I have been watching TV and movies for a long, long time. And thanks to the mass distribution of shows like these, these, these, these, these, and these, I have been able to recognize the trouble with being an RBP and have spent a lifetime working against my skin’s desire to force me to like rap, be a magical sage with no interests of my own, die first in conflict (good job newest member of the family: season premier of Alcatraz!) and support Tyler Perry (by the by, the TPSD support group meeting for this week has been moved to room 304). I have spent a good chunk of change wiping the ethnicity out of my hair so as few people as possible insist on singing at me whenever Baby’s Got Back comes on (it happens) and I have eschewed spending time with many an eligible non-white bachelor lest someone ever feel they can refer to me as “gurl.”
And the Comedy Central goes and does this.
This week, the network announced that they picked up another season of the sketch comedy show Key and Peele. The show features two black men doing comedy…and not in obese drag!
No, I don't have an Oreo crush on either of these men. Why on earth would you make an assumption like heyguysi'llbeattheequestioncenterthisweekend ifyou'retheretoonobigdeal
DoubleYew. Tee. Eff.
Just look at these sketches! They’re hilarious and don’t rely on trite racial stereotypes to get their points across.
Comedy Central seems to be ignoring decades of programming done by people who clearly know what they’re doing. If folks of color could actually display a diverse range of talents, make clever social commentary and have a good time while not speaking Ebonics, don’t you think someone would have figured that out by now?
And…fine, let’s just say that the above statement is correct. That you can be an RBP and also be layered, middle class and appreciate Gordon Ramsey…what am I supposed to do now? Enjoy being of color? Stop feeling ashamed every time I stumble past BET? Believe that comments made by presidential hopefuls about how black people just don’t know how to work hard or maintain a family are, what? Misguided/Incorrect/Totally fucking crazy? Sounds like someone’s really asking for a lot!
This country runs on self-loathing and marginalization. That’s why we have advertising and a political system. Just imagine the chaos if more people of color saw themselves “fairly” represented in film and TV. There are entire political structures built around the assumptions that Comedy Central is busy disproving with every high-quality, well-produced, finely performed sketch on that show.
Well, I hope that the network is ready for the inevitable fallout. I’ve got my eye on them. And just so I can
totally enjoy a show that accurately portrays what people of color can bring to the table photograph the lightning when it strikes…I’ll be watching.