at least for two years, while also restricting the use of her jokes.
Posted Tuesday 1/30/18 at 8:39PM EST
BoJack Horseman creator confronts the “whitewashing” of white actors voicing minority characters on his show
Raphael Bob-Waksberg recently discussed with a Twitter follower why the Vietnamese-American character of Diane Nguyen was voiced by white actress Alison Brie. It’s something he’s wanted to talk about, but it's a topic that hasn't been brought up to him. “I think I used the idea of color-blind casting—(of) ‘It doesn’t really matter” — as an excuse to not pay attention,” he says. “I just said, okay, let’s find good people for every role … But I think if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to end up with mostly white people just because that’s how our industry is set up. If you want to go against that, you have to be active about it. You have to actively hire people of color. You have to actively think for every role: Can this be not a white person? If I’m not thinking about, it’s not going to happen.’”
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 1:32PM EST
The Bachelor creator found lower ratings for first black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay “incredibly disturbing”: “It revealed something about our fans”
“I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way,” says Mike Fleiss. “How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — black or white — she was an unbelievable bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans.” Speaking of President Trump, Fleiss said the current White House made it harder to bring in more Bachelor franchise stars from around the world for The Bachelor Winter Games because securing visas for them proved difficult. “Our president didn’t make things any easier,” says Fleiss. Eleven countries other than the United States will be represented.
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 1:32PM EST
Grey’s Anatomy tackles unconscious bias and police brutality
Last night’s episode revolved around a 12-year-old black boy who was shot by police after attempting to break into his home after forgetting his keys. The boy was named after Eric Garner, the New York man who died after police used a chokehold to restrain him while he was allegedly selling cigarettes on the street. “On Grey's, we've been portraying other-than-white groups in a very good light and trying to change the basic attitude of unconscious bias,” says episode writer Zoanne Clack, a former ER doctor who’s been with the ABC series since its second episode. “But to go in there and talk about it in such a straightforward fashion was a brilliant opportunity.” ALSO: Grey's fans melt down over fear that Bailey is going to die.
Posted Wednesday 1/24/18 at 4:39PM EST
Two white former Tonight Show camera operators sue NBC claiming Questlove had them fired over a racist text
The two camera operators are suing NBC claiming that they were suspended and subsequently fired after a stagehand sent them “an unsolicited racist and misogynist text message.” Even though they say they reported the text, the camera operators allege that Questlove “pressured NBC to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident.” They are each seeking a million dollars in damages.
Posted Tuesday 1/23/18 at 9:15PM EST
TV actors and writers are using an anonymous Google database to compare their salaries
The separate databases, which include information about race and gender, aim to help improve salary equality. "Please help us achieve parity by sharing any info you are willing to. Thanks!!" reads the writers database, which is currently public. (The actors database is private.) Women in Film founder Melissa Silverstein, who shared the Google Doc on Tuesday, told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month: "For women in Hollywood, the system was created to isolate them from each other and to pit them against one another. Women are taking back the power by sharing the information in a way that has never been done before."
Posted Monday 1/22/18 at 1:40PM EST
Wanda Sykes to Mo’Nique: “Netflix offered me less than half of your $500k”
Sykes tweeted in response to Monique’s claim that Netflix is “low balling women of color,” thanking her for speaking out. “I was offended but found another home. #EPIX,” she tweeted.
Posted Friday 1/19/18 at 10:48PM EST
Mo’Nique calls for a Netflix boycott after she was offered a tiny fraction of what Amy Schumer made for a standup special
The Oscar winner wants Netflix to be boycotted "for gender and color bias” after she says she was offered $500,000 for a standup special. In an Instagram video, Mo’Nique argued that she deserved a deal closer to Schumer’s multimillion-dollar Netflix payday
Posted Wednesday 1/17/18 at 12:03AM EST
Black Lightning is the Black Lives Matter of TV shows, arriving on TV at a timely moment
“Black Lightning is slick, smart, and infused with a social conscience that feels especially spot-on in light of the heightened debate in America about what constitutes racism and how to properly protest racially motivated police brutality,” says Jen Chaney. “It’s the Black Lives Matter of superhero shows. It’s a funky ’70s crime series. Or maybe it’s what happens when comic-book TV gets infused with a tiny bit of the spirit of The Wire.”
- Black Lightning arrives having found a way to make the typical superhero origin story fresh: by bypassing it altogether
- Black Lightning just might be the first woke network TV show with a superhero that takes on stereotypes and prejudice
- It feels like a vindication of 1970s black empowerment, as much as a worthwhile hour of pulse-quickening entertainment
- This is a black show on a network filled with white superheroes, and it displays no insecurity or self-consciousness about that
- Black Lightning operates in the real world of race, police violence and crime — without beating you over the head with a message in every scene
- The weakest part of the show is the actual superheroism
- Showrunner Salim Akil recalls how a chilling racial profile scene was inspired by his experiences with being pulled over
- Black Lightning offers yet another terrible CW superhero disguise
- To prepare to play TV’s first black lesbian superhero, Nafessa Williams studied Pam Grier films
- Cress Williams on the importance of Black Lightning: “I was so emotional, because to see it really happening…. I mean, it’s historical in every sense of the word”
- Salim Akil: “I wanted to add something not only to black culture but to American culture that can’t be taken away”
Posted Friday 12/08/17 at 9:21PM EST
How Nickelodeon’s All That connected a writer to “my blackness”
Aisha Harris, who grew up in a white suburb, said All That introduced her to black artists like Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. “And,” she adds, “though I doubt this was the intent of the two white guys who created the show, the chance to sit my booty on the ground or in a chair every week soaking up a landmark era in black music laid the foundation for the deep connection and affinity I now feel every time I’m amongst a crowd of black people, and we’re all singing and dancing along to the same beloved songs.”
Posted Thursday 12/07/17 at 4:46AM EST
TV One cancels Roland Martin’s morning show NewsOne Now
Martin and his staffers of the black-themed morning show were shocked because their show was just expanded to two hours in September.
Posted Wednesday 12/06/17 at 2:18PM EST
George R.R. Martin made sure that there was no whitewashing in his Nightflyers adaptation
When his 1980 novella was published, the female lead was drawn as a white woman when Martin intended her to be black. So Martin reached out to producers to make his opinions known about whitewashing, resulting in black actress Jodie Turner-Smith landing the female lead on the Syfy adaptation.
Posted Friday 11/17/17 at 7:14AM EST
Robin Thede’s The Rundown is “Black Twitter personified within the late-night mold”
The former head writer on Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show “takes from that familiar, white male–dominated genre and serves it up through a biting, unmistakably black lens” on her weekly BET show, says Aisha Harris. She points to one segment where Thede took on the topic of black Trump supporters with the seriousness of John Oliver and Samantha Bee.
Posted Monday 11/13/17 at 7:57AM EST
Tiffany Haddish thrived as an SNL rarity: A black female host
There have only been 12 black female hosts in Saturday Night Live’s 43-year history, and Haddish became the first black female stand-up comedian to host. ALSO: Larry David returned to mock his controversial monologue.