Another great commentary from John Tarvardian…
For the past several months, the cable channel FX has been running promos for a new show “Black. White.” It’s about two families — one black and one white — who volunteered to trade races and live together in a house in Los Angeles for six weeks. From the start, the cynic in me said the entire point of the show would be to put the white family on the defensive and make them experience “racist” America as blacks. Turns out I was right.
This is exactly the kind of show I hate: one with a bait and switch and one that perpetuates stereotypes and myths. On the surface, Black. White. purports to have an excellent premise: ‘don’t criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.’ However, from the word go that premise was forgotten for a much more base and cynical premise: ‘as a white person you just don’t get it, do you?’ In the end, the show really has no purpose other than to titillate and entertain.
LaShawn Barber wrote an excellent review of the show, and she provides numerous examples of just why the show is shallow and pointless. In addition, she also offers examples of how the show could have succeeded. By the way, I’ve put Ms. Barber’s excellent blog on my must read list.