Why I won’t be watching ABC’s “Blackish” sitcom

By D.C. Livers (www.BlackPressRadio.com) – There is little doubt that ABC is drinking the kool-aid after watching a screening of the new sitcom, Blackish. Who wouldn’t like seeing Laurence Fishburne and Anthony Anderson on television but aren’t we over the whole Tracee Ellis Ross is the picture of Black America nonsense by now?

That every sitcom she’s in sinks like a ship – barring the awesomeness that was Girlfriends – shows that she’s just not the actress that Black America wants to see. To put her in a sitcom titled, “Blackish” during a racially tense time in America is just another example that ABC just doesn’t get it.

Will people watch? Of course, people will watch a train wreck. But should they watch, I have to say no.

Here are 5 reasons that I won’t be watching Blackish:

1) Casting: Seriously, who does these things? How in the world are we to take this family seriously?

2) Tracee Ellis Ross as a Black mama: Like most, I loved her in Girlfriends and tolerate her in many other things but I’m over the concept that she should be viewed as a Black mom of today’s generation. It just doesn’t fit. It’s a little painful to watch her in these roles and it’s unfair to her because she’s a decent actress.

3) Script: I had such high hopes for this, so I hope I’m wrong. I hope that this show knocks the Cosby’s off the map but I don’t think it will. The script is weak and the characters are not people that most Black people can relate to

4) Racial Tension in America: This is a poor time to bring such a sitcom into the world because many Blacks in the U.S. don’t live like this family making the “these are good Black people” pitch hollow and almost justifies the hype and horror of the deaths of #TrayvonMartin, #EricGarner and #MikeBrown, who were killed mostly because they didn’t look like the “sorta Blackish” people that are pitched to society on sitcoms and movies.

5) Snubbing of Black-owned Media: ABC spends less than 10% of its marketing budget with Black-owned media outlets. That it would give millions to mainstream media to promote this show and “assume” that Blacks will just tune in is offense and financially irresponsible.
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  1. You forgot one of the most important reasons not to watch Black-ish. Of the twelve writers on the show only two of them are actually black.

  2. Sadly, I was right. The reviews are in and Black folks didn’t go for it but one White critic called it “the best sitcom on tv.” What did you think about Blackish?

  3. I think you’re drinking too much of your own Kool Aid, maybe you should put that glass down for a minute.

    Here’s why you should take a step back and get some perspective on #Blackish.

    1) This is in fact a GOOD representation of what an American family is today, and by that I mean a house of color. By saying it’s not and saying that Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t good enough of a “black mama” aren’t you going back to thoughtless characterization of a light-skinned black woman? Think she gets treated like she’s not? Is she not “Black” enough for you? Is your complexion darker and you’re hating on her? It’s obvious she’s too white for you. Do you have Caribbean friends with light eyes, they not have enough black in them?

    If you look around, you’ll see that there are lots of women that look just like her, and guess what – they get treated like they’re black enough that gives them the same label they couldn’t escape, but not by your standards right?

    If her character were played by Regina King would that be ok?

    Last on this point, I’m sure you’ve looked around lately… and I’m sure you see mixed families where the parents are from different backgrounds, so yes this LOOKS like a typical black family to me, and IMHO yes it’s got enough African-American in it that it qualifies for the experience.

    2) if you’re disappointed in the script, why don’t you take the opportunity to write for them?

    I think they’re trying to mix in a fair amount of everyday life and humor, along with the black experience at the same time.

    In the same vein of what Cosby did so well, they’re showing what a positive black family looks like. You may want the storylines to be bolder or “harder” or something? Did you want Uncle DMX to come out and start shouting at them, and taking the teen boy to the strip club and get high? This show is trying to be a mainstream comedy, so by nature it has to be funny and somewhat lighthearted. How about a sense of humor?

    Do you know about “The nod”? – I do

    3) Racial tensions… there is plenty and that hasn’t changed (SURE) but let’s seize the moment and put MORE shows like this up on TV so maybe people will see the change in America. This show had nothing to do with what’s happening in Ferguson or what happened to Trayvon, until YOU connected those dots.

