October 8, 2014

Black-ish isn't Gay-ish

We are in fall TV premiere season, and tonight ABC will air the third episode of its acclaimed new comedy Black-ish, starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne.

The show focuses on an upper middle class black family, where just as he is promoted to the highest ranking back man in his white company, the father worries that his kids are not culturally black enough.  So he interferes and bumbles as he tries to make them more culturally black. The dad is goofy, the mom is sweet, the kids are snarky... so a typical sitcom.... inside of 22 minutes, insight and comedy ensue.

The first episode, which focused on the dad's promotion while his son decided he wanted a Bar Mtizvah despite not being Jewish, was smart and funny.

This weekend while on the treadmill I caught the second episode on demand, and was surprised.

While ABC has put Black-ish in a prime spot, between two hits, the super-gay Modern Family and the gay-ish Nashville, Black-ish is not gay friendly.

In episode two, the dad is approaching the son to have the sex talk, and finds him stretching... and says of the stretching that "it looks a little gay" ... so gay like lame? Or gay like stupid? Or gay like gay?

Later in the show, when the dad is shirtless, his son takes off his shirt to mimic, and the dad says "two shirtless dudes standing around starts to look weird"... so 'weird' means gay, right? Gay is weird?

At best that is lazy outdated writing. More likely it is casual homophobia. Either way it's not good enough, TV people.

Sure these are just two quick lines, but they went through the writing and rewriting and filming and editing and whatever else those network people do... and made it through.

Much as I like TV, and crappy TV, I won't be going back to Black-ish which I now file away with Ducky Dynasty and Tim Allen... bye bye.