    Should a mainstream black show retreat into the shadows? Can these shows come out and play? You let us know when “it’s safe to be out in the open” ..Cool?

    4) Who’s doing the snubbing here? Are you asking ABC to put on more black shows or not? Are you trying to convince people NOT to watch this show? By the title of your post, that’s exactly what it looks like you’re saying.

    So are you in fact trying to sandbag this show? You have a new pilot you’re coming out with that’s better? Your point makes no sense here, irrelevant nonsense. I think black-owned media should start producing better content instead of the trash that goes on BET.

    If you watch that network or buy the “Mainstream black print media rags” [e.g. – VIBE, etc] I get the sense that THEY think that black life is all about rappin’, poppin’ bottles, talkin’ bitches, and oh yeah – drive a Lexus.. Oh wait, that’s BET LATE NIGHT, sorry I get confused. I know how it makes perfect sense to take Rick Ross’ opinion as gospel.

    I’m happy to see that people (yes you too) are engaging in this discussion, so I’m not unhappy that you made a post on this… but it seems awfully close-minded of you to write this show off. In my own logical eyes, I would think any person of color would want MORE shows, rather than less, but that’s just me. Am I wrong here? Wouldn’t you want a show to follow in the Cosby footsteps?

    — Where do I get my stuff from? —

    FYI – I’m the husband in a mixed family (my wife is black)… light-skinned, and she doesn’t look too different from Tracee either. I think she’s beautiful [you should see our kids!]. She was laughing hysterically because SHE CAN RELATE. SHE relates as my wife has grown up with the black experience and she connects to the characters.

    I think the show is funny because I get the jokes, and YES – I think the cast makes perfect sense.

    Laurence Fishburne absolutely makes a perfect fit for the older generation, making his subtle and not-so-subtle points and jabs along the way.

    Did you see the scenes from last night – where they’re in a movie theater, and talking to the screen? Watching the main character walk into a problem and telling him not to do it! Is that based on the black experience? I think so…

    … but maybe you didn’t see it – I read that you’re not watching 🙁

  4. I disagree with your whole article. Whta makes tracey a lesser black women, in your eyes,or nit bkack enough. Its thinking like this is why as people we remain divided. Who exactly died and made you,the measuring stick, on whom is black enough. When i first heard the name,it rubbed me the wrong way, but again with so little black programing on the air,thats not reality based,with us making utter fools of ourselves,it behooved me too tune in. An i loved it. I loved seeing different shades of our blackness across the screen, with upoer middle class living. For once,i think tracy ellis has been, cast i a role befitting her. I never ever leave comments on these type of fourms, but your article really grinded my gears.

  5. What is the average black writer percentage of other ‘black’ shows? Do you also boycott white shows that have no black writers?

    Also, the premise of the show is that Ross’ character is mixed race and didn’t grow up in a black community. I guess you and the Blogger missed that part of the show.

  6. I love Blackish. It celebrates our commonality as families. I think it is an intelligent show that many people can relate to. I didn’t look to see what color the people who wrote it, or produced it are. Are you saying all Black people are the same?

  7. This whole blog is ignorant. How can you judge a show before you even take the time to watch and see what it is about…it’s actually a very clever funny show….black people are way too judgemental about their own people ( and yes I’m black!). There are many moms who look and act like the character that tracee portrays. They are in no way trying to make her the stereotypical black mom…..she actually reminds me of my mom and how she want to have a close relationship with her kids and there is nothing wrong with…get your ignorant mind out of the stone ages.

  8. actually to be politically correct since the duke of hazard gets banned so in fairness this shows needs to be cancelled as it has more offensive content than the duke of hazzard

  9. i watched blackish Tonight April 9, 2019, An example they used to illustrate some of the things they should no do, was to pull over and pretend to come into a motorcyclist lane, just to scare them. As a rider I do not find this humorous. Cyclists have to be on constant alert any way and this could really scare some one and cause an accident. You never know what is going to happen, something you did not anticipate could go wrong. I am sorry that the programs producer would let this scene get into the script. It shows a total lack of respect for a humans life and rights.

